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ANATHEMA

Experimental/Post Metal • United Kingdom


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Anathema picture
Anathema biography
Founded as Pagan Angel in 1990 in Liverpool, UK

Their original line-up was: Darren White (vocals), Vincent Cavanagh (guitars), Daniel Cavanagh (guitars), Jamie Cavanagh (bass), and John Dougals (percussion), under the moniker PAGAN ANGEL. Since then, there's been too many line-up changes to mention here, although Vincent, Daniel, and John have all maintained status in the band, except Daniel briefly in 2002 (click on the album's for more line-up information). They would release one demo and then change their name to ANATHEMA. They released two more demo's and then were discovered by Hammy of Peaceville Records, who signed them. They went on to be the most overlooked gem of the '90's. Starting as romantic doom metal ("The Crestfallen", "Serenades", and "The Silent Enigma"), and then transitioning into an avant-garde experimental force. Each album bears evidence of progression. The vocals are always improving and becoming even more poignant, accenting the music and lyrics (which this band are probably the best lyricist's out there). "Eternity" was sort of a transitional album for them, somewhat abandoning the guttural cries of despondency and replacing that with Vincent Cavanagh's beautiful singing voice. Their influences range from PINK FLOYD to The BEATLES to RADIOHEAD. The future for ANATHEMA is promising because they are the future.

"The Cresfallen" and "Serenades" are mainly attracted by doom metal fans because of the pace of the music and Darren White's moody vocals. "Pentecost III" showed the band exploring long escapades into realms not traveled by any band in their genre. Also being the last release to feature Darren White on vocals. "The Silent Enigma" is a monumental album, blending beauty and despair, poetically. "Eternity" was the transitional album, where they explored the vast expanse of space (a la PINK FLOYD). "Alternative 4" and "Judgement" were both excellent editions to their catalogue, but lacking the experimentation of the next two albums. "A Fine Day to Exit" was a large step into various different soundscapes. It was followed by "A Natural Disaster," where they achieved a sound completely their own, surpassing even RADIOHEAD, with their absolute exploration of the unknown. "We're Here Because We're Here" was released in 2010 and continued to show signs of progression of the band's sound.

Highly recommended: "Pentecost III," "The Silent Enigma," Eternity," and "A Natural Disaster."

: : : Kurt Zander, USA : ...
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Distant Satellites ( Tour Edition )Distant Satellites ( Tour Edition )
KSCOPE 2017
$12.73
$17.03 (used)
Serenades ( Lp )Serenades ( Lp )
PEACEVILLE 2017
$20.63
$22.44 (used)
Fine Days 1999 - 2004Fine Days 1999 - 2004
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
$14.83
$15.45 (used)
The OptimistThe Optimist
KSCOPE 2017
$10.37
$14.07 (used)
Weather SystemsWeather Systems
K-Scope 2016
$7.51
$10.07 (used)
The Silent Enigma ( Pic Disc LP )The Silent Enigma ( Pic Disc LP )
PEACEVILLE 2018
$21.08
$26.39 (used)
Internal LandscapesInternal Landscapes
Kscope Import 2018
$10.28
$8.23 (used)
Alternative 4 ( Lp )Alternative 4 ( Lp )
PEACEVILLE 2017
$19.58
$12.99 (used)
UniversalUniversal
KSCOPE 2017
$9.09
$14.34 (used)
ANATHEMA Universal [Blu-ray]ANATHEMA Universal [Blu-ray]
Multiple Formats · Blu-ray
KSCOPE 2017
$49.90
$22.91 (used)
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ANATHEMA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ANATHEMA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.31 | 208 ratings
Serenades
1993
3.13 | 241 ratings
The Silent Enigma
1995
3.59 | 332 ratings
Eternity
1996
4.05 | 586 ratings
Alternative 4
1998
4.15 | 682 ratings
Judgement
1999
3.83 | 473 ratings
A Fine Day To Exit
2001
3.90 | 536 ratings
A Natural Disaster
2003
3.93 | 150 ratings
Hindsight
2008
4.06 | 878 ratings
We're Here Because We're Here
2010
3.80 | 402 ratings
Falling Deeper
2011
4.01 | 897 ratings
Weather Systems
2012
3.68 | 425 ratings
Distant Satellites
2014
3.58 | 137 ratings
The Optimist
2017

ANATHEMA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.46 | 84 ratings
Untouchable
2013
3.95 | 38 ratings
A Sort of Homecoming
2015

