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Anathema The Crestfallen album cover
2.25 | 67 ratings | 14 reviews | 1% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

Original Version:
1. ...And I Lust (5:47)
2. The Sweet Suffering (6:42)
3. Everwake (2:41)
4. Crestfallen (10:17)
5. They Die (7:59)

Total Time 33:26

LP Version:
1. ...And I Lust (5:47)
2. The Sweet Suffering (6:42)
3. Everwake (2:41)
4. Crestfallen (10:17)

Total Time 25:27

Line-up / Musicians

- John Douglas / drums
- Darren Cavanagh / guitar
- Vincent Cavanagh / guitar
- Duncan J. Patterson / bass
- Darren White / vocals

Releases information

Peaceville Records TCD VILE36

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Cristi for the last updates
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ANATHEMA The Crestfallen ratings distribution

(67 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(1%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (28%)
Poor. Only for completionists (22%)

ANATHEMA The Crestfallen reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by OpethGuitarist
2 stars For not being progressive, it's not that bad.

Even though this is almost purely a doom/death release, theres enough dynamics involved to make things interesting, like the beautiful Everwake. Other than this, it's pretty much pure doom material, but it's well done and those with a taste for the genre would enjoy parts of it, or at least I did.

There is nothing really crazy going on here, the material is pretty simple, straightforward, and to the point. In this regard it does bore me to a degree, as I'm always looking at the little things that make something special, the unheralded dynamics that really distinguish something amazing from something just plain ordinary.

If you enjoyed this album try their following release (Serenades) which is a bit better. If you didn't, don't give up on the band, as you might enjoy later releases such as A Fine Day to Exit, Alternative 4, or A Natural Disaster.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars "Somniferous whispering of scarlet fields", oh and lots of growling

This EP has now been combined with short album "Pentecost 3" released in 1995 to form a tastefully packaged 74 minute single CD release. Originally released in 1992, this the band's debut EP consists of 5 tracks running to just over half an hour.

Straight away, we are presented with the band's signature sound of heavy, doom laden guitars and indecipherable growled vocals. Helpfully, the sleeve notes include full lyrics, which are actually thoughtfully written. Unfortunately, vocalist (I use the term loosely) White Darren does not sing at all as such, but simply growls them out in the same monotone. It is a shame really, as the underlying guitar work is interesting. The stately pace remains the same for "The sweet suffering" which once again features some fine guitar work but is vocally bereft of value.

Things take a sudden and marked turn for the better with the short acoustic song "Everwake" which features distant female vocals. The song is quite delightful, not just for its own intrinsic value but as an oasis of beauty in a heavy EP.

The 10 minute title track features piano, apparently played by Darren Cavanagh, the writer of the track. Instrumentally, there is a post rock feel to the pounding guitar and phonetic drumming. The lyrics here are overwhelmingly depressive with line such as "I want for nothing, I live for nothing, I am waiting to die but I am afraid of dying" being slowly ground out without any apparent synchronisation with the instrumental backing.

The EP concludes with the 8 minute "They die" which includes the line "An ode to their plight is this dirge" the word being an accurate summary for the EP as a whole (with the exception of "Everwake").

I appreciate that my review will not find favour with devotees of the band, although it appears this EP is not held in particularly high esteem even by them. I hope however it does give the casual enquirer an idea of what to expect.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "The Crestfallen EP" is an EP release by UK doom/death metal act Anathema. The EP was released through Peaceville Records in November 1992. Anathema were formed in 1990 under the Pagan Angel monicker, but soon changed their name to Anathema. Anathema released the two demos "An Iliad of Woes (1990)" and "All Faith Is Lost (1991)" before signing to Peaceville Records for a multi-album deal. "The Crestfallen EP" is their first official release through the label.

This initially made them label mates with My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost, which are also the two acts their music is mostly comparable to. The quality of the music on "The Crestfallen EP" is not as high as the early output by the two above mentioned acts though, and Anathema were quite frankly a second tier British doom/death metal act at this point. This is of course their debut release (Although this is an EP the playing time is 33:26 minutes) and maybe I shouldnīt expect too much, but even in those days I remember I wasnīt too impressed with the music on this EP. What "The Crestfallen EP" do manage to provide is an introduction and a glimpse of what you can expect on Anathemaīs debut full-length studio album "Serenades (1993)". But thatīs about it and in my opinion you can safely skip this one and go straight to "Serenades (1993)".

Part of the problem with "The Crestfallen EP" is the pretty lifeless sound production which never manages to bring the tracks to life. Lead vocalist Darren White really isnīt the best vocalist either. He sounds out of his league here. tired and strained. All this really add up to an EP that quality wise is below average. The musicians arenīt too tight either so all in all itīs hard to recommend "The Crestfallen EP" to anyone but the most hardcore fans. A 1.5 - 2 star (35%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This EP is included in the 2004 re-issue of Pentecost III, which condemns it to the collector's area by definition. But with only 2 songs that I care to listen to, this EP isn't recommendable neither.

