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Anathema Judgement album cover
4.17 | 755 ratings | 35 reviews | 45% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Deep (4:53)
2. Pitiless (3:10)
3. Forgotten Hopes (3:50)
4. Destiny Is Dead (1:46)
5. Make It Right (F.F.S.) (4:19)
6. One Last Goodbye (5:23)
7. Parisienne Moonlight (2:09)
8. Judgement (4:20)
9. Don't Look Too Far (4:56)
10. Emotional Winter (5:54)
11. Wings of God (6:29)
12. Anyone, Anywhere (4:50)
13. 2000 and Gone (4:50)

Total Time: 56:56

Bonus track on 1999 Limited Edition CD:
14. Transacoustic (3:49)

Line-up / Musicians

- Vincent Cavanagh / vocals, guitar
- Daniel Cavanagh / electric & acoustic guitars, keyboards, vocals (7)
- Dave Pybus / bass
- John Douglas / drums

- Lee Douglas / vocals (7, 9)
- Dario Patti / piano (12)

Releases information

Artwork: Anathema with Mez Meredith

CD Music For Nations CDMFN 250 (1999, UK)
LP Music For Nations MFN 250 (1999, UK)
CD Music For Nations CDMFNX 250 (1999, UK, Limited Edition, with 1 bonus track)

CD Koch Records KOC-CD-8225 (2000, US)
CD Music For Nations 82876 82853 2 (2006, UK & Europe)
2LP Peaceville VILELP331 (20011, UK, Limited Edition)
2LP Peaceville VILELP331 (20013, UK, Limited Edition)
LP+CD Sony Music, Music For Nations 88875058521 (2015, Europe, remastered)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ANATHEMA Judgement ratings distribution

(755 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(45%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

ANATHEMA Judgement reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tristan Mulders
5 stars Anathema - Judgement

In my opinion this album and 2001's A fine Day to exit are Anathema's best releases up to date.

This album takes off where Alternative 4 ended. We keep the same beautiful compositions but make them more friendlier and les dark. This is something you can notice right from the start: the album kicks off with a 4 track suite, featuring a lot of acoustic guitar and very nice vocals! The guitar solo in Deep is simply stunning and very melodic, whereas the also superb guitar solo in Pitiless is heavier than Anathema has ever done before! The suit ends with the laidback Forgotten Hopes track that gives us a dreamy ending followed by the instrumental Destiny is dead to finish the suit in a perfect way by repeating a certain guitar pattern and slowly slowing it down until it finally stops.

What is also a difference compared to its predecessor is that the keyboards are lesser present on this release, there are exceptions as always, most notably on the song Make it right (FFS). This song features walls of keyboard sounds in the instrumental chorus.

One last Goodbye is a ballad in true Anathema style. Very nice keyboard orchestration accompanied by some melancholic acoustic guitar chords create a very mellow but bit depressing mood for the vocals to start. The song naturally progresses to a heavy, metal ending with again a magnificent guitar solo before it eventually ends the same way as it started with the same acoustic guitar verses. This song is my favourite if I only look at the vocals, they truly express the right emotions for the lyrics accompanying the song.

Parisienne Moonlight and Don't look too far are both songs that feature a second female singer. The first of these two is a piano based duet, whereas the second one is an up-tempo rocker.

Another highlight is one of the most direct songs on the album, Wings of God. I love this track's lyrics. The song gives the guitar a lot of freedom to solo about.

The instrumental 2000 and gone is the perfect ending for an already incredible album. It is very calm and gentle with waves of warm keyboard sounds, subtle drumming and again smooth guitarwork, both acoustic and electric.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars This is my favourite ANATHEMA album followed by "Alternative 4" and "A Fine Day To Exit". I find this to be the most emotional, and for good reason. The Cavanagh brothers, Danny and Vincent had just lost their mom at the young age of 49. And they dedicate this record to her, calling her "a wonderful mother and a beautiful friend". One of the most emotional songs you'll ever hear in light of this is "One Last Goodbye"'. This is a song I would play at a funeral for one of my loved ones. It consists of five lines and it's important to me to print them here. "Somehow I knew you would leave this way. Somehow I knew you could never stay. And in the early morning light. After a silent, peaceful night. You took my heart and slipped away..." Written by Danny Cavanagh.

"Deep" is a great way to start the record, the vocals and acoustic guitar are soon overtaken by force by the electric guitar and drums that empower the rest of the song.This whole album sounds so powerful with a nice heavy, dark sound. They step it up a notch on "Pitiless" as it begins with bass, guitar feedback and then fantastic vocals before Danny on his guitar just about starts a fire with a blistering, scorching guitar solo. Unbelieveable ! You think he's not playing with emotion ! "Forgotten Hopes" is a beautiful song with acoustic guitar and lots of synths as vocals come in. Some brief power after 2 minutes. "Destiny Is Dead" is a short instrumental that is quite dark. "Make It Right (F.F.S.)" haha, is a nice mid-paced tune with vocals. I like the synths that come and go. "Parisienne Moonlight" features piano melodies with female and male vocals. Emotional track. "Judgement" actually gets faster and heavier as the song plays out.

