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FALLING DEEPER

Anathema

Experimental/Post Metal


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Anathema Falling Deeper album cover
3.80 | 393 ratings | 11 reviews | 22% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Crestfallen (3:08)
2. Sleep In Sanity (3:35)
3. Kingdom (4:24)
4. They Die (2:13)
5. Everwake (3:07)
6. J'ai Fait Une Promesse (4:23)
7. Alone (7:17)
8. We The Gods (3:05)
9. Sunset Of Age (7:42)

Total time 38:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Lee Douglas / vocals
- Vincent Cavanagh / vocals, guitar, co- producer
- Daniel Cavanagh / guitar, vocals, string arrangements & orchestration, co- producer
- Les Smith / keyboards
- Jamie Cavanagh / bass
- John Douglas / drums

Note: These credits are generic since instrumentation details varies (individual tracks coming from different periods of the band's career) and new vocal & musical arrangements were introduced

With:
- Anneke van Giersbergen / vocals (5)
- Dave Stewart / string arrangements & orchestration
- London Session Orchestra / strings
- Perry Montague-Mason / concertmaster

Releases information

Orchestral re-interpretations of a selection of songs from the band's past releases

Artwork: Scott Robinson

LP Kscope ‎- kscope820 (2011, UK)

CD Kscope ‎- kscope187 (2011, UK)

Thanks to progshine for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ANATHEMA Falling Deeper ratings distribution


3.80
(393 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
22%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
43%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (9%)
9%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

ANATHEMA Falling Deeper reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 'Falling Deeper' - Anathema (8/10)

Anathema first re-recorded unplugged versions of their existing music with the album 'Hindsight'. Contrary to my expectations, I not only loved that album, but it became one of my favourite albums from this former doom, now-atmospheric rock group. Like most of my most loved modern artists, this is a band that keeps doing brilliant new things, and the second 'unplugged' release from these Liverpudlians proves that they have nowhere near exhausted their passion for making some of the most emotive music in recent times. Instead of merely doing a sequel to 'Hindsight', 'Falling Deeper' does something rather different. Anathema's latest sees them mellow out their music like never before, now to the point of being rightfully called ambient music. Although the turbulence of these doom classics has been squeezed out of them, they are now more beautiful and touching than ever.

In place of guitars or drums, Anathema rely mostly on gentle piano, and a fully realized string section to bring these new renditions to life. 'Hindsight' certainly changed most of its songs up into something new, but they were always recognizable in relation to the core material. 'Falling Deeper' is such a radical departure from the death-doom metal style that most of the songs here bear only a slight resemblance to the originals, to the point where one could even call this album a set of fresh material that pays homage to their early work over anything else. To call 'Falling Deeper' 'unplugged' would be misleading, seeing as the arrangements here are generally more complex than the originals, which were mostly led on by one or two guitars. The strings and piano instantly create a template with which to create some beautiful music, and Anathema do not disappoint. Each track here is very moving in a cinematic sense, and there is even a running flow to the music that assures the listener that once they fall into the trance of the music, they won't be roused out of it by some out-of-place track break.

There are vocals here as well from the Cavanagh brothers, as well as well-known Dutch vocalit Anneke Van Giersbergen, who coincidentally ranks among my favourite female singers. As opposed to letting the vocals take run with melodies, they are instead used almost as if the voices were no more an instrument than the violins or piano. The highlight 'Kingdom' is perfectly indicative of this, with soothing vocals doing more for the texture of the music, rather than taking hold of the listener's attention. This is most definitely ambient music, and that can also mean it is not something that is necessarily going to mesh with every whim and occasion. This is romantic, beautiful, soothing music to put on while either relaxing and reflecting, and to that extent, I may not like the homogeneity of this release over something like 'Hindsight', or one of the brilliant full-lengths they have done recently. For what it lacks in dynamic or variety though, Anathema nails down the one angle they aim for here, and once again, I have fallen in love with the music this group makes.

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Falling Deeper" sees the band completely re-arranging some of their oldest tracks from 1992 to 1995 when they were known as a Doom Metal band. The nine tracks are taken from two EPs ("Pentecost II & "Crestfallen") and two full length records ("Serenades" & "The Silent Enigma"). So yes this is quite different from the "Hindsight" album where they simply re-recorded later songs in that unplugged or acoustic format. Which is why "Hindsight" is listed here under "Compilation Albums" and "Falling Deeper" is looked at as a new recording. Also "Falling Deeper" is not an unplugged recording at all. Unless you were told, or knew the lyrics, these songs bear little to no resemblance to what they once were. The LONDON SESSION ORCHESTRA adds their talents to these tracks and Dave Stewart is the one who arranged these orchestral movements. Dave also worked his magic in this manner on their previous album "We're Here Becuase We're Here". I would say this is more melancholic and majestic when compared to their previous studio album. There's less light but man the atmosphere and majesty is awe-inspiring. It really is hard for me to keep my emotions in check while listening to this record.