The opening And I Lust is quite strong, oppressive, as doom should be, but it also contains melodic lead guitars that give it that typical romantic flavour in doom-death. A flowering rose amidst filth, decadence and decay. The Sweet Suffering could have been equally intriguing, but it lacks something truly memorable. Everwake is a delightful acoustic piece sung by an unaccredited female vocalist. It makes a strange appearance here and would have sounded more at ease on Anathema's later masterpiece Judgement.

The last two songs are from an earlier recording session (which is a flattering description for a one-mike recording in their uncle's basement). They are unlistenable for me, sounding monotonous and chaotic. More something of a statement then music to be listened to. Don't even consider buying this, even if you're a fan, like I am.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
3 stars Anathema's second release ever, "The Crestfallen" is quite a surprise. Honestly, the first time I listened to this I didn't find it at all appealing; it sounded like just a normal, death doom metal band, with some pretty decent vocals and violent atmospheres. With my surprise, this album really grew on me, and this usually never happens with just an EP.

Sure, the album is probably just another example of a death doom metal band trying to emerge, with the same, dark lyrics and slow, agonic rhythms and melodies, but at least the result is positive and almost all the songs are quite effective.

Songs like "And I Lust..." or "The Sweet Suffering" are extremely underrated, being in my opinion near perfect doom metal tracks. "Everwake" is another great song, calm, gentle, and with some haunting female vocals in the background.

There are though the negative sides of this EP; "They Die" is really nothing special, and it isn't at all better than the version that the band chose to include in "Serenades", the band's studio debut. Even the title track has some weak moments, being a little too long, and as a consequence a little dull at times.

But I must say that this EP was a delightful surprise, and it is, I think, the best release of the band from their first, death metal influenced period.

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars I appreciate doom metal, especially when carried out but the godfathers of the genre (I guess that everyone knows who they are) but I can't stand growling Ŧvocalsŧ. This is a major problem when you are confronted with this long EP (over 33 minutes).

As such, I don't have too many complaints about the music featured here, although creativity is not quite evident while you are listening to these five tracks. The experience sounds dramatically repetitive and prog music here is totally alien.

As a whole; this is sub, sub-par Sabbath in terms of music and a desert in terms of vocals. So, the only consideration in terms of rating is the only one available: one star of course. This is a real pain for half an hour. Believe me!

If you don't trust me, just grab it, listen to it, review it and there are great chances that you might come up with the same conclusion. Only the closing part from "They Die" holds interesting elements.

One star.

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Have you ever been in an exceptionally good mood and thought "I'm tired of this, I want to feel utterly miserable?" Not me, but if I ever do, I'll definitely keep this album in mind. It is often stated that sad songs possess a means of making bummed out folks feel better through understanding, shared grief and sympathy. This album as a whole doesn't set out to do that. It ruins moods and stomps on any sense of positivity. I'm feeling crestfallen already.

That album cover is something else. Looking like a deranged unkempt Mila Kunis spending her life in some dreary village, the young woman's gaze wanders between depression and loathing of a strangely predatory nature. It would have been a great image for an album cover by The Smiths if Morrissey had no sense of humor whatsoever to go along with the unhinged moping. The music is quite dreary as well, but those expecting something akin to their more recent output wouldn't even recognize the band. This mini album is oppressively heavy with minor bleak melodies interspersed with monolithic doom metal riffs. The vocals are persistent death growls with some monotone spoken word passages adding variety to these dirges. The lyrics are written rather elegantly, in stark contrast to the delivery. Monsters have sad feelings too.

The first two tracks actually do a great job capturing a thick muddy atmosphere that's dismal and shambling yet never becoming tiresome to my ears. They actually entertain with some great slabs of mean riffs, particularly towards the end of "...And I Lust". "Everwake" is the album's big surprise. Stuck right at the center of this thing, it's like some ethereal oasis with sweet melodies and angelic female vocals. It's produced quite well too, in that it could have been included in any of their much later albums without any head-scratching. The last two tracks bring back the pain in droves, and they actually do drag on a bit too long for my tastes, although I must admit that "They Die" is clever in how the song seems to be ending on numerous occasions, but suddenly keeps on stomping away at the mind and soul of the listener. It's rather cool actually.

So, in retrospect, maybe this wouldn't be the right thing to play if I wish to feel terrible for some odd reason thanks to my enjoyment of aspects concerning this release. Granted, my tolerance for these sort of vocalizations are probably higher than the average prog fan, and this music has little to do with Anathema's current sound (which I love), but I can get behind something like this if I want to make someone else feel miserable by playing it loudly in their presence. That can actually be fun.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I find it a bit of a shame that the early metal releases of Anathema are dismissed so quickly by the more recent fans of their sophisticated progressive rebirth. As great as that period has been, the band still released a number of moody nightmare doom metal releases that are still worthy of tracking down. Although `Crestfallen' could never be confused for being a prog rock album, there's still a number of progressive qualities in the arrangements and the atmosphere of the music.