"Don't Look Too Far" could be a RIVERSIDE tune. It contrasts the mellow sections with male vocals, with the more powerful passages when female vocals join in. Great tune. "Emotional Winter" has so much atmosphere, it reminds me a lot of PINK FLOYD. It becomes more powerful 3 minutes in. The contrast continues. "Wings Of God" opens with passionate vocals and screaming guitar. It does settle as the contrast continues. "Anyone,Anywhere" opens with a lone guitar melody, as reserved vocals then piano joins in. It kicks in powerfully after 2 1/2 minutes. Nice. It settles down again. "2000 & Gone" is an instrumental and the final track. It's actually fairly laid back and dark with lots of atmosphere.

I just love the sound of this album, it's crystal clear. It is often after a tragedy that an artist will come up with his best work. I think this is the case with the great ANATHEMA.

Review by 1800iareyay
4 stars Judgement is where all the pieces fall into place for Anathema. They started out playing a blend of doom and death metal now play prog metal, and this is where the two meet. The band takes the emotion and slow pace of doom and marries it to the rage of death. The Cavanagh brothers have honed their depressing and often suicidal lyrics into tight chunks of morose metal. The album is one of the most atmosheric metal albums I've heard alongside Opeth. Acoustic guitars, emotional electric, and pounding yet restrained drums and bass all combine with Vincent's haunting vocals to make a truly memorable experience. The album is a quasi-concept piece dealing with the death of the Cavanagh's bros mother.

"Deep" is a great opener that breaks the depression gently before the crushing Pitiless shows that the boys came to play. Other highlights include Forgotten Hopes with its bitter lyrics dealing with watching a loved one kill herself with alcohol, One Last Goodbye's heartbreaking and simple funeral song, and the title track's progression from slow burner to a mid tempo chug complete with creepy female vocals.

There is no filler here, but the concept is loose. The production is killer and the band now fully embraces its flirtations with Floyd. This isn't Anathema's most progressive piece, but it is their finest achievement.

Grade: B+

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars Moving - Spiritual

Judgment is a continuation on the sound that Anathema had developed with Alternative 4. This album is much more somber and melancholic, and the songs all have an overall theme of loss. It is strung together somewhat like a concept album, but I wouldn't call it as such.

Pitless is my favorite track here, a mixture of somewhat of a rocker with some of the best vocal lines of the album. Most of this is not to far off from a more "depressing" Riverside in terms of composition and style. Songs like Make it Right remind me of Tool inspired leads, although I can't quite name the track right now.

There's no real "downer" tracks here, the exception being Judgement, which just doesn't fit and grows old after several listens. The album is fairly consistent throughout, if not being a little too samey. Unfortunately, this means few of the tracks stand out, and while most of them are very good, few ever come close to being exceptional. I'd add another half star to this, as I'd still recommend it, especially those looking for a band with many similarities to other more well-known acts.

Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars Probably the best example of Anathema music, with a perfect mix of the emotive, the gloomy, the uplifting, the powerful, and the expression that makes the band what it is. Every member is on the top of the their game here, and provide an album that shows their increased skill as songwriters and composers.

"Deep" opens the album strong, with successive songs keeping the momentum going leading up to the gigantic "Judgement", which shatters the placitude in a tremendous, riffing monstrosity that is impossible not to play at the utmost volume.

As always, Cavanagh's vocals are a depressing treat to listen to, and he sounds more integrated into the bands fine playing here more so than on their previous album; however, the instrumentalists really get to show off their chops and almost steal the show. The instrumental "Transacoustic" ends the album on an uplifting note.

The only weakspot I find, is on the track "Wings of God" which has a very simple, uninteresting melody throughtout. Fortunetly, the album's strong points more than make up for one boring song.

A tremendous album.

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 4 Style/Emotion/Replay: 5

Review by The Crow
4 stars A perfect follow up to Alternative 4...

No so dark, but a bit more complex and alternative pop-rock oriented, but still with the dark and sad personality of this band... The leaving of Duncan Patterson, the main songwriter of the band, was not a drama... The Cavannagh brothers took the duty of making the entire songs, and they did it wonderfully, giving us another brilliant album, maybe not so good as their previous efforth, but different and really enjoyable. The pianos and strong bass lines of Alternative 4 and replaced for layers of guitars and mellow keyboards, and a lot of accoustic passages... The style started with Eternity is here perfectionated and variated. And Vincent sings better than ever! He sound really confident with his vocals for the very first time.

Best songs: Deep (a great opening, with marvellous vocal melodies...), Forgotten Hopes (great guitars...), One Last Goodbye (a really moving song, I absolutely love the lyrics... My favourite of the album), Parisienne Moonlight, Judgement (strong guitars in a good proggy piece...), Emotional Winter... Except a pair of songs, the whole album's level is outstanding.

Conclusion: a step further in the Anathema's career... No so gothic and dark as their previous albums, but more proggy and alternative rock oriented, Judgement is an excellent album not te be missed for people who seek a melancholic, sad and sensitive way of seeing progressive rock, in the vein of Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Wolverine... But with an unique and special feeling. These songs are a pool of talent.

My rating: ****

Review by The Pessimist
5 stars Probably the most consistent prog album i have ever heard. These guys sure know how to dish out experimental metal, not reaching the realms of the mighty Tool of course, but nonetheless they are very enjoyable to listen to. This far outweighs Alternative 4, which is also a good album, meaning that this is the peak of the band's career. Their sound is a heavier version of Pink Floyd if you want an exact pinpoint on what they're about, but they are still unique in their very own way. This album is no exception to the above style, and many Floyd fans will appreciate this beautiful album.