ANATHEMA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.41 | 31 ratings
A Vision Of A Dying Embrace
2002
3.34 | 50 ratings
Were You There live
2004
3.45 | 64 ratings
A Moment in Time
2006
4.50 | 136 ratings
Universal
2013

ANATHEMA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.64 | 27 ratings
Serenades + Crestfallen
1995
3.21 | 37 ratings
Resonance: Best of Anathema
2001
2.67 | 29 ratings
Resonance 2
2002
4.44 | 25 ratings
Original Album Classics
2011
4.00 | 8 ratings
Resonance 1 & 2
2015
4.38 | 8 ratings
Fine Days 1999 - 2004
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
Internal Landscapes 2008-2018
2018

ANATHEMA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

1.26 | 14 ratings
An Iliad of Woes
1990
1.59 | 14 ratings
All Faith is Lost
1991
2.91 | 11 ratings
They Die 7''
1992
2.23 | 59 ratings
The Crestfallen
1992
2.20 | 16 ratings
We are the Bible 7''
1994
2.88 | 69 ratings
Pentecost III
1995
1.63 | 11 ratings
Alternative Future
1998
2.42 | 12 ratings
Make it Right
1999
2.65 | 18 ratings
Deep
1999
3.80 | 15 ratings
Pressure
2001
3.30 | 10 ratings
Unchained (Tales Of The Unexpected)
2008
4.45 | 34 ratings
Everything
2010
3.25 | 4 ratings
Dreaming Light
2011
2.67 | 3 ratings
Untouchable Part 1
2012
2.67 | 3 ratings
Untouchable Part 2
2013
2.33 | 3 ratings
The Lost Song Part 3
2014
3.00 | 2 ratings
Untouchable
2014

ANATHEMA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Weather Systems by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.01 | 897 ratings

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Weather Systems
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by DominicS

4 stars I can empathise with those in the prog rock community that struggle to connect with the music of Anathema as it is most often very slow, understated and very melancholic - different from the more obviously complex and loud music created by the classic prog bands. However, I had no problem when I listened to this beautifully arranged album and having listened to their other albums, I believe it is their best. It may lack in terms of being diverse as most of the songs communicate a similar ambience, which may be why some people are put off. Nevertheless, this band are experts in creating the most harmonically rich chord progressions which I am a massive fan of and that's why I can never get bored when listening to this album despite the consistent ambience throughout.

The best example of such rich harmony is in the song 'The Lost Child'; the piano chords are phenomenal, fitting the darkness of the song perfectly. These rich chords act as the backbone of the song, supporting it throughout with the only thing changing being the intensity, which grows from nothing to a powerful flood of emotion. These chords, in my opinion, are so interesting to listen to that they could be repeated endlessly, and I would still never get bored ? its relentlessness makes it all the more motivating to listen to. Anathema are skilled at creating stimulating music through relentlessly exhausting single musical ideas rather than just throwing in excessive separate musical ideas that don't push the songs any further. 'Untouchable, Part 1' is an example of this as it is relentless in many ways but at the same time it is so moving. The rapid movement on the acoustic guitar is unrelenting, it drives the song forward throughout and successfully allows the climactic build to be expectantly thrilling. The chordal movement never drastically changes, but that doesn't really matter because what makes this song (and the whole album) so effective is the design of the most lyrical melodies that act as motifs not just in this song but in 'Untouchable, Part 2'. I think the second part of this song is so intelligently thought out; it uses very similar chords and musical ideas used in the first part but at the same time it feels very different, almost like an acoustic version of the first part. Anathema just know how to exhaust their musical ideas, whether that be by repeating motifs in different textural scenarios or by swapping instrumentation for the same chord progressions ? this album is so clever when you think about it carefully, the band may repeat a lot of ideas, but it is done with precision and skill. My favourite song from the album is 'Internal Landscapes'; it is an unrushed piece of music, beginning sparsely with dialogue accompanied by these elegant and dreamy keyboard sounds. Again, this song is constructed similar to the other songs on the album, building to a climax before returning to the dream like atmosphere communicated at the beginning ? the song takes you on such an emotionally charged journey.

