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ANATHEMA

Experimental/Post Metal • United Kingdom


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Anathema picture
Anathema biography
Founded as Pagan Angel in 1990 in Liverpool, UK

Their original line-up was: Darren White (vocals), Vincent Cavanagh (guitars), Daniel Cavanagh (guitars), Jamie Cavanagh (bass), and John Dougals (percussion), under the moniker PAGAN ANGEL. Since then, there's been too many line-up changes to mention here, although Vincent, Daniel, and John have all maintained status in the band, except Daniel briefly in 2002 (click on the album's for more line-up information). They would release one demo and then change their name to ANATHEMA. They released two more demo's and then were discovered by Hammy of Peaceville Records, who signed them. They went on to be the most overlooked gem of the '90's. Starting as romantic doom metal ("The Crestfallen", "Serenades", and "The Silent Enigma"), and then transitioning into an avant-garde experimental force. Each album bears evidence of progression. The vocals are always improving and becoming even more poignant, accenting the music and lyrics (which this band are probably the best lyricist's out there). "Eternity" was sort of a transitional album for them, somewhat abandoning the guttural cries of despondency and replacing that with Vincent Cavanagh's beautiful singing voice. Their influences range from PINK FLOYD to The BEATLES to RADIOHEAD. The future for ANATHEMA is promising because they are the future.

"The Cresfallen" and "Serenades" are mainly attracted by doom metal fans because of the pace of the music and Darren White's moody vocals. "Pentecost III" showed the band exploring long escapades into realms not traveled by any band in their genre. Also being the last release to feature Darren White on vocals. "The Silent Enigma" is a monumental album, blending beauty and despair, poetically. "Eternity" was the transitional album, where they explored the vast expanse of space (a la PINK FLOYD). "Alternative 4" and "Judgement" were both excellent editions to their catalogue, but lacking the experimentation of the next two albums. "A Fine Day to Exit" was a large step into various different soundscapes. It was followed by "A Natural Disaster," where they achieved a sound completely their own, surpassing even RADIOHEAD, with their absolute exploration of the unknown. "We're Here Because We're Here" was released in 2010 and continued to show signs of progression of the band's sound.

Highly recommended: "Pentecost III," "The Silent Enigma," Eternity," and "A Natural Disaster."

: : : Kurt Zander, USA : ...
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ANATHEMA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ANATHEMA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 220 ratings
Serenades
1993
3.09 | 258 ratings
The Silent Enigma
1995
3.59 | 351 ratings
Eternity
1996
4.05 | 619 ratings
Alternative 4
1998
4.15 | 727 ratings
Judgement
1999
3.84 | 501 ratings
A Fine Day To Exit
2001
3.92 | 566 ratings
A Natural Disaster
2003
3.88 | 169 ratings
Hindsight
2008
4.05 | 918 ratings
We're Here Because We're Here
2010
3.81 | 416 ratings
Falling Deeper
2011
4.03 | 937 ratings
Weather Systems
2012
3.67 | 451 ratings
Distant Satellites
2014
3.55 | 167 ratings
The Optimist
2017

ANATHEMA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.47 | 91 ratings
Untouchable
2013
4.50 | 2 ratings
Universal
2013
3.96 | 48 ratings
A Sort of Homecoming
2015

ANATHEMA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.37 | 33 ratings
A Vision Of A Dying Embrace
2002
3.36 | 51 ratings
Were You There live
2004
3.45 | 65 ratings
A Moment in Time
2006
4.51 | 147 ratings
Universal
2013

ANATHEMA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.62 | 28 ratings
Serenades + Crestfallen
1995
3.21 | 37 ratings
Resonance: Best of Anathema
2001
2.67 | 29 ratings
Resonance 2
2002
4.44 | 25 ratings
Original Album Classics
2011
4.00 | 8 ratings
Resonance 1 & 2
2015
4.44 | 9 ratings
Fine Days 1999 - 2004
2015
4.17 | 6 ratings
Internal Landscapes 2008-2018
2018

ANATHEMA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.32 | 16 ratings
An Iliad of Woes
1990
1.66 | 16 ratings
All Faith is Lost
1991
2.92 | 12 ratings
They Die 7''
1992
2.25 | 61 ratings
The Crestfallen
1992
2.17 | 17 ratings
We are the Bible 7''
1994
2.90 | 74 ratings
Pentecost III
1995
1.71 | 12 ratings
Alternative Future
1998
2.47 | 13 ratings
Make it Right
1999
2.68 | 19 ratings
Deep
1999
3.81 | 16 ratings
Pressure
2001
3.40 | 10 ratings
Unchained (Tales Of The Unexpected)
2008
4.48 | 35 ratings
Everything
2010
3.60 | 5 ratings
Dreaming Light
2011
3.00 | 4 ratings
Untouchable Part 1
2012
2.75 | 4 ratings
Untouchable Part 2
2013
2.33 | 3 ratings
The Lost Song Part 3
2014
3.33 | 3 ratings
Untouchable
2014

ANATHEMA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Silent Enigma by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.09 | 258 ratings

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The Silent Enigma
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Peacock Feather

3 stars Thank Heaven, the Cavanagh brothers and Duncan Patterson quickly realized that Darren White as a vocalist was simply not suitable for Anathema, so he was dismissed from the band, and Vincent Cavanagh took his place, and it was he who became the main vocalist from The Silent Enigma. The replacement was really successful: although Vinnie somehow did not know how to sing then, but compared to what was on the Serenades, the vocal component shone with new colors, because Vinnie showed his ability to convey thoughts through vocals as emotionally as possible. With Vinnie as vocalist, the main creators in the band, Daniel Cavanagh and Duncan Patterson, seemed to spread their wings, and The Silent Enigma was an incredibly big step forward.

In fact, we have a hyperemotional doom-death with an excellent vocal pressure and tragedy and more or less distinct structures of compositions, in which the sprouting roots of the brand Anathema are already visible. Personally, among other songs, I single out the opening Restless Oblivion, almost emo-doom Shroud of Frost with a stunning second half and a very depressing spoken word, a little melancholic and psychedelic ... Alone and, of course, the legendary A Dying Wish. Yes, perhaps, it is The Silent Enigma that is more worthy of being called a classic of death-doom (or doom-death, as you like). In addition, from the classical period of discography, this is the best that Anathema could offer at that time.

 Serenades by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.33 | 220 ratings

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Serenades
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Peacock Feather

1 stars I must say that even though Anathema has the status of one of the pillars of doom-death, it is simply difficult to come up with a worse start to their career than Serenades. Perhaps the main problem is not in the ugly compositional structure of songs and even not in tortured riffs. The main problem with Serenades is vocals. Seriously, this is one of the most disgusting vocal performances I've heard in a long time. This is how I growl when I try to sing along to different death metal and similar genres. Darren White, with all due respect, is not the kind of vocalist who is able to set the necessary emotional tone for the sound of the band. Well, there is nothing special to distinguish from the songs, except J'ai Fait Une Promesse, which was sung in French (the only appearance of female vocals on the album, just a local "Ray of Light in the Dark Kingdom" of some kind). By the way, the band's attempt to "clear" the music lover's brain with a 23-minute ambient set at the end of Serenades is perceived, to put it mildly, ridiculously.
 The Optimist by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2017
3.55 | 167 ratings

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The Optimist
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Peacock Feather

2 stars All of a sudden, brave creators from Liverpool decide to go back to their ideological roots, and not just anywhere, but straight to the fan-controversial A Fine Day to Exit, and decide to continue the story of the lyrical hero who eventually (spoiler!) changed his mind to drown in the ocean near the beach in San Diego, whose coordinates gave the name to intro of the Optimist. To be honest, I find this approach a little strange, because for AFDtE, as for me, it would be good to remain exactly as it was conceived by the "anathemists" themselves, unsaid, with an open ending, giving the listener the right to choose the fate of the main character. Besides, isn't a return to the past, a rollback - not a betrayal of their own principles, dogmas for the band itself, even if only in lyrical terms?