Now to the songs. Most of them are very short and clipped to around the 4-5 minute mark, which i perceive as a good thing: you can never get bored of any of them! There is not one single weak track on this album, and equally no filling songs. Deep is an excellent way to kick it off and is the start of a suite of four songs. It's a very basic and powerful rock song with a few prog touches here and there, progressive nonetheless. It then flows into the mellow bassline of Pitiless before it kicks off again, with a touch of Muse heaviness this time. Probably one of the stronger and heavier tunes on the album, this is also my personal favourite. Before you know it, the song explodes with guitar and you are brought into a mellow third part Forgotten Hopes. This has a very catchy verse with a not so bad chorus, although slightly banal with the chord sequence. This is quite an emotional track that builds up into the final part Destiny Is Dead, which is instrumental and very mellow, easy listening. Some nice harmonics also wrap up the suite into a rallentando and finishes.

Make It Right (F.F.S) is the most keyboard orientated of the lot, which is a shame because it is one of the weaker song. Not as heavy as its predecessor suite, it is still a worthy listen and deserves credit. The melody isn't very standout, but it remains an audible pleasure. The beautifully crafted and gorgeous One Last Goodbye follows, and is another highlight of the album (if there are any). The first Anathema song i ever heard, this is the most Floyd rooted song on the CD, and... well you will not be disappointed, melody = excellent, guitarwork = excellent and lyrics = excellent. A very poignant song that really does it for me. Brilliant.

Parisienne Moonlight is by no means a filler, but a beautiful interval between two great songs. This has a delicate charm to it and has a female voice on the scene, which also gives it a slightly creepy touch. The piano is very stylish also. Judgement is a schizophrenic track and a very experimental one at that, with a gentle first half and an extremely aggressive second half, where the drums speed up at a sublime rate and the whole band kicks in with distortion. What more could a metalhead ask for! Judgement ends very drastically and suddenly and leaves way for the third masterpiece song: Don't Look Too Far. The Floydian influence is definitely there and clear, but as mentioned above, it has its own style. It reminds me distinctly of Comfortably Numb, but adds its own heavy chorus which really creates a lush contrast. Yet another absolutely awesome song.

Emotional Winter is a slow builder, with some gentle 5/4 drumming in the backdrop. The guitar work here is very tasteful indeed, the vocals are melodic, and for all you mellow music lovers out there i think this one is for you. It doesn't really compare with the rest of Judgement because it is so different, exquisit ruling that factor out however. Returning to the Anathema vein, we have the wonderful Wings of God. This song, similarly to Judgement, has two parts, this time both equally as aggressive. A very heavy track that would appeal to fans of Tool and Opeth possibly, that has some very well placed stops over acappella vocals to create a falling effect. The strongest representation of the album, this is a track to be reckoned with! Listen to it and you will see what i mean.

The penultimate track is very progressive and poignant. It starts out with a solo acoustic guitar arpeggiating a dark chord sequence, followed by the vocals, some nice piano melody and finally the whole band kicks in, led by the familiar piano melody. This is a dark song, probably the darkest on the album, and shouldn't be listened to whilst depressed. This is also a moshing song, so any of you excited prog metalheads out there would enjoy this (which i happen to be most of the time). The album cleans off gently with the Floydian 2000 and Gone, which is another builder and by no means in the metal spirit. A very clean song, it eases you out of the journey that is Anathema's Judgement.

An exciting ride, this is a must have album for prog-metallers, and almost essential to a conventional proghead's collection. The only thing that holds it back is the lack of prog, however it remains a masterpiece. 9.6/10.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Agalloch at double speed?

Kidding, of course, but since I just reviewed The Mantle I couldn't help but notice how Judgement sounds just a little like Agalloch at a faster pace. And while both play a sort of gloomy doom metal my preference is certainly with Agalloch, directly because of the complaints I would list about Anathema. First the good stuff though. These guys are masters of melodic, high-WAF prog metal that is friendly enough to be played on commercial radio despite the gloomy outlook. They are top-notch musicians who mix great vocals with consistently accessible songwriting and quality lyrics. So what's the problem with Anathema? Two words..cookie-cutter. As accessible as the songs are they are far too similar-sounding and one dimensional for this prog fan. Most tracks have the easily assimilated verse/chorus sections that are quickly memorized enough to sing along to. Often the drums just plod along as straight time-keeping and the songs offer little in the way of genuine excitement. The emotions are there but the delivery is so mechanized and the results so predictable. If only they threw more curveballs like they do on the albums highlights: the welcome female vocals of "Parisienne Moonlight" by which time one is just dying for the different sound color that her voice brings, the occasional piano which again provides *something* suggesting a diversity in the sound, and the triumphant solo at the end of "One Last Goodbye" that brings hope to the sadness. But such moments are too few and far between. This band is sometimes compared to Riverside which is a bad sign as far as I'm concerned as it means results are likely to be formulaic. Anathema, like Riverside, is a band I give good marks to for talent/technical ability but low marks for the kind of musical experience I (and presumably some other progressive fans) are looking for. Whenever I can listen to one track and know what the rest of the album holds in store, I consider that a real warning sign. And in this case it happened again. 5/10

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Guilty.... of making great music

Having pleasantly surprised us three years earlier with the fine "Eternity" album, then developed their new craft further with 1998's "Alternative 4", in 1999 Anathema presented what was arguably their best album to date. "Judgement" effectively consolidates the melodic and harmonic direction signalled by the aforementioned albums, while increasing further the accessibility of the overall package. The change of bassist has much less of an impact than might have been expected given his importance to the song-writing on previous albums, but there is a generally lighter feel here.