"Crestfallen" might be my favourite track on here. The sad piano melodies to start and when it kicks in with drums, guitar and orchestra it's so emotional. Lee comes in vocally and as usual she sounds so beautiful. She sings "Falling deeper" over and over. "Sleep In Sanity" is so atmospheric, beautiful and powerful as male and female vocals arrive. My God ! It settles right down late and blends into "Kingdom". Just incredible. It's building as vocals come in. A haunting atmosphere ends it. Three drop dead gorgeous songs in a row. "They Die" is the shortest tune at just over 2 minutes. More of the same really but i'm not complaining as we get orchestral beauty and piano. Such a powerful soundscape. "Everwake" features the vocals of Anneke formally of THE GATHERING. And yes she's my favourite female vocalist, making this song feel like a dream. Beautiful melancholy as Anneke comes in in a reserved manner.

"J'ai Fait Une Promesse" has sparse piano then the strings take over. So peaceful and beautiful. There's a glimpse of light late. "Alone" is acoustic guitar-led gloom. It's fuller and almost haunting after 2 minutes then Lee comes in vocally. It settles right down with acoustic guitar again. Rain and thunder arrives then it's building before 5 minutes. Vocals are back with the rain and thunder to end it. "We The Gods" is uplifting with strings and piano. "Sunset Of Age" is gorgeous to start as male vocals come in. It kicks in after a minute as contrasts continue. The guitar lights it up late. Nice. What a song !

I must say i'm blown away by this even if these are older songs being given a modern makeover.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Anathema goes grandiose and exaltedly symphonic on this release, the target being a reworking of older songs and fitting them into a massive orchestral glow that is simply put, irresistible! Their usual gloomy veneer has been coated with a colossal melancholia with torrents of effective symphony strings courtesy of the London Session Orchestra. Accordingly, this evolving group of musicians search out new sonic horizons, eschewing any formulaic approach to their discography and boldly take their craft to new heights. This is a most welcome philosophy for it underlines a definite progressive tendency to constantly alter their scope and hone their artistic vision, unafraid to experiment and rejoice in the results. Being relatively new to the Anathema phenomenon (the masterful "Judgement" is what sucked me in), I need to visit their past discography but with music of such sheer beauty, I have no wish to run too fast , helter-skelter. I know I will get there. In the meantime, the aura of grandiose ennui becomes evident on "Crestfallen", a perfect title of a perfect song expertly portrayed amid a wave of crushing symphonicity. It segues directly into "Sleep in Sanity" a downright killer track, wielded by a sensational female wailing by Lee Douglas , while the three Cavanagh boys really lay it on thick and creamy, as befitting such a spectral arrangement. "Kingdom" wallows wildly in a steamy, delirious and yet consistent aural mist, emotionally charged and breathtaking. "They Die" is short but oh so bittersweet! The most glorious 2 minute piece you have ever heard. "Everwake" is a stunning slice of Annike van Giersbergen (The Gathering), a wonderfully adept vocalist, specializing in the fragile/powerful arsenal of pipes. She can howl, wail and sing with total ease. When a piano lulls you into an orchestra of trembling strings, how can you not melt? "J'ai Fait Une Promesse" is such a highlight then! Melancholic restraint. Desperate gorgeousness. "Alone" is cinematographically creepy by comparison, acoustic guitar gloom and despondence invade the air with morbid intensity (lack thereof, actually) until Lee swerves into our ears, screeching some distressed plea, the relentless plucking strings of the forlorn acoustic guitar weeping in the foreground. Thunderstorm effects add to the murkiness, Lee doing an encore wail and figuratively ushering the funeral choir forward. Chilling to be alone for some. "We the Gods" is another piano and string cameo that meanders along, unobtrusively carving an elegant route. "Sunset of Age" ends this voyage on an uplifting note, massive strings shepherd in some irresistible male and female vocals, a steady beat and a thunderous chorus. The violins are stupendous, a dazzling foray into the senses confused by all the contrast and the stop and go rhythm, the piano refereeing the crew, putting them into a resemblance of order. Yes, the music is that powerful and evocative, yet treated in a classical way. Wow!. Their material is ideally suited for this kind of overhaul, hence it's successful! The screeching guitar twining with the strings is exemplary, proving they are damn fine musicians to boot. A triumph of adventure, courage and musical vision

This is a petite one, barely a half hour of music but quite a stellar performance. Brief album, brief review.