And to hell with the concept itself, with the lyrical component, although, of course, there are hardly more lines here than in the conceptual predecessor. Let's turn to the musical component. What have the eternal prophets presented to us on a saucer, who are fit to create their own religion and anathematize every parishioner for good, though known only to the group, purposes? And then out of my mouth comes a desperate and hopeless: "Eh, how come?". First, the "electronic" ending of the last album did not receive proper development. Although I admit initially that this is all subjective by and large, but still Leaving It Behind and instrumental San Francisco look much weaker than Distant Satellites and Take Shelter. At the point of the route marked by the city in the style of disco, the band so generally sounded almost like the eternally despised Coldplay, with whom the band was sometimes compared in the context of recent albums, although even a hedgehog can understand that Anathema wrote songs many times better. Here, the group took a serious step back.

As for the classic songs, the group again, for the fourth time in a row, writes the same thing, trying to cross out the logical ending in the form of the title song for the group from the same Distant Satellites, with the difference that the melodies have become weaker and more nondescript. I don't know what the situation is, whether Danny is in a state of mind, which is about the time of recording the album, caught another mental problems, or in the long course of recording the album itself. A sense of deja vu is present even among the songs themselves, when Endless Ways and The Optimist begin almost identically, despite the fact that they follow each other.

It's funny, but at times the Optimist still does not disappoint, but pleasantly surprises. Post-rock song Springfield is really beautiful with its appropriate cold beauty (perhaps the best song on the album), Ghosts and Wildfires adequately accumulate a mixture of the classic sound of Anathema and subtle inclusions of electronics, and Close Your Eyes along with You're Not Alone from the last album can rightfully be considered as the most unusual song of the group. Beautiful and elegant dark jazz, which would like more timekeeping.

At the same time, I have no questions about the technical side of the execution. Everything is as always good and verified. The only thing that bothers me (and the band lives, unfortunately, confirm this) is that Vinnie has started to give up on his vocals. Lee Douglas, on the other hand, remains at her old, very high level, and this time there's a hell of a lot of her on the album itself. Yes, I am certainly happy to hear her wonderful, feminine voice, but in comparison with past albums, she was somehow indecently given a lot of solo numbers. An attempt to equalize the rights of vocalists in order to bend under the current social trends? In fact, it's a consequence, as I said, of Vinnie's declining vocal range.

If Anathema were not in double demand as post-progressive rock prophets and undisputed masters of their craft, it would be possible to give up on this under-sequel of A Fine Day to Exit, because it really does not deserve the level of such a beautiful and diverse album, just as it does not deserve the level of its predecessors, which are among the best albums of Anathema. Alas, the reality is that with this album, my favorite English people from Merseyside have definitely failed. As if not to be Optimistic about the controversial end of the history of the most beautiful band, as it was with Porcupine Tree or Isis, and everything is going to this, given that the band went on indefinite leave, and Danny announced a new solo album and a project called Weather Systems, declared as "a continuation of the legacy of the previous group".

 Distant Satellites by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.67 | 451 ratings

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Distant Satellites
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Peacock Feather

4 stars For the tenth album in their career, the Liverpudlians approached the status of inveterate prophets in the field of the so-called "post-progressive". The sea and cloud spheres have already been passed on the previous 2 full-length albums, and it's time to conquer space and its reliable, but so Distant Satellites.

It would seem that the time has come to explore new ways to communicate your philosophy and experiment with them, but no matter! The band seemed to intuitively feel that it still has something to say since the days of Weather Systems, and the first 2 songs already evoke a direct association with the Untouchable dilogy. Yes, structurally, the first 2 parts of The Lost Song really repeat the masterpiece dilogy. Does this mean that it is necessary to brand Anathema for self-plagiarism? Not a damn thing! I don't know how they do it, but The Lost Song has something different from the Untouchable, plus, I think it was on this album that the duo Vinnie and Lee finally found the optimal balance for the group in terms of vocal parts. Only one thing is unclear: why do we need a frankly useless and unnecessary third part? Well, to hell with it, actually.