We begin in pure acoustic mode with a simple but effective melody on the instrumental "Deep". This segues into the heavy but appealing "Pitiless", where multi-tracked vocals serve to lighten the piece well. The linking of the tracks continues for "Forgotten hopes", which blends the acoustic and heavier electric guitars superbly. These connected songs form a fine opening suite which flows seamlessly from track to track. This section concludes with a further brief acoustic song "Destiny is dead".

"Make it right" is a lush, symphonic number with layered mellotron like sounds which wash over the listener. Paired with the following "One last goodbye", the two songs form an emotionally charged core for the album. "Parisienne moonlight" is quite the most delicate piece the band have recorded. A simple male/female vocal duet with accompanying piano, the song is a million miles from the growling of the early days.

The title track begins in acoustic mode, but the drums soon signal a complete change, the song becoming a post rock driven guitar riff with full frontal drums. While the thumping beat seems rather out of place in terms of modern Anathema, the track does work. "Don't look too far" finds the band borrowing from their Porcupine Tree allies (and thus Pink Floyd), the female backing vocals returning for added effect.

"Emotional winter" delves deeper into Pink Floyd territory, the vocals sounding particularly Gilmour like, while "Wings of God" is a heavier but still supremely melodic number with striking lead guitar. The closing tracks "Anyone, Anywhere" and "2000 and Gone" return us gently to reality with a couple of mood driven softer songs.

Whether "Judgement" is the best Anathema album up to this point is a matter for individual Judgement. In reality, such comparisons are futile anyway. Seen for what it is, this is quite simply a fine album of great beauty which will appeal to prog fans who's priorities include strong melodies and thoughtful arrangements. Recommended.

Review by Conor Fynes
5 stars 'Judgement' - Anathema (9/10)

This is without a doubt, the perfect example of Anathema's musical style and strength as a band. Despite the high amount of acclaim that 'Alternative 4' receives, I don't find it to be a very strong album despite a few excellent tracks, but 'Judgement' really shows the band maturing and chanelling their depressive tendencies in a way that's not juvenile or irritating, but instead veyr beautiful and moving.

This is certainly a far cry from the band's doom metal origins, but the same sense of dread is still here in full. Having reached the pinnacle (thus far) of their career, there's the perfect balance of Anathema's traits here. There's a bit of a metal, experimental sound; but filled with gorgeous melodic hooks and rhythms.

'Judgement' is filled to the brim with great, soulful tracks; although the second half of the album starts to lack the same stunning flow the first half did. If I had to choose some great songs that uninitiated listeners could sample out; the songs 'Deep,' 'Forgotten Hopes' and 'One Last Goodbye' are all incredibly emotional and powerful, especially the last one mentioned...

'One Last Goodbye' certainly stands as being one of the very few songs I've ever heard that was perfect. Despite it only being 6 minutes long, it has such a haunting melody, and each note; each subtle nuance the song has it's place. The only other song I could really call 'perfect' is 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen, but that's another story...

When one says 'progressive metal,' this definately does not fit the traditional bill. It's a much different brand of music than your typical Dream Theater or Symphony X. There are metallic elements, but there's no space left for mindless fills; only pure and emotionally charged songwriting.

Realms ahead of most music out there in terms of emotion and effect. Absolutely superb.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Judgement is Anathema's ride through lush Floydian ambiences. The album is the ending point of their evolution from doom-death metal (see early My Dying Bride), through dark goth rock (see Fields of The Nephelim), to laidback dreamy rock sadness. Or how to go from doom-death to goth to Floyd in 4 albums.

Almost all metal influences have been stripped from the sound. An occasional power-chord not withstanding, it's all clean picking, sumptuous atmospheric synths, slowly pounding drums and that classic British voice that touches me like no other. I usually don't pay any attention to lyrics (blame it on too much Priest, Dio and Maiden listening, guaranteed to induce lyrics-deafness). But on this album, some of Danny Cavanagh's striking verses got themselves imprinted in my memory ever since I first heard them 10 years ago. One Last Goodby is the most striking example.

I can see some prog fans having a hard time to appreciate this band. This album in particular isn't progressive and the continuous melancholic ambience might become dreary if you prefer more eventful music. I like eventful music as well, but I equally like to be moved by the honest sadness and gloomy intensity that comes wrapped in delicate catchy rock songs here. If you don't have a clue how that may sound, take Riverside's I Turned You Down as an example of a good copy.

Judgement is Anathema's most heartfelt and touching album, and since emotional impact is Anathema's core-business, you might easily call this their most accomplished one. Rock fans might prefer the preceding Alternative 4, prog fans the more dense and textured A Fine Day To Exit. For me, I could listen to each of these three albums every day.

Review by CCVP
4 stars An album for rainy days

Anathema's fifth album, Judgement, has been my first contact with this depressed band from Liverpool and it could not have been a better first impression, in more than a way. With competent musicianship, songwriting and new, interessing, but familiar settings, this album hooked me for good right from the first time, but a number of reasons influenced that.

First, the music they present here, by itself, is really enjoyable and catchy, not only for the average progressive rock fan, but also anybody that actually likes rock'n'roll. I find it hard to dislike such a great presentantion of atmospheric rock with progressive leanings and Floydian influences the band do in this album. Second, the mood they are able to put through most of the album, in spite of being somewhat depressive and all, it dows not wallow in mysery and disgrace, as a considerable number of bands from such style do, which is a very positive side of their negativity.