4.5 drowning tears

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I'm not quite sure when I first listened to Anathema. But for sure, I like their music especially when they already made the music like this 'Falling Deeper' album. For me personally, it's quite a break to enjoy this kind of non-complex arrangements kind of music even though the nuance is quite dark. Look at the opening instrumental "Crestfallen" which flows nicely in slow tempo using piano fills as its main melody, followed seamlessly with "Sleep In Sanity" (6:43) that features vocal. The string orchestration at the background is also nice. The melody line is handled by vocal followed with long sustain synthesizer - it's a very cool opening track.

The next track 'Kingdom' (3:59) is still in dark mood with an ambient intro combining string arrangements followed with piano touch and vocal - everything is performed in relatively slow tempo. Even though different in music style, when I am listening to this track I associate the nuance created is somewhat similar with the music of Tangerine Dream. This composition relies heavily on orchestration at the background. 'Sunset Of Age' (7:32) starts slowly with piano touch followed with background music that moves slowly in crescendo. It then moves smoothly to "Everwake" (3:09) with acoustic guitar fills followed with female vocal line. It's a peaceful music offering, really.

Overall, I really enjoy this kind of music offering by Anathema in "Falling Deeper". The music moves nicely from one segment to another in relatively slow moving fashion predominantly demonstrated by nice background music with synthesizer and orchestration. It requires patient to enjoy it as you won't get any uptempo style here with this album. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Though I only own Anathema's music catalogue from Natural Disasters to the present, my feelings with regards to their music has remained fairly constant. I love their sound, I love their spiritually-minded lyrical messages, I love the flow and feel of their records, I just find their song-writing style too boring and repetitive: a song's opening riff or chord sequence is played start to finish with nary a flutter or flourish, ad nauseum; they're Post Rock/Math Rock's staunch poster child! But here, on Falling Deeper, the band may have stumbled upon their music's true purpose, it's best delivery style, it's most powerful presentation: the orchestrated soundtrack. Every song on this album is incredibly rich, hypnotically engaging, and lyrically sparse--all of which allow for a much more varied and deepened listening experience. Plus, the flow of this album's songs has an even tighter weave, each song seeming to be but a single 'movement' within the context of the whole. Bravo, Anathema! In my opinion, this is how all of your music should be presented.

5 stars for one of the most deeply engaging albums I've heard in a long time--an album I want to listen to over and over--especially for the opening and closing songs: masterpieces for the ages.

Review by TCat
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars After the release of the album "Hindsight" which was an unplugged rendering of previously released material, Anathema fans wanted to know why there wasn't much in the way of representative music from the doom metal albums. "Falling Deeper" was the response to this. The tracks on this album are all orchestral renderings of select songs from the doom metal albums. Most of the songs are led by a piano and some mostly ambient vocals which in most cases do not repeat most of the lyrics from those songs. These are beautiful renderings done with a lot of flourish. But they can tend to come across as quickly composed and arranged. Most of the tracks are just way too short and rushed making them seem underdeveloped. The songs are just not given a fitting tribute and, even though I do think it's a great idea to orchestrate doom metal songs to symphonic songs, I feel the originals are just not given the justice they deserve.

However, it's not a complete disaster here. Like I said, the orchestrations are beautiful. "Sunset of Age" is a well composed and arranged piece with more vocals than the other tracks and the orchestra is given a chance to really develop this version of the song into a piece of it's own. There is also a very nice guitar solo played with the orchestra. The song has been given time to breath and take on a new life. "Everawake" is fronted more by an acoustic guitar and is a welcome variation from the symphonic sounds. This song is also headed by the female vocalist Anneke van Viersbergen who has worked with Ayreon, Devin Townsend, Within Temptation and many other bands. There is more a beautiful piano interlude on "I Made a Promise" that tends to take the rushed feeling of the album down to more relaxed feel. Anneke also sings lead on "Alone" which is also the only other track besided "Sunset of Age" over 7 minutes. The longer songs are so much better because the tracks seem so much more developed. With the overall album only being about 37 minutes, they certainly had more time to develop these versions better. Unfortunately, Anneke is underutilized on this track, but the track has a much better ambiance with the addition of acoustic guitar and spacey keyboards. There is a nice use of dissonance on this one too, where as the other tracks are just much to clean.

As much as I love Anathema's music, and as much as I would love for this album to work, there are only two really great songs here in "Sunset" and "Alone". These I would consider progressive, not just because they are longer tracks, but because they are better developed and go beyond just being symphonic. The rest of the tracks have a highlight here and there, but do not use enough of the lyrics from the originals and are too short to really be taken very seriously. They just are not given enough time to breathe and the music just seems too rushed. Unfortunately, I can only give this a 3 star rating, but it is a nice listen on occasion, but it's not something I put on very often.