The 33 minute album is full of slowly unfolding dark funereal dirges, with an oppressive slab of heaviness weighing down on the listener. Pummeling drums and melodic twin guitar melodies grind through the murkiness, giving the music a very cold and suffocating sound. Darren White's deep vocals are a mix of spoken word with a strained, weary and forlorn monotone growl, and they work very effectively here. Although there's a heavy fog of dark atmosphere throughout, the album is frequently balanced with some surprisingly thoughtful and oddly beautiful lyrics. Words about loves lost, devotion, spiritual release and hope are placed alongside tales of sorrow, torment and loneliness. It gives the album an interesting balance, but also a deeper quality over other similar artists.

`And I Lust...' has a tense mix of unearthly growls and spoken word, rattling drums and that classic majestic twin guitar metal sound. Lots of atmosphere and drama in this one, and I love the almost uplifting quality the guitars take just after the four minute mark. Key lyric - 'By the golden beauty of dusk, and the sun low in our sky, by the haunting shadows of trees and graves, mesmerized am I.'

`The Sweet Suffering' has world-weary slurred vocals, with sludgy chugging riffs pounding down. The pace picks up a little more in the second half. Great lyrics all throughout this one! 'The way is dim, but I find it....' - Perfectly sums up the mood of the album, words that may come to apply to you if you connect with it. `Everwake' is a brief but exquisite female sung acoustic interlude, with vivid and evocative lyrics. 'Somniferous whisperings of scarlet fields, sleep calling me and my dreams are wondrous. My reality abandoned, I traverse afar, not a care if I ever wake...' It's a stunning gothic lullaby, and a lovely respite from the relentless gloom.

A grand piano melody on the introduction of `Crestfallen', uplifting and reflective. Electric guitar plays the same melody that reinforces the emotion and sadness. Darren's vocals sound like the helpless wail of a soul in torment amongst the stop/start chugging dirty dark riffs throughout. It's lyrically interesting too - 'For the deepest love I had has dissolved before my eyes, my sorrow is bleak, I beg for deliverance. Lord, in your mercy, hear my prayer.'

`They Die' has a very sinister sound, with the drums especially heavy and dominating on this one. The arrangement is very monotonous and overbearing, but that's not exactly a criticism. There's very pained vocals, and the piece builds in urgency in the second half, with some nice busier drum- work and more majestic guitar lines.

Although `Serenades' that follows is the stronger of the two in this doom metal style, this album has more than enough gloomy and emotional grief to interest adventurous metal fans. Lyrically I find it's frequently very personal and moving, with the relentless plodding metal riffs and dead-weight drums immersive and mood-setting.

Anathema's `Crestfallen' is a vivid collection of romantic doom poetry set to a brooding soundtrack.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I have really struggled to review this album. It is one that I neither hate nor love; indeed, it is an album, about which I really struggle to form a lasting opinion. It has some beautiful guitar riffs - both gloomy (the end of "...And I Lust", for example) and "pretty" (as demonstrated by the ... (read more)

Report this review (#290213) | Posted by island_dweller | Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Anathema was one of the "big three" who resurrected the British doom metal scene back in the beginning of the '90s. The other two was Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. The first one was more death metal and the latter one more symphonic prog (so why are they not in PA?). Anathema was more base ... (read more)

Report this review (#248255) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, November 5, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars About Anathema: From the beginning of their career to 1995 there is nothing so special about them. In the "Pentacost III" ep and in "Eternity" they manage to make us understand that they are meant for something bigger, something that would latter come with what I consider their best album "Al ... (read more)

Report this review (#91919) | Posted by sularetal | Monday, September 25, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I bought this CD as part of a serenades/crestfallen double CD mainly to complete my Anathema collection. This is a debut release and should be considered as a doomdeath record (it's amazing to see how many bands have started by doing doomdeath or death metal before finding their own style - Pa ... (read more)

Report this review (#64588) | Posted by zaxx | Friday, January 13, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I agree with Olli. Not much to say about this. Stay away from this record unless you're into doom metal music. The exception on this disc is the track "Everwake" which is a mellow short tune, the rest is doom metal. ... (read more)

Report this review (#46360) | Posted by Prosciutto | Sunday, September 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is not progressive rock. This is doom/death metal with down-tuned guitars and growl- vocals. So most of you prog rock fans might not like this. But let me say that this is also some of my favourite music ever. The songs are slow, depressing and atmospheric. The guitar melodies on "..and ... (read more)

Report this review (#31071) | Posted by Lambert | Thursday, June 24, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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