Third, the day I gave Judgement the first spin was a cold, windy and rainy day. This may not make a lot of sense for some people, but believe me, if you do play this album in this kind of setting, you will understand. The whole album made a lot of sense, clicked right off the bat for me just because of this kind of setting. Finally, I really like this kind of music. This atmospheric, floydian and bluesy feel moves me quite easily so, for obvious reasons, I see this album very favorably, specially because, unlike some other artists and bands, Anathema does not tries to mimic and copy every aspect and characteristic of Floyd.

As some other reviewers already pointed, Judgement is, for the most part, an acoustic album. The acoustic guitars and sad vocals dominate the landscape the band creates in their music. There are, without a doubt, electric instruments. The keyboards, for example, are obviouisly electric, as are the solo guitars, and probably the bass guitar, but they all have a secondary role in the whole album, apparently following the lead of the acoustic guitars, completing its musical ideas or even give the song a heaviness the acoustic guitars can't achieve. Although they don't play a chief role here, the electric guitars definitely shine brightly whenever they do appear.

Despite its numerous qualities, some of which I pointed out previously in this very review, this album is not perfect in my eyes. That is mostly because of it's setting or song listing. The first three songs are just so good that, despite the respectable effort from the band, the rest of the album just cannot reach the same level. After that the album seemingly stops evolving, it just gets down and stays in the very same place untill the end. With the exception of that flaw, the Judgement is very round and balaced, all songs are very good and it has a gery good overall quality.

The highlits of the album go to the first three songs, Deep, Pitiless and Forgotten Hopes, which sound more or less like a a one pice composition, the sad and depressed but somehow energetic vocals and, most of all, to the electric guitar solos.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Anathema's Judgement had a lot of potential for me. The firsts spins were very enjoyable, but since then my apreciation for this album has improved very little. the album is very enjoyable, but that is it, nothing further. But whenever i give it a try, it is an assured good and pleasant ride from start to finish.

4 very solid stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Back when the Cavanagh and Douglas families were a little heavier; perhaps they had a little more angst to expel in their youth. (Don't we all?) Rather than call this Experimental/Post Metal, I'd categorize it as Heavy Prog or perhaps Atmospheric Prog Metal.

1. "Deep" (4:53) heavier than I expected, more in the style that Steven Wilson was taking his PORCUPINE TREE project toward. Nice guitar solo. (8.5/10)

2. "Pitiless" (3:10) ("Post" Metal is not how I'd classify this.) (8.5/10)

3. "Forgotten Hopes" (3:50) softly picked acoustic guitar is soon joined by gentle support from the rest of the band--though a single power chord at 0:50 betrays future heaviness. Is this a follow up on Pink Floyd's "Hey You"? I like the feel, music, vocal, and lyrics of this song very much--though I'd classify this music more in the same ball park as RIVERSIDE and other heavy prog atmospherics. A top three song for me. (9.25/10)

4. "Destiny Is Dead" (1:46) heavier, more ominous guitar, bass, and bass drum notes with swirling synth in the background gives this an interesting post rock feel--shades of musics to come for these guys. (4.5/5)

5. "Make It Right" (F.F.S.) (4:19) "Second Life Syndrome" anyone? Mariuz & Co. must have heard this album before making the leap to their 2005 masterpiece. Even the vocal sounds exactly like Mariuz's styling on that album. I like the Cure-like keys in the post-chorus bridges. (9/10)

6. "One Last Goodbye" (5:23) a little bit of The Cure's floating guitar sound beneath this sedate first half. Now we're hearing the structure and form, in both construct and vocal style, that we've come to associate with Anathema. Nice vocal, Vince. (As it was probably created in eulogy to the Cavanagh brothers' recently deceased mother, that makes sense.) (9/10)

7. "Parisienne Moonlight" (2:09) poorly miced (or sampled) piano and Lee Douglas & Daniel Cavanagh singing in tandem. (4.25/5)

8. "Judgement" (4:20) oddly poorly engineered/mixed song--so not what we've come to expect from the standards of amazing production the band has come to be known for. (7.75/10)

9. "Don't Look Too Far" (4:56) what a gorgeous song to inspire an equally gorgeous vocal. Could be a PT or No-Man song. Not a big fan of the choice of sound for the lead guitar. (9.25/10)

10. "Emotional Winter" (5:54) starts out sounding very PINK FLOYD "Wish You Were Here"-like. After 90 seconds, the rhtyhm section kicks and it becomes another atmospheric masterpiece sounding as if it was usurped for a RIVERSIDE or PINEAPPLE THIEF album. My favorite song on the album. (10/10)

11. "Wings of God" (6:29) kicking and screaming right out of the gates, there's a bit of a blues-rocker in this one. (8.825/10)

12. "Anyone, Anywhere" (4:50) a maturely constructed emotional rollercoaster that is cursed, unfortunately, by that cheap piano sound. (8.75/10)

13. "2000 and Gone" (4:50) an instrumental sounding so much like something from the Cure's Bloodflowers--which makes sense if you've seen the band's video to this, you know it's a heart-wrenching tribute to their deceased mother. Stunning and gorgeous (both song and video). (10/10)

Total Time: 56:56

Several of these songs bleed, one into the next, eliciting the question of whether we have a concept album here. I know the Cavanagh boys' mother had only recently died (at the young age of 49) when they set to creating this music, so, I suppose there couldn't help but be a cathartic aspect linking all of the songs--if only in spirit.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music and definitely Anthema's best album to date.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars It took a while to this band to propose truly interesting music ; but with "Eternity" and "Alternative" they confirmed what was already noticeable during "Pentecost III": namely a band with a huge potential.

