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Anathema - Eternity CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.61 | 369 ratings

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3 stars This is Anathema's first attempt to venture away from their trademark doom metal sound into a more dynamic and varied sound. For the most part, they keep a lot of the same topics of interest in their songs, but they explore other sounds in a search for a sound they can call their own. The band does a pretty descent job of pulling it off, and there was a surprising lack of criticism from most of their fans about the sudden change of style.

Anathema has become a band lately that has received a lot of respect and it has been well earned. They have a pretty impressive discography and through most of it, you truly hear a progression to a much better sound, production and vocal quality. On this album, there are very few dirty vocals, where previous to this, all of their vocals were pretty much growling. The vocals aren't too bad, but there are a lot of issues and areas of weakness there that weren't yet worked out in this album. So you get a real raw feeling there, but it doesn't mix very well with the accent in the English lyrics. It's sometimes an irritating sound, but not bad enough to ignore the album.

As far as the instrumentals and orchestration, you can hear a huge improvement in the variation, composition and musicianship here. Even the instrumentals can be a little rough at times, but there is no doubt of where the band was going to go as far as professionalism. Here is a band that listened to criticism to improve their sound, and improve it they would do. That still doesn't mean you should ignore this album. There are some great tracks here and you can hear the attempts at emotion in both the voice and the instruments, and as a consequence, you get some great moments, notably in the "Eternity" trilogy and other songs where the vocals even come close to early David Gilmour vocals as in the Gilmour/Harper penned tune "Hope".

You can also pick out their explorative side starting to grow in "Suicide Veil" where if you can get around the vocals, you end up getting a very beautifully written song with a lot of emotion. The problem with the vocals and emotion is that sometimes it is over dramatized in an attempt to make the emotion stand out more, but again, the band was learning. Actually, the believability level is a lot higher in the sections where the vocals approach the most emotional points and come close to, but don't quite reach, the old dirty sounding vocals. It is actually a trait that is welcomed on this album mostly because it is done with better control than in previous attempts, and of course, dynamics are playing a much bigger part in this album. Even the use of dynamics would continue to improve as the band continue to put out more albums.

I have a lot of respect for this band and the growth they have had over the years. I was pushing my friends to listen to this band and some of them actually did listen to them and are now true fans. It is good to see them now getting the respect they deserve for improving their sound and perfecting it. On the way to perfection though, they were able to influence the sound of Goth- metal with albums like this one that would be released. I know there are a lot of fans that love this album, I have a slightly harder time with it because they were still working out the kinks in the new sound they were exploring. When they finally do find their own sound, what we have is a band that is up there with the best post-metal or progressive metal bands and for that I have respect for what they were doing with this album. They took some great steps with this album and they still came out of it with a lot of respect, so it was a step in the right direction. With some slight hesitation because of my respect for the album, I can only rate the album as good, but not essential. But it is a very bright 3 star album and if you like this post-metal sound then you should check it out at least, it might strike a stronger chord within you.

TCat | 3/5 |


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