A couple of songs on the album make an attempt to break up the similarity of the album. 'The Storm Before the Calm' is slightly more varied in terms of musical ideas and the contrast in dynamics is much greater and more sudden rather than the gradual build-ups heard in most of the other songs. At 5:35, the texture becomes completely sparse as only the guitar can be heard before other instruments are then layered in; this takes place in the middle of the song rather than just happening at the beginning like in other songs from the album. Songs like these are nice to hear as it acts as a welcome break from the identical structures of the other songs on the album. Anathema's true talent on this album is their ability to create the most memorable musical ideas that can be repeated as motifs in a variety of ways ? and somehow it never becomes boring. However, this album lacks a greater variety of sounds, as most of the songs seem to follow an ambient, melancholic approach ? all of the songs are in a minor key for example. A couple of upbeat songs would add a greater variation to the sound of the album. This album could have also done with a greater exploration of dynamics; good attempts are made in 'The Storm Before the Calm' but dynamics could easily be explored further in other songs that seem to follow the same structure. Despite these small criticisms, this album showcases the bands power of being able to create the saddest of sounds using the most gorgeous vocal and chordal harmonies and repeating lyrical motifs that never seem to grow dull no matter how often they are repeated ? I truly love this emotional rollercoaster of an album.

 Weather Systems by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.01 | 897 ratings

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Weather Systems
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Norbert

1 stars Weather Systems is the ninth studio album by the British rock band Anathema. The artwork of the album is somewhat nice, plus the production and the arrangements are professional, but this I have mentioned almost all positive features of this 55 minutes long album with nine tracks. Anathema is listed on ProgArchives.com as Experimental/ Post Metal and not less than 4 Anathema albums sit in the Top 30 of this particular ProgArchives subgenre. So let's see how progressive and experimental is this album. The songs of this album usually begin quietly with vocals along with piano or acoustic guitar. Then drums start, but very basic stuff, no tricky time signatures at all. Then another instruments and an extra vocalist join, while the volume goes up gradually until the song reaches its loud climax, then starts to be more quiet again, and then finish. The main simple theme and cheap melody remains the same, the band 'experiments" only with the volume , and barely with anything else. Sorry, but in my opinion this is not progessive and experimental music at all. We can find here and there Ambient, Post Rock, Alternative Rock, Indie Pop, Electronic.... but not Progressive Rock. Absolutlely not forward-thinking or challennging music. "Challenging" is only to suffer through the whiny vocals of one of Vincent Cavanagh. About the metal part of the Experimental/ Post Metal subgenre. Well, if this album is metal then Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi is grindcore. This is not always even really rock, mostly, moody but showy melodic pop music, sometimes even quiet syrupy. So I do not think that this album is progessive, and I do not like it. Not even a little bit. Hence my rating.
 We're Here Because We're Here by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.06 | 878 ratings

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We're Here Because We're Here
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars Together with "Weather Systems", this is the Anathema's peak. Incredible musicianship and experience accumulated through the years and a long break between the albums caused the band to spur extreme motivation to create a high quality music. The vocals have dramatically improved - melodic singing with harmonies and the inclusion of pleasant female vocals. The music sounds playful, mainly optimistic, adventurous enough and times has heavy riffs that harken back to the previous albums. If melancholy is introduced, then there are no traces of desperation in the music (I don't usually follow the lyrics). New influences have to play: alternative rock a la Incubus (hear track Get Off, Get Out that sounds so American) and post rock that was only present on the last track on the 2004's Natural Disaster. "Universal" is a slow-paced track with strings, gradually becoming a dark post-rock flavour. "Hindsight" together with "Violence" from "A natural disaster" are my favourite Anathema instrumental tracks and showcase perfect balance of guitar-driven and keyboard-led notes. While the latter is more complex, "Hindsight" sparks a feeling of harmony each time I listen to it. The guitar melody is simple yet amazing and effective.

If you want to start with Anathema and have an accessible but still progressive work, start with this one.

 Eternity by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.59 | 332 ratings

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Eternity
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Third album - three stars! Until now, each new Anathema effort has earned better rating than the previous. Anathema have removed their trademark sound and hence also most of their weaknesses - poor growling, inconsistent songwriting and lack of focus. The level of bleakness is lower which might be welcome by most of the listeners on this portal but perhaps not so on the metal forums. The lyrics are actually darker than the music. The heavy guitars are still prominent and singing is improved but still odd due to the artificially positioned vocal (as can be heard on "Beloved").

The album starts promising by a light instrumental overture that sounds promising. "The beloved" could be classified as doom rock not unrelated to Katatonia. There is also a splendig guitar solo - something not often heard by Anathema until now. Eternity tracks are quite contrast - the first one is dynamic and features irregular rhythm whereas the Eternity 2 is ethereal but not very interesting. Eternity 3 is closest to the slow doom metal. "Hope" shows a feature inclination to Pink Floyd - even though it does not fit to this album. The narrative in the end and beginning of the track are annoying. "Suicide Veil" shows acoustic and very heavy contrasts of Anathema. The anthemic "Far away" is the first very well known track that Anathema constantly plays live until today - and captures the trademark sound from the end of 90's. "Cries on the wind" is a great orientally influenced doom metal song. "Ascension" is in the same vein and has keyboard layers and more dynamic structure - and as one would expect, has the second part completely acoustic and peaceful. This is the recommended first album for more progressive Anathema fans.