I have to say that I am a bit disappointed with this release. None of the tracks is weak (except the closing track maybe, but few are memorable. It sounds very much like a later Porcupine Tree album and therefore, they might be considered as a precursor of the genre: melodic vocals (what a change with their early releases), powerful beat and hard music at times. Melancholy is also very present, like PT later ("Emotional Winter".

I would have liked some more variety between the songs which sound pretty much alike (except the mellow ballad "Parisienne Moonlight" and the slow instrumental "2000 & Gone"). But they are all well crafted with a special mention for "One Last Goodbye" which features a superb and emotional guitar solo.

Another very good song is the title which holds an incredible crescendo: from sweet to extremely wild. It ends up in a total abrupt manner. All of this in just over four minutes. It is one of the highlights from this "Judgement". It is one of the highlights from this work.

Three stars for this album.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This was my first dive into Anathema, having read so many salivating reviews, I figured I would be irresponsible to my prog philosophy of open-minded discovery to not at least give them a fair listen. Their style is relatively nihilistic in terms of lyrical context and quite monolithic musically (if you are looking for symphonic synth noodlings , this is not the place). The mood is Nirvana-like somber, the melancholia profound as proven with the first track 'Deep', almost reminiscent of some tonal facets of Polish band Riverside (who claim Anathema as a source) , fusing Steven Wilson-like reflections on life's inherent pains. I must admit that initial listens were difficult, trying to pinpoint and then adjusting the 'pleasure acceptance' knob to properly enjoy the musical presentation.

So I went about an orgy of 'repeat digitalis' on this one, until I finally succumbed to the vaporous magic espoused within the invisible digital codes and now I am ready to scribble my impressions. Yes, 'Deep' is a tremendous opening salvo, with passionately morose singing from Vince Cavanaugh and some blistering axe osculation from his 'bro Daniel , a guit-slinger who is unafraid of showing off his influences but also occasionally tossing in some old school licks that would make Jeff Beck blush with admiration. 'Pitiless' is more virile, veering into quasi riff-heavy metal spheres that pound and startle and a platform for some snarly leads sparkling wildly within the ashes of the bleakness. It bleeds right into the majestically acoustic 'Forgotten Hopes', another peak moment where the sadness of the melody paints an aural video with astonishingly vivid scripts ('Hey you , rotting in your alcoholic shell' ), sweltering and towering blasts, whispered vocals and marshalling drums. Intense, raging and yet somehow despondent as well. This monster tracks welds into the twanging yet brief 'Destiny is Dead' interlude that itself morphs into 'Make it Right FFS', a dark, windswept, rain drenched dirge where the synths howl wildly, turbulent guitar swaths with leaden aplomb, an intoxicating brew that mercilessly bulldozes forward without falling into overt metalloid territory. And then come the killer tracks: the excruciating beauty of 'One Last Goodbye'. Oh my dear, this is poignant to the hilt, a troubling idiom of deep entrenched sorrow with a colossal chorus ('In my dreams I can hold you , still feel the pain, still feel your love' ) , the goose bump inducing lead guitar solo is one for the ages, more menacing than a Gilmour or a Latimer but yet far from your typical metal illustration. The elegant piano enters with refinement, fueled by a female vocal on the 'tres francais' 'Parisienne Moonlight', a welcome feminine piece that is my fave track here though very short, it fits nicely with the previous and subsequent flow. 'Judgement' is a winner as well; a fascinating slow burner that grows in evident intensity, faster and faster until it gradually veers into a mad dash of controlled hysterics that careens about outrageously. 'Don't Look to Far' offers up some more acoustic inflections that recall Floydian soporifics with savvy lyrics ('God bless this mess I'm in'), a loopy pace and grandiose rhythm guitars that churn brightly and conjure floating images of comatose suffering that is startling in its aural appeal. This is what makes this album so tangible, the musicians'ability to never plod and yet provide intense psychedelics and escapism of the highest caliber. Just when you expect some tedium to set in, 'Emotional Winter' kicks the listener nicely into deeper realms , with exalting lyrics crowning a passionate vocal from Vince ('Wasted moments won't return, we will never feel again') , a coronation of an incredible series of songs that are emotional, genuine and ultimately memorable. The tumultuous 'Wings of God' introduces that harder edge that manages to evoke the exasperation of lost souls felled by injustice and that inner 'spleen' so overtly espoused by writers such as Baudelaire. The wrath here is palpable, the guitars angry, the voices annoyed, the bass excruciating and the drums thrashing about, disconsolate. 'Anyone, Anywhere' starts off in acoustic guitar hypnosis, the disquieting lyrics again at the forefront of a troubled inner sanctum, plunging piano ivories into the throbbing meddle and setting out some kind of resolution. The chorus becomes grandiose and almost symphonic in its epic closure. The instrumental '2000 and Gone' shutters the hurting for the time being, a mature band reflecting on their past and heading into the future without any formula or reason. The mood is almost pastoral, dreamy and loaded with some stunning guitar phrasings that give this piece an almost Phil Manzanera feel. I mean what a ride....emotionally. .

This recording should actually be listened to in its entirety, as a whole, vibrant package that infuses life into death and hope into despair, thereby creating a completely pleasurable sonic adventure. Music that will affect your outlook on life and perhaps, see things in clear colored glasses for a change. Life can be a load of pain. It's how you overcome the burdens that make it worthwhile.