In general, it is still a big mystery to me how this band still does not have the same popularity as its colleagues from Muse and Radiohead. The desire of the band itself not to be so mainstream? To be honest, for me, hits like Ariel, which is dedicated to Danny's newborn daughter, or the tense Dusk, would be just monumental rock hits of the 2010s, in an age when the aforementioned bands are now releasing outright hack work, blood from the nose is needed by bands like Anathema. And the title track for the band was just a wonderful epitaph, in which the guys finally expressed everything they wanted to say in these 11 years since the release of A Natural Disaster, and crowned it all with a magnificent and sensual solo.

After such a catharsis already in the middle of the album, the band begins to think about how to finally explore these attractive outer spaces with a mixture of "cold" and technological, but such attractive electronics. And if the very bold You're Not Alone (the most unusual song of the new Anathema) demonstrates rather a chaotic flight on a rocket and going into space, then the title track for the album already demonstrates these cosmic deposits in full. It is amazing how, even in the experimental and transitional field, Anathema shows his mastery in conveying the atmosphere and his notorious "philosophy". And Distant Satellites is a great example of this: Vinnie's sensual vocals, beautiful synth passages, juicy trip-hop beat-everything works at 100% and delivers exorbitant pleasure as much as the most beautiful hits of Anathema. Take Shelter is just a great finalizer of this album, even if it loses a little bit of the title track in the impact on the listener. Although many fans did not appreciate the band's electronic endeavors, I welcomed them with great and undisguised pleasure.

Distant Satellites is a transitional album in all respects, which is slightly inferior to its two predecessors, but it is still an excellent release with its own special atmosphere and a solid set of songs, among which "electronic" things stand out strongly. It's just a pity that they won't get a good development in future. Fortunately, this does not concern the Distant Satellites themselves in any way.

 Weather Systems by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.03 | 937 ratings

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Weather Systems
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Peacock Feather

5 stars When you start talking about what is dear to you and loved to the depths of your heart and soul, it is always difficult to find the right words, epithets, metaphors to describe the feelings and emotions burning inside you. If We're Here Because We're Here stole my heart, used it a little and fed it, and then returned it to its rightful owner, then Weather Systems made this heart its own property.

All the best things start at the very end, and my introduction to Anathema began with the closing Internal Landscapes. I was blown away by how sensual it was, how genuinely sincere, and how the pathos was twisted to the maximum. I delayed my acquaintance with the album itself a little, coming to it gradually. I had already fallen in love with the Untouchable dilogy and the above-mentioned song, but I was afraid to be disappointed sometimes, even though I already knew that Anathema would be serious and lasting with me. And for the first time, I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be.

To be honest, the whole Weather Systems is built on the same patterns, both its own and the patterns of the last album. All the songs follow basically the same canons, the same pattern, but that doesn't mean, damn it, that the album is monotonous and bad. I think I was able to see such an elusive feature of this album, as a complete immersion inside myself and inside the band itself, to be precise, inside Danny himself, who again became the author of almost all the songs on the album, only The Storm Before The Calm was written by John Douglas. No wonder Danny himself says that it is difficult for him to listen to Weather Systems, since the lyrics on the album are very personal for the older of Cavanaghs.

The deep emotionality of the release at some point completely conquered me, and I could no longer resist the endless beauty of this almost masterpiece. Neither the extraterrestrial majesty of Untouchable, nor the perfect embodiment of femininity in the person of Lee Douglas and her solo part in Lightning Song, nor the duality of The Storm Before The Calm (for a reason it is so different from the other songs on the album, due to the direct involvement of the drummer already mentioned above), nor the softness and lightness of The Beginning and the End, nor the epic melancholy of Internal Landscapes. Truly, there are no passing compositions for me here, Weather Systems have long, deeply and reliably settled in my heart. This is the best album of Anathema of the new period, which is slightly inferior to Judgment, but by a large margin wins over all other albums. I just don't know what words to choose for this album, these songs, when there is only one endless delight burning in my mouth.

