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Anathema - Serenades CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

2.31 | 209 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Crow
Prog Reviewer
2 stars It's well knows that the musical beginnigs of this bands were very different of the music they make today... But it's still interesting to hear the evolution and discover that this first albums had some of the elements of the last!

"Serenades" is doom metal... A cascade of slow, distorted and heavy guitars with lyrics talking about desperation and love. This genre (and many others...) was primarily painted by Black Sabbath in the seminal "Black Sabbath", and at the end of the 80's / beginnigs of the 90's it was popularised by bands like Candlemass, Cathedral... And Anathema! Their albums "Serenades" and "The Silent Enigma" are still two highly apreciated albums between the doom metal lovers.

But in "Serenades" we can hear some of the elements that his band would use and increase in later releases... Some of the melodies are not really differnet of the ones included in albums like "Alternative 4" and "Judgement", like some Daniel's trademark guitar sounds, although the style is really far from the alternative prog they make since "Eternity". Also the lyrics, speaking about tortured love and obscure feelings are in a similar vein (but obviously not so good...) The end of the album is also special for a doom metal band... A 23 minutes new age song! It's something the band would use again in the future, at the end of "A Fine Day to Exit" and "A Natural Disaster".

So although this album is not for everyone's taste, if you like Anathema's last albums, then you should give "Serenades" a listening... Maybe you'll be surprised, because you'll discover that after all the years and all the changes, it's obvious that we are talking about the same band.

Best tracks: Sweet Tears (I love the groovy guitas...), J'ai Fait une Promesse (it remembers me to Parisienne Moonlight in "Judgement"...), Sleepless (a little gothic classic... Cradle of Filth made a cool version of this one!), Under a Veil (of Black Lace) (precious guitar melodies...) and Nailed to the Cross / 666 (Bonus track) (I love this great stoner feeling...)

Conclusion: if you like doom metal, you must hear this album... It's one of the genre's pillars, and it has great songs. If you don't like it, then avoid it, because it has anything interesting for you, and of course it's not progressive at all. Nevertheless, it can also be enjoyed by Anathema's fans, because it has a lot of links with later and more famous releases. But writing in a progressive rock web, I must consider "Serenades" an album for collectors/fans only.

My personal rating: ***1/2

ProgArchives rating: **1/2

The Crow | 2/5 |


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