Review by Prog Leviathan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If you love the modern Anathema sound - lush, sweeping, lovely, melancholic, cathartic - then Falling Deeper is a great supplementary addition to your library. If you don't love Anathema's sound, well then I sort of feel sorry for you, because you're missing out on one of the most beautiful voices in modern art rock. Though Falling Deeper is an instrumental re imagining of the band's older material, it stands up excellently alongside the group's recent material.

Falling Deeper utilizes sparse, mid to slow tempo palettes of sound that are made achingly emotional by use of acoustic instruments and orchestration. The moods shift between the nostalgically romantic, grief stricken, somnolent, and bereft. These are my interpretations of what is largely instrumental music, and as I think about it I realize how unappealing this might make Falling Deeper sound to those on the fence; however, that shouldn't dissuade you if you're looking for a subtle and sensation-rich album to add to your library.

Cavanaugh and the band treat us again with excellent performances, mature compositions, and genuine pathos. Recommended, though new fans to Anathema should definitely check out their more "normal" albums first.

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: NA - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Deep and beautiful

Following the 2008 album "Hindsight", where Anathema revisited some of their more recent songs, and placing them in a softer, more acoustic setting, the band took the project a stage further in 2011. Falling deeper into their doom-laden past, this appropriately titled album brings a new found grace and beauty to some of their earliest material. While at the time of those recordings the band were known for their growled vocals and funereal sounds, it was always apparent that underlying it all was a collection of fine melodies and sensitive performances. "Falling deeper" finally allows those nuances to come to the fore as the band call upon Dave Stewart (of Egg) to add orchestral arrangements while they themselves seek to exploit the lyrical and musical themes that were often buried under the deluge of thumping and growling.

The eight songs included here (the album runs to under 40 minutes) originally appeared on albums and EPs such as "Crestfallen, "Serenades", "The Silent Enigma" and "Pentecost III". We open with the two part "Crestfallen / Sleep In Sanity" which is rather cut down from the original 10 minutes of "Crestfallen" (on the EP of that name) and 7 minutes of "Sleep in Sanity" (on "Serenades"). Instantly, we are presented with a piece of great beauty and harmonic perfection. Gone are the random growls and manically depressive lyrics, this interpretation relying solely on the underlying strength of the song. "Kingdom" was for me one of the more palatable songs on the "Pentecost III" EP. That album bore the first hints of the band's direction change, and it is those hints that are exploited here, with full orchestration.

"They die" previously appeared on the "Crestfallen" EP and also as "They (Will Always) Die" on "Serenades". As with most of the tracks here, it is pared back quite a bit, becoming much tighter and more focused in the process. "Everwake" was already the best track on "Crestfallen", but here it benefits further from the divine female vocals of Anneke Van Giersbergen, the heavier backing and superb orchestration once again resulting in an album highlight. "I made a promise" originally bore its French title "J'ai Fait Une Promesse", but here it loses its female vocal, becoming a soft instrumental.

"Alone" is one of the few songs to be in a longer from here than it was originally (on "Silent Enigma"). On that album, the symphonic overtones were already apparent. Here, the arrangement is actually a little more Spartan, the emphasis being more on the acoustic aspects. "We the gods" once again removes the vocals completely, along with about 6 minutes of the original song, leaving a delightful instrumental piece. "Sunset of age" is the closing track on my version of the album. It makes for a superb finale, with (dare I say) ELO style swirling strings and a heavy back-beat laying the foundations for a strong melody. Here, an excellent lead guitar solo adds a further welcome dimension.

"Falling deeper" sees the band going back to their early days for the basic songs, but then transforming them into pieces that would fit well into their current output. The symphonic orchestration brings out the full beauty of the melodies, resulting in an album that is every bit as good as the bands fine albums from their more recent past.

Latest members reviews

4 stars At first, I wasn't scared of listening to this album, but I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical if this album would live up to the hype it had back in the day. Now that I've listen to this album so many times I think I could sum it up and just say that this is a masterpiece of our modern ti ... (read more)

Report this review (#1380120) | Posted by Rodrigo Andrade7 | Monday, March 9, 2015 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 9.5/10 An experience so ethereal and transcendental, whose words may not be enough to describe it. To someone that is completely in love with the music, always charm me when I hear something that not only makes a good impression as the musical quality, but promotes an even deeper, going beyond ... (read more)

Report this review (#1009498) | Posted by voliveira | Thursday, August 1, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Here is new anathema comp with older songs done in classical arrangement. One my all time fave bands,They have shift from doom metal over years to more post rock ambient. With some math rock tendencies i love orchestral arangments on this disc short disc but good. highlight songs- alone-7 min ... (read more)

Report this review (#511310) | Posted by scepter | Monday, August 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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