 We're Here Because We're Here by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.05 | 918 ratings

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We're Here Because We're Here
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Peacock Feather

4 stars For 7 long years, Anathema did not release anything big and new, but during this period the band held many concerts, which resulted in the reconciliation of Danny and Vinnie, as well as as many as 2 concert DVDs, on one of which, for example, a whole Comfortably Numb was covered. And in 2008, the band released a good acoustic compilation, Hindsight, in which the old hits of the band were transformed in a softer light (although, it would seem, much lighter), especially for Fragile Dreams and Angelica. Well, not about this collection, but about the album, which presented the band in a new, fully formed guise of the apostles of light, love and goodness, and if you are not sick of the combination of these 3 words in one sentence, then most likely, you will definitely have a good relationship with the new Anathema.

From the very first notes of Thin Air and the first lines uttered by Vinnie's gentle voice, you are immersed in this bright, sunny atmosphere, you feel that love is really freedom in time and peace. The meeting with the inevitable is delayed by the restless and nervous, but awesome Summer Night Horizon, which is a kind of light greeting to the beginning of the noughties, and then... the infinitely magical and touching Dreaming Light, my personal favorite, Everything, from which the stingy male tears of happiness strive to spill, the truly angelic song Angels Walk With Us, in which the vocals are performed by the notorious Ville Valo from HIM, and the epic A Simple Mistake with almost the best crescendo in the history of the band. And the overall impression of the album is not at all spoiled by either the frank filler Get Off Get Out, or the slightly delayed instrumental Hindsight, which closes the album (although this will still affect the final score). To tell you the truth, if I were in the guys' shoes, I would have made Universal the final song. Of all the songs of Anathema written by Vinnie, this one is his best work. At its core, it really feels like the final chapter of WHBWH, summing up everything Cavanagh/Douglas have had to say over the past 7 years.

By the way, a remarkable fact: all this splendor was mixed together by the maestro Steven Wilson, known to you all from his work in Porcupine Tree, No-Man, Blackfield and many other bands/projects. We're Here Because We're Here is by all accounts a great album that has already become a lifetime classic among the band's fans. If the guys would get rid of Get Off Get Out, I would give this work an unquestionable top ten or close to it.

 Hindsight by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.88 | 169 ratings

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Hindsight
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Peacock Feather

3 stars The existence of acoustic Hindsight in the Anathema portfolio seems to me rather a delay in the release of We're Here Because We're Here, because by the time this compilation of acoustic reimaginings of the Liverpool formation's hits came out, there have been no full-lengths for 5 years since A Natural Disaster, and fans longed to hear something new from their favorites.

The above confirms about half of the tracks from Hindsight. Did it make sense to remake, say, Inner Silence or Flying? I find this question quite rhetorical. The family union of the Cavanagh brothers and brother/sister Douglas resolved this issue in different ways. In the context of the tracks already mentioned, as well as Temporary Peace and the title one from A Natural Disaster, the rhythms and arrangements on the surface have not changed one iota. A strange decision was to frame One Last Goodbye in an acoustic shell, and as a result, the composition, which is deliberately pathetic, is necessary as a light air, lost this serve, becoming just pretentious and uninteresting ballad, which is trying to break out and light a bright flame all around, but it's not happening.

However, in terms of other songs Anathema really tried and gave some songs a new, beautiful, soft point of view. A striking example is the opening Fragile Dreams, a powerful hit from Alternative 4, which in the reimagined version became even more explosive and, of course, incredibly beautiful in its simple but ingenious tragedy. A grim hit from Eternity, Angelica, in the acoustic version became contemplative, getting rid of thick metal riffs. Are You There, it would seem, does not require any radical acoustic alteration, but Daniel managed to make a different from the original and a beautiful version of this ballad, and by the way, this version then fit on the collection of the best hits Internal Landscapes, released 10 years later.

The bottom line is simple: half-remarkable, half meaningless, Hindsight, however, is a worthy example of another facet of Anathema's talent in creating deep and soulful songs.