This was one hell of an awakening .Will some gentle soul be kind enough to pick up my jaw from the pavement? Please'

5 abhorrent verdicts

Review by Negoba
2 stars Decent Goth-y Depressive Rock, But No Prog

I really love Goth Metal and I have a soft spot for anything in that general musical territory. On paper, I should love Anathema. In fact, there are some tracks here and there that really do nail it. "Re-Connect" from Alternative 4 comes to mind. But like the Gathering, Anathema leaves me mainly bored. The straightforward songwriting ethic of late grunge is still largely in effect here, the characteristic trappings of the 90's all over the music. How this is labelled prog is beyond me. Comparing this to Riverside, which writes from the same emotional territory but actually is prog, makes this so clear. (They're also metal, which Anathema is not). I remember having the exact same reaction when I turned from Type O Negative to Paradise Lost. The music just lacked fangs. Everything is performed quite well. But depression, for me, just isn't enough.

The other thing this music lacks is a hook melody. This is a common flaw in metal in general, but both this style of goth and much of the female-fronted symphonic bands have the same problem. There is melody, but not a hook. By this I mean, there is no figure that I could whistle and you'd say "Oh that's song xxx off JUDGEMENT." Vince Cavanaugh has his characteristic melodic contours, but he doesn't vary it enough to give each song its own signature. Similarly, the musical accompaniment is pretty homongenous through the album as well. I really like the individual sounds, the subtle minor dissonances, the big dark echoes, the trippy baritone vocal. But the band doesn't do enough with their sound, in my opinion. They do use some odd time signatures, but that's really the only thing prog to be found here. But stumming in 5, again, just isn't enough.

Of the handful of Anathema albums I've heard, JUDGEMENT is the worst in this respect. Too homogenous. There are maybe 2 or 3 motifs that stick with me on the entire album. One example is the refrain of "Don't Look Too Far." This song incidentally reminds me alot of Temple of the Dog's much superior tune "Say Hello To Heaven." The obviously Pink Floyd derived lyric "Hey You, rotting in your alcohol shell" from "Forgotten Hopes" also has some staying power.

The last thing that probably kills this album for me is that depressive moping is so played out. Even though the lyrics are pretty good given how much schlock of this type is out there, there's just not anything more to say on the subject. Anathema certainly isn't alone here, as Porcupine Tree lyrics don't do much for me either. Dead Soul Tribe's MURDER OF CROWS also falls into this category on the more metallic end.

This isn't bad, just not memorable, and not very progressive. I definitely suggest trying Alternative 4 first and then going on from there if you like.

2.5 rounded down for non-progginess.

Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars ANATHEMA (which is Greek meaning something dedicated to evil) is a band that I have heard a few tracks from over the years and they have always rubbed me the wrong way therefore I have avoided this band like a flea-bitten varmint carrying the plague. The truth is this band has had so many different sounds over their career and judging them from any particular phase could leave out one phase that might actually rub you the right way. In this case their 5th studio album JUDGEMENT does just that and rubs that spot that feels oh so good. With a long list of credentials including a sound in alternative rock, acoustic rock, art rock and more, this album finds the band steering their ship out of doom metal waters into a progressive rock sea. In fact if you ask me this band is heavily influenced by the Porcupine Tree albums of the same era with a bit of alternative metal sounds a la Alice In Chains in the mix. Fortunately these influences are strong but not putting them into any particular clone department.

What I am finding pleasing about this album is the strong melodic melancholy with aspiring acoustic arpeggios mixed with grungy chords and passionate pleas to placate the pain. The story is the two Cavanaugh brothers recently lost their mother so the mood of the album fits. This album also finds the band losing bassist Duncan Patterson who was a major contributor in the songwriting department leaving Danny Cavanagh to take the major role as such. This was an album I picked up with much trepidation but since it was one of their highest rated and praised I thought I should at least give it a spin. I was fearing I would find it in the same camp as Opeth, which is a much beloved and highly praised band that I seem to lack the digestive enzymes to comprehend, but to my surprise despite the heavy influences being just a little too obvious, I find myself liking this album a lot. It has enough of its own personality to win me over. Now I can tiptoe through their discography a little bit more hoping to hit on another winner such as this.

Review by Hector Enrique
4 stars Judgment confirms the evolution of a more experimental and alternative Anathema, with a less depressive and obscure approach than the previous Alternative 4. Indeed, just as melancholic and forceful.

The dense atmospheres and the perfume of sadness that permeates the album is, in turn, what gives it insurmountable value, where the heartfelt and moving One Last Goodbye stands out, a tribute by the Cavanaghs to their deceased mother prior to the recording process from the album and one of the best songs from his discography.

Undeniably the influence of Pink Floyd again in the introduction of the heartbreaking Emotional Winter (hello "Shine on you ..."), the excellent Wings of God, and her guitar solo, and on the other hand, the deep and intense Anyone, Anywhere, with a certain air to the song Private Investigations by Dire Straits, from the best of the album.

Judgment is one of the capital works of the Liverpool band, a sample of the maturity and musical splendor they had reached and consolidates them as an important post-metal reference.

