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Anathema - A Fine Day To Exit CD (album) cover

A FINE DAY TO EXIT

Anathema

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.84 | 515 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars One fine day

Now firmly established as a mainstream band devoid of their early doom metal sounds, Anathema returned in 2001 with this superb album. Following on from the style they adopted on their third album "Alternative IV" and developed on "Judgement", "A fine day to exit" sees Anathema becoming ever more accessible.

The opening "Pressure" may actually have even worried fans, such is the commercial nature of the song. It has highly melodic multi-tracked vocals, superb guitar work and some well place piano, all adding up to a potential hit single. When followed by the delicate acoustic guitar intro to "Release", it all adds up to a highly tasteful and appealing introduction. The song builds gradually through some Porcupine Tree like repetitive riffs, the power and volume being subtly notched up all the while.

We continue to explore overtly commercial territories with "Looking outside inside", a sort of cross between U2 and "The wall" era Pink Floyd. "Leave no trace" is pure Radiohead, the remorseful vocals being more than a little reminiscent of songs such as "No surprises". The pattern continues on songs such as "Underworld" and "Barriers" but suddenly with "Panic" the band decide to let rip with a straightforward slice of driving rock. This upbeat pop rock song is quite different to anything we have been led to expect up to this point, but makes for a welcome diversion from the serious music we associate with the band.

It is though to the final track "Temporary peace" that the prog fan will look in anticipation of something truly memorable. This 18 minute piece dwarfs the other tracks on the album, and is on the face of it the longest song the band have recorded up to this point. The track turns out to be something of a disappointment though. The first part is a song very much in the style of the other tracks on the album, and up to that standard. After the 5 or 6 minute mark though this disappears, to be replaced by ambient sounds, muttered talking and long sections of virtual silence. The track concludes some time later with a sort of hidden track, quite out of keeping with any style adopted by the band. Indeed, it would perhaps have been better if "Temporary peace" had simply been listed as a 5 minute track, the remaining time being unmentioned.

In all though, a superb album by Anathema which consolidates their transformation to a highly appealing band who thrive on strong melodies and sophisticated arrangements. Recommended.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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