 A Natural Disaster by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.92 | 566 ratings

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A Natural Disaster
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Peacock Feather

4 stars A really telling name was chosen for the album by members of Anathema. It was born, by the way, in a conversation between Danny and Duncan Patterson, when they reconciled with each other. As stated by the Cavanagh brothers, at the time they were in a closed confrontation with each other for personal reasons, and this at some point led to the fact that Danny wanted to leave the group. Fortunately, this did not happen, moreover, the third of the Cavanagh brothers returned to the band after a long absence ? Jamie, Vinnie's twin brother, who took over as bassist after the departure of Dave Pybus. Nevertheless, the inner state of Danny is absolutely accurately reflected in the new material, which is almost entirely written this time by the eldest of brothers (only Balance is co-written with Vinnie and John Douglas).

I see Natural Disaster as the album that became a kind of point of no return for the band. This LP of the "new" Anathema is unique in that, unlike the subsequent bright and optimistic albums, A Natural Disaster attracts exactly some kind of alienated, slightly gloomy, sad atmosphere. Against this background, the names of the first 2 tracks look very ironic, with such a sign! Although, maybe the band meant exactly the perfect harmony and balance that they finally found on this album.

From the first time I did not understand this album, I honestly admit, and I thought about putting it off until better times. The only thing that attracted me was the unusual Closer, and even then it was unusual because of the very skillful use of the vocoder. Later, however, the beauty of Natural Disaster began to unfold for me like a lotus bud. And here you are already clinging to the soul and pathos of Harmonium, and soulfulness of Are You There? (in which Danny again turns to the topic of losing a loved one), and the piercing aggression and darkness of Pulled Under at 2000 Meters a Second, and the hopelessness of the title song (Lee Douglas finally sings solo!), and the serenity of Flying, and the unexpected instrumental about 11 minutes with a well-chosen title Violence simply amazes with its mixture of the entire sound of the album, where sentimentality and aggression collide with each other and form a kind of yin and yang. By the way, in addition to Vinnie, on this album, Danny himself sings solo on 2 songs at once (Are You There? and Electricity), and what's funny, some reviewers confused the voices of Vinnie and Danny (although objectively they are completely different)!

On Natural Disaster, the band went even further from its musical past, but it adapts some ideas from there and turns them into new, unique things, like, for example, it happened with the aforementioned Pulled Under at 2000 Meters a Second, but the trend remained the same: Anathema continued to modify its musical vector, and it seems that on A Natural Disaster, they finally found the necessary and convenient sound. The verdict is simple: despite a couple of tracks (Balance and Electricity), which in my subjective opinion are rather boring, the album is really great, and I love it almost as much as the previous two.

 A Fine Day To Exit by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.84 | 501 ratings

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A Fine Day To Exit
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Peacock Feather

4 stars With that creative vector that Anathema has formed, it was hard to guess which way the band would move on the next release. And so it turned out that the Liverpudlians decided to try to experiment not only with the sound, but also with the format of the material, because they planned to make a concept album, the first in their career. The essence of the concept is the progressive movement of the lyrical hero down the spiral (almost like in Trent Reznor's 1994 masterpiece The Downward Spiral) straight to suicide. Sounds intriguing, doesn't it?

However, do not rely on chewing the meaning and plot from the mouth of Vinnie or anyone else from the group - the canvas of Anathema is cut into unequal pieces, which, with all the desire and perseverance of the listener, will not reveal the true storyline. And band members themselves, it seems, did not fully understand exactly how and in what order to listen to the compositions they wrote; in the 2015 remaster, the intro of A Fine Day, which was thrown out of the original release, is added, which resembles Panic in its nervousness and despair, and the original songs are mixed in a radically different order (for example, the same Panic and the Pressure opening the album are located in the middle of the album). However, I personally prefer to listen to the album in the original order.

And how are things going, actually, with the music? It was just a wonderful alt-prog-rock record. As you know, all the best of 2000' alternative starts with one name ? Radiohead. This infection, which I do not like with every fiber of my soul, has turned heads of our Liverpool heroes. Another thing is that I really like the ideas of Radiohead, but the way they implement these ideas, I'm sorry, I can't stand it, and I'd rather listen to the Radiohead-esque album from my favorite Anathema, who made these ideas in the best possible way. By the way, even now this album is often underestimated and not remembered at the mention of the name of Anathema, and I can not even find any explanation for this phenomenon. Although, probably, the matter is in several existing factors, the main of which is that 2 years before A Fine Day to Exit, Judgement was released. The uneasy fate of the successor to the great album also befell A Fine Day to Exit. Moreover, the focus on alt-rock confused even many fans of the band's last 2 albums. And very wrongly, because this album, despite the concept that runs through all the songs as a leitmotif, is full of treasure. These are the first 2 songs, slow Pressure with a haunting chorus and Release with a slight touch of electronica, and wonderful alt-rock Leave No Trace, written by Vinnie, and psychedelic-evil Underworld and Panic, and tragic Barriers (again a duet of Danny Cavanagh and Lee Douglas) and the title song. Anathema also did not forget about the concept itself, and their lyrical hero ends... (?) And then the Liverpudlians cut the story short, leaving it up to us to interpret the end of the album, whether the hero really killed himself in the cold ocean or decided to wait. The answer to this question will be given 16 years later, but this is already another story.

In the end, we have a unique work in the Anathema discography, which is underrated by the fans, but no less beautiful in its melancholy and depressive nature, and I think the band has finally reached maturity on this album. And although between Judgment and A Fine Day to Exit, I would still prefer the former for, let's say, greater ambition and elegance, the feeling that this work did not come from here, A Fine Day to Exit is valuable precisely for the band's attempt to do something extremely separate from the rest of the work and at the same time deeply beautiful.

 Judgement by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.15 | 727 ratings

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Judgement
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Peacock Feather

5 stars True, as for me, is the idea that the greatest works of art are created on the basis of a personal tragedy of a creator. In this case, creators are the Cavanagh brothers, who had a great tragedy ? their own mother died. Plus, Patterson, as already mentioned, left the band (his place on 2 albums will be taken by Dave Pybus, known for playing in Cradle of Filth), so the only right decision that was made by brothers, along with the returning John Douglas, was to start working on a new album, which was called Judgement.

The strongest impulse received from such a cruel combination of circumstances served as the birth of a truly great album, and, perhaps, number 1 in my personal top albums of Anathema. Yes, I love Judgment. I love it for the perfect combination of all the elements that make up the sound of Anathema of those years, I love it for the most excellent compositions, for the softness, sensuality and sentimentality, for the light psychedelicness, for the fact that painful metal arrangements have finally been replaced by strict and elegant rock forms. To be honest, I can't single out any song that falls out of the general canvas, which would be a pass-through, but I can single out the most favorite songs for me: this is the opening album triptych (hit Deep, nervous and hard Pitiless and gentle Forgotten Hopes with outro Destiny is Dead), gothic Make It Right, beautiful male and female duet in Parisienne Moonlight (in which for the first time as a vocalist appears Lee Douglas, sister of John Douglas), Emotional Winter with an intro, as if written for Shine On You Crazy Diamond and hard rock Wings of God.

Wait, did I miss something? Of course, because One Last Goodbye is a special thing, as it is dedicated to the deceased mother of the Cavanagh brothers. And hell, if I'm asked to name the saddest and grieving song of all time, I won't hesitate to name that song. One Last Goodbye is an example of how to turn a personal tragedy into music. Simple in form, in lyrics, but pressing on you as much as you can do in the whole wide world. And you understand everything even without Danny's lyrics and Vinnie's vocals, because the progressive movement of the music leads you to a crescendo and a guitar solo that will make you cry if you are a true emo girl, and make you shrink into a sentimental ball if you are a bearded man. One Last Goodbye, like the whole Judgement, is like a cleansing waterfall, in which you will want to splash for more than one or 2 hours, and each time you again experience a feeling of relief and euphoria when the final and warm notes of the instrumental 2000 & Gone make you turn on the Play icon again on the opening Deep?

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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