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Anathema - Resonance: Best of Anathema CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.21 | 37 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
3 stars With Anathema now having been together for ten years, it has been decided to release two compilation albums, each showing the very different sides of the band. According to Webster's "Anathema comes from the Greek word meaning "a thing devoted," especially to evil, hence a curse, from anatithenai, to dedicate, to set up, from ana, up + tithenai, to place or put". I am not quite sure what these guys are devoted to, apart from making music that is compelling and bringing together styles in a manner that is both strange and wonderful. It is has been a long time since I have heard any of their albums and these two collections do much in the way of explaining what they are about. Their albums shows that the band is happy both when crunching out dark melodic rock or when being gentle and melodic, and these albums have been divided along these musical boundaries.

'Resonance' has the band in reflective mood, as well as employing various female guest vocalists. Electric guitars are noticeable by their absence for the most part, as the emphasis is on acoustic guitars with melody and mood. Take for example "J'fait Une Promesse" where there is overlaid female vocals with suitably restrained acoustic guitars. It is the sort of thing that could be more expected from Renaissance, not a hard rock band. Most of the songs only have female vocals, but my favourite, "Better Off Dead", is a gothic and emotive duet. It is darkly beautiful, a masterpiece. I have to confess to not knowing the original by Bad Religion, but find it hard to believe that it could be better than this. This collection also contains a few Roger Waters numbers and "Goodbye Cruel World" is superb, possibly even better than the Floyd themselves. There is an orchestral version of one of their songs, a video of "Hope" and a live version of "Angelica" which must have been recorded by someone in the audience who didn't have a microphone. Six of the fifteen songs have not previously been available outside of Germany and Japan.

Originally appeared in Feedback #70, Oct 02

kev rowland | 3/5 |


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