 The Silent Enigma by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.13 | 241 ratings

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The Silent Enigma
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

2 stars Anathema very slowly progressing to prog! Not only is the first awkward vocalist gone but the growls of Cavanaugh are a bit more bearable - it is more screaming than growling which suits his vocal better. Musically, the band has improved on all fronts: drums, interplay between guitars and keys, memorable instrumental passages. Even as a doom metal fan, I can say that this release won't be lost when compared to other true doom-metal outfits like My Dying Bride. The riffs and melodies are bleak, nevertheless, they have their quality and moment.

The first songs kicks off the anger and despair with grandiosity and gradual tension. "Shroud of Frost" has a pretty good dark instrumental part resulting in strings and guitars duet in the end. "Alone" is a delicate acoustic number sung by female vocals and a welcome break from dark gloomy tones. "Sunset of the Age" marks more experimental doom metal. "Noctural Emission" seems to be going in more directions that are compatible - slow doom and quick rock pattern. "The silent enigma" is a good doom metal song marred by the weeping vocal that does not suit the music at all. "A dying wish" is on par with the first track - a well developed doom-metal song with multiple parts and tempo changes. This will appeal to many doom metal fans. The dramatic last track "Black orchid" proves the talent of the band which was not yet evident on the first release.

This is the last growling album and sunrise will slowly come on the next band's releases that will start discovering new sonic soundscapes. A three star album but only two stars for this webpage as there's still too little for a progressive listener to find.

 Serenades by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.31 | 208 ratings

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Serenades
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

1 stars As both doom-metal lover and proghead, this album only captured my attention 15 years ago when I ventured into the doom-metal territory and hadn't heard any other doom metal albums before.

I am fully in 'accord' with other reviewers - this bleak effort has also a bleak music quality, unfortunately. The weakeast element is growling - not everybody's voice is suitable and mediocre technique won't compensate. The instruments aren't convincing and there are very few memorable moments. The proof is a sub-standard second track "sweet tears" that is one of the weakest doom metal tracks I've ever heard. The third track, the only one sung by a female singer, is the only one of interest to both doom metal and progressive rock fan groups. "They will always die" is a small doom-metal improvement and has well defined riffs. The rest of the album is bland and the lengthy laid-back instrumental track does not improve the overall low production and music quality. Not recommended to any but die-hard doom metal 90's fans. A progressive rock fan will only find 2 minutes of appealing music out of 65, therefore 1 star.

 We are the Bible 7'' by ANATHEMA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
2.20 | 16 ratings

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We are the Bible 7''
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

2 stars This is a very rare single that was originally only made available to subscribers of the Collectors Club. It was recorded in 1994 in the early doom metal days of Anathema, back when they sounded nothing like they do now. Both tracks are improvised songs recorded in studio, which is a rarity in the doom metal genre, so this shows Anathema's willingness to go above the norm, even in their early days, if nothing else.

'Nailed to the Cross/666' is the A Side. It starts as a slow drum pounds a rhythm and atmospheric guitars wail out feedback. The vocals are dirty of course, as they were in the early days. The tempo soon speeds up some while the vocalist chants out 666 in a gruff voice against a repetitive riff. Guitars take over and then drag the song to it's close.

'Eternal Rise of the Sun' starts with a slow guitar which soon gets layered with another guitar and a progressive pounding rhythm. The percussion levels out finally to a slow processional beat. The vocals are deep but spoken this time, so at least they can be understood. There is an attempt to sing, but it's not great singing and you wish he soon goes back to spoken vocals, which he does. The beat and bass follow a repetitive pattern, but there is a higher guitar that plays a more improvised part. The beat stops at 4 minutes, and then returns picking up speed while the other instruments follow suit, but following a same pattern. Suddenly an acoustic guitar starts playing on top of all of this, interestingly enough.

These 2 tracks are really surprisingly good and you can tell this is a band that is willing to try new things. Of course, their sound would change over the years. The Cavanaugh Brothers would, for the most part, be consistent members of the band throughout, but others members would change according to the style of music they were working to play at the time. It is often hard to believe this is the same band that would release the amazingly emotional post metal albums 'Weather Systems' and 'A Natural Disaster', but this short single is a sign that the band was looking to perfect their sound. Even with that, however, this single is more of a curiosity for fans than anