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Anathema - A Vision Of A Dying Embrace CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.37 | 33 ratings

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3 stars Having witnessed Anathema play live twice just a few days ago (for those who didn't identify me as such yet, *I'm a fan*), this DVD from their old-and-gone doom metal days (pre-1997) comes across as highly amusing more than anything else.

I highly doubt whether the band would actually appreciate me drawing attention to this DVD - but as I'm one of those fans that thoroughly loves both their old AND their newer material, I'll not further think about that here, but just do my saying on this nice piece of work.

The DVD starts off with a collection of four highly psychedelic promo videos from mostly older material, the exception being the clip of the Roy Harper/David Gilmour- cover "Hope". The videos show Anathema as your archetypical gothic doom metal band, very cliché, but then again... amusing all the same. The majority of this DVD consists of a live recording of full concert Anathema gave as a support act for colleagues My Dying Bride in Krakow, Poland, back in 1996. Funnily enough, though this DVD's Anathema involves for 80% the same personnel as of today's band (yes, even though current keyboard player Les Smith isn't even mentioned on the cover, he's there alright), it's an entirely different sort of band we witness playing here. No sign of the latter day Radiohead-, Portishead-, Mogwai- and GY!BE-influences here yet - this is ultimate DOOM METAL which Anathema's playing here. As such, it may well not be to everyone's taste here - consider this a well-meant warning. However, within the doom metal genre, this recording is rightfully considered as nothing less than legendary.

Those who actually manage listening through Vincent Cavanagh's rough, untrained growling - I can hardly refer to his harsh vocal eruptions as 'singing' - , will certainly recognize the obvious Pink Floyd influences embedded in the ultra-heavy but, at the same time, very melodic material featured here. The band's abundancy of talent shines through clearly, especially through Daniel Cavanagh's excellent guitar playing - his slide solo at the closure of "Sunset of Age" is no less than brilliant, for instance. Also, Duncan Patterson's droning and haunting bass lines make no secret of the band being a true force to recon with. This is reflected well in the Polish audience's enthusiastic reaction to the band - which would remain to be there to stay until the day of today. Highlights for me are the already mentioned "Sunset of Age", "Restless Oblivion" and "Sleepless".

And oh, how merry to see this latter song appear on last week's Anathema performances' setlist. It's no secret - for those who have been with this band for over ten years, this old material is indeed legendary.

Giving the appropriate star rating is difficult for me. People who enjoy Anathema's older doom material will regard this DVD as a true highlight, but at the same time many others may well head for the emergency exit asap. For the sake of trying to remain objective, I guess a three star rating should be appropriate.

Antennas | 3/5 |


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