Latest members reviews

5 stars True, as for me, is the idea that the greatest works of art are created on the basis of a personal tragedy of a creator. In this case, creators are the Cavanagh brothers, who had a great tragedy ? their own mother died. Plus, Patterson, as already mentioned, left the band (his place on 2 albums will ... (read more)

Report this review (#2504969) | Posted by Peacock Feather | Saturday, February 13, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Anathema's fifth full-length, Judgment, is where things finally started falling into place for the band. Anathema had been honing their dark, atmospheric metal/rock sound since their death-doom beginnings, but it is only on Judgment that they found the right formula for a (near) perfect album. Emoti ... (read more)

Report this review (#2489733) | Posted by lukretio | Saturday, January 2, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 1. Deep departure on the edge between softness and nervousness, dark rock, a thread stretched towards prog rock with the soft melody; Daniel gives us one of those solos for which he has the secret and which makes me a fan of this group; short deep piece! 2. Pitiless chained, ah I love titles which ... (read more)

Report this review (#2310874) | Posted by alainPP | Thursday, January 30, 2020 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Judgement is the fifth album by the British rock band Anathem. The frontcover of the album is simple but effective. There are 13 tracks in about 56 minutes of the regular edition. The album is performed by the male vocals, helped by female vocals in Parisiienne Monnlight and Don't look too far and ... (read more)

Report this review (#2136713) | Posted by Norbert | Saturday, February 16, 2019 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Anathema is one of my favorite 5 bands in my life, so no wonder why I rate most of their albums with 5 stars. After the great success of the masterpiece ALTERNATIVE 4, Anathema found the way to get people's ears. So, they started working on Judgement, trying to follow the same formula and gues ... (read more)

Report this review (#1015184) | Posted by Memo_anathemo | Friday, August 9, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars 10/10 The apex. Perfect. Ethereal. Melancholy. These and many other words could define Judgement, the fifth album from Anathema, but I think they are not enough to describe this masterpiece. Away goes the experimental character of Alternative 4 (which at the time of the launch was not well ... (read more)

Report this review (#1002963) | Posted by voliveira | Sunday, July 21, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Judgment Day ? 1999 (3.4/5 almost 4 stars) 11 ? Best Song: Deep Many bands encounter a slight snag in their creative abilities when they lose a valued member, in this case being Duncan Patterson. And many bands encounter a slight snag in their creative abilities when they meet with a new th ... (read more)

Report this review (#459141) | Posted by Alitare | Saturday, June 11, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is my favourite Anathema album. I think it strikes the perfect balance between their metal leanings of their early days and their ability to produce beautiful acoustic guitars and keyboards centred melancholia. The songs are slow paced without sounding like a dirge, varied whilst remainin ... (read more)

Report this review (#457498) | Posted by stranded_starfish | Sunday, June 5, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An amazing album!An album about failed human relationships(mostly of love)and bad memories(I love this type of lyrical themes).Musically it's sad and melancholic(logical).It has wonderful compositions.Vincent Cavanagh's vocals are beautiful.His mourning and his disappointment are great! The artwo ... (read more)

Report this review (#317914) | Posted by Prog Geo | Saturday, November 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I love Anathema. This is probably their favorite release of mine. Songs such as "Deep," "One Last Goodbye," "Judgement," and "2000 & Gone" are simply incredible. However, I stop short of awarding them 5 stars. I get the sense that on occasion some of their songs can drag on. Perhaps it is in ... (read more)

Report this review (#271936) | Posted by scootman369 | Sunday, March 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Emotional, atmospheric and wistful are probably the keywords when talking about this release from Anathema. I first listened to their music(Serenades) in '93 when I was in fact listening to some other kind of music. But they also did something different at that time. For me this is probably the ... (read more)

Report this review (#180110) | Posted by petrica | Tuesday, August 19, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars After the previous Alternative 4, original bassist Duncan Patterson departed, leaving fans in wonder as to how this would affect the songwriting being that Patterson was, along with guitarist Daniel Cavanagh, one of the major songwriters in the band. He was replaced by longtime friend of the b ... (read more)

Report this review (#85988) | Posted by bleak | Sunday, August 6, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is the second transitional album in the career of Anathema, with the departure of Duncan Patterson. The music is clearer, less dark, though still very emotional. The album starts with "Deep", a real rock song, probably the brightest song on the album. "Pitiless" follows without breaking th ... (read more)

Report this review (#64725) | Posted by zaxx | Saturday, January 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Okay, I'll be honest - this is my first review posted here *ever*, and it might not be the wisest thing to do to - starting off with reviewing my most cherished album of all! Don't get me wrong, I'm not a 'beginner'. I've been into prog music since the late 1970's, know very well the likes of ... (read more)

Report this review (#45662) | Posted by Antennas | Monday, September 5, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Ok, this is not progressive..It's a very emotional album though.Anathema is at it's best of their career..You know, Judegement in 1999, the year before, they had made Alternative 4.So people waited not something better, but a strong album..And, here it is!Without Duncan Patterson, Anathema is ... (read more)

Report this review (#44654) | Posted by | Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A fantastic, very dark album. It appears that the band made this album in a very emotional time, and this is clearly shown in the music. It's not progressive in the sense that classic progressive rock is, but it's prog enough that it is far superior to other music of a similar, more commerci ... (read more)

Report this review (#30118) | Posted by | Tuesday, February 1, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Anathema, for all their guises, have a very clever way of evoking feelings of despair, and hope all at the same time and this is no exception. Judgement is mostly a song based album and is probably their most straighforward arrangement wise, which normally for me (and most of you I presume) w ... (read more)

Report this review (#30115) | Posted by Jools | Friday, June 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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