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THE SILENT ENIGMA

Anathema

Experimental/Post Metal


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Anathema The Silent Enigma album cover
3.11 | 186 ratings | 14 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Restless Oblivion (8:03)
2. Shroud of Frost (7:31)
3. ...Alone (4:23)
4. Sunset of Age (6:56)
5. Nocturnal Emission (4:20)
6. Cerulean Twilight (7:05)
7. The Silent Enigma (4:24)
8. A Dying Wish (8:11)
9. Black Orchid (3:40)

Total Time: 54:37

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Vincent Cavanagh / vocals and guitars
- Daniel Cavanagh / guitar
- Duncan Patterson / bass
- John Douglas/ drums and percussion

Releases information

Fierce 11109

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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ANATHEMA The Silent Enigma ratings distribution


3.11
(186 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
27%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)
10%

ANATHEMA The Silent Enigma reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Meet the new vocalist, same as the old vocalist.

In my review of "Serenades", I was somewhat scathing of the vocals which were not so much a weak point, as a complete disaster. It was therefore with some optimism that I noted that Darren White was no longer with the band, Vincent Cavenagh having assumed vocal duties.

Unfortunately, Cavenagh "sings" in exactly the same way as his predecessor. It really is a pity, as there's some really good instrumental work here. Musically, the sound is similar to Black Sabbath around the time they almost become progressive (Sabotage"/"Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" the latter incidentally featuring Rick Wakeman). The tracks are well constructed with sensitive lyrics, soft acoustic sections, and powerful riffs. There are symphonic overtones, a lovely soft female vocal lead track ("..Alone"), and a melodic instrumental track to finish ("Black orchid").

All the other tracks however are completely spoiled by the death metal, monotonic, growled vocals. Occasionally, they do threaten to break into song, but never actually get there. It really is such a tragic waste, this could have been a really good album, if only they'd employed a singer. (Nice packaging too.)

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#30093) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, June 27, 2004

Review by OpethGuitarist
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The band really takes form.

This is when Anathema really begins to take their shape, taking elements from their doom days and adding on to those in a more melodic and stylistic manner. Cavanagh's vocals utilize both death like qualities as well as traditional style singing. The material isn't quite at the progressive stage yet, but there are considerable leaps from their previous album.

The most notable thing here being the increased presence of the clean electric and acoustic as well as the track A Dying Wish which has a riff that was used on a later album. It's heavy, but not so ultra-heavy as to alienate many like a more complicated band such as Meshuggah might. The Black Sabbath references cited are poor choices, as this band really has little connection to them other than overall genre.

This is my least favorite studio release, and the most mundane, as it sort of sits in the middle of the fence without especially being great. Not as atmospheric as later albums, nor as emotionally deep. Pick this one up last after the other ones.

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Send comments to OpethGuitarist (BETA) | Report this review (#113198) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
4 stars After my disappointment with Serenades I didn't pay any attention anymore to Anathema till I heard Alternative 4. I've revisited their entire catalogue since and this second album came as a pleasant surprise. Or should I say a remarkable one, as 'pleasant' isn't really the appropriate adjective here.

Anathema's imminent change towards more laid-back atmospheric rock pops up here on plenty of occasions. For instance in the moody chord picking intro of Restless Oblivion and a clearly Fields of the Nephilim-inspired Nocturnal Emission. There's also the acoustic pastoral moment Alone. As on the title track, also the influence from Celtic Frost is quite prominent. Some songs have a loose and lengthy structure, featuring melodious lead guitars and atmospheric synths. Elements that might win over the more gloomy prog fans here.

The attention for atmospherics, the organic song development and the entrancing repetitive nature of the music would serve as a huge inspiration for Agalloch. Still, the dominant features of this album are the oppressively slow doom dirges and the gruff vocals, this time from Vincent Cavanagh. It's a vocal style that suits him pretty well here. He doesn't have full control of his voice but he delivers with a unrelenting conviction. He would soon give it up this gruff style in favour of a more melodic approach.

The Silent Enigma isn't on the same level as the breakthrough albums of Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, but still it provides a good case why they were listed with those two other bands as the instigators of the doom death metal.

A good 10 years later, the American band known as Agalloch would take the rough material of this album, add some early Katatonia to it and mould everything into one of the most beautiful dark rock albums ever. By consequence, this Anathema album might be worth seeking out if you're curious about their doom death roots. 3.5 stars

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#261732) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review by EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars The second Anathema studio hasn't much more to say than the debut "Serenades".

1995 is the year when the band started to change the sound a bit; with this release, together with the EP "Pentecost III", the band explores some of the progressive soundscapes, always maintaining their death doom metal style. The music is even darker than the debut, especially in songs like "Resteless Oblivion" or "A Dying Wish". The band uses even more calm, delicate moments, alternated with the violent ones. We know that very soon, with the release of their third "Eternity", these calm moments will prevail.

There are only a few good songs that save the album from a bad rating; the already mentioned "Restless Oblivion" is perfect, not one bad moment here; creepy, violent, nd a little disturbing at times. Perfect doom metal song. Even "Sunset Of Age" and "A Dying Wish" have some great moments, very haunting, but a little disquieting.

The rest is OK, definitely better at times than some songs from the debut. Maybe "Cerulean Twilight" is the song i dislike the most, boring and not appealing at all.

As a conclusion, I must say that, I prefer by a little bit the debut, since "The Silent Enigma" has only one great song, while "Serenades" has a few.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#306542) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, October 25, 2010

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars One of my friends is a huge "Anathema" fan, but he warned me about their early releases that he dislikes profoundly. I can only agree with him. A combination of doom with growling: ouch!

I thought that this album would be better since a "new vocalist" appears and while listening to the very first notes of the opening number, I was nicely surprised. But this effect only lasted for a few seconds, unfortunately.

As I have written in a prior review, as long as the instrumental passages are concerned their music sounds OK although it is hugely borrowing to Sabbath who remains the master in the genre IMHHO. At times, the music is surprisingly melodic but it is rapidly ruined by these atrocious vocal parts; but I am afraid that I will have to cope with this for a while?

This is really a shame because "Shroud Of Frost" holds some fine instrumental elements and could have been an excellent number by all means. Some great doom feel (I don't dislike the genre, per se) is filling your ears with "Sunset Of Age". But you know the story: doom with growls?

I can only agree with Easy Livin: it was a good opportunity that has been missed. Still, this work IS better than their debut album. Two stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#338520) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, November 29, 2010

Latest members reviews

3 stars 5/10 One effort more rewarding than the horrible debut. But the vocals ... ... They screw it up again. And that's because there's a new singer, one of the brothers Cavanagh. To my misfortune, his vocals are just more of the same, slow and guttural growls that drag unnecessarily undermining ... (read more)

Report this review (#993840) | Posted by voliveira | Tuesday, July 09, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Silent Enigma ? 1995 (2.4/5 almost 3 stars) 8 ? Best Song: ?Alone? Have you acclimated yourself with the up and coming gothic rock phase? Well don't sweat it that much, I've been here and I've been there, and I for sure haven't found anything otherworldly. Usually the group will stipulate ... (read more)

Report this review (#459138) | Posted by Alitare | Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Crushing emotional weight. With their second album, Anathema took their despondent Doom Metal into the darkest depths of agony while broadening their songwriting and sharpening their overall approach. Bleak, foreboding soundscapes merge with devastatingly heavy outbursts of anguish revealing t ... (read more)

Report this review (#85980) | Posted by bleak | Sunday, August 06, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A first transitional album in the career of Anathema. The vocals are still extreme metal, but this time they are done by someone who can actually sing. The music is now much more atmospheric, with a lot of melodic passages. The album starts with "Restless Oblivion" and "Shroud Of Frost", two cl ... (read more)

Report this review (#64622) | Posted by zaxx | Friday, January 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "The Silent Enigma" is somewhat a transitional album for Anathema. They are leaving the "doom metal" sound and becoming a gothic metal group. From this album on, guitarist Vincent Cavanagh handles the vocal duties. As opposite to former vocalist Darren White, he actually sings (and also screa ... (read more)

Report this review (#46573) | Posted by Prosciutto | Wednesday, September 14, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The orchestral part of "The Silent Enigma" is, most beautiful, the way they transform theese harmonic tunes into raging guitar riffs and devestating vocal, is less impressive I must admit, though in the songs "Dying Wish" "Sleepless 69" they manage to hold a relatively balanced sounds, where they ... (read more)

Report this review (#30097) | Posted by | Thursday, June 02, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If you like your music a bit heavy then try this. If you like your music heavy and you've never heard Anethema then definitley try this! Progressive and heavy. This album definitley shows potential from Liverpools best kept secret. If you like The Silent Enigma then listen ot Eternity. Eterity ... (read more)

Report this review (#30096) | Posted by | Friday, March 04, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album rock's so hard it has givin me so much inspiration as a guitarist and a singer. I would love to see Anathema do alot more tour's in the uk and i'm sure alot of other people would as well. I have a very high respect level for this band as they have helped me get through the good and ... (read more)

Report this review (#30095) | Posted by | Wednesday, November 24, 2004 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "The Silent Enigma" is a highly melancholic, Romantic DOOM metal album. It has nothing to do with prog rock whatsoever. However, Anathema were excellent at playing that British doom style that they, along with bands like Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, helped to create. The vocals are certai ... (read more)

Report this review (#30094) | Posted by | Sunday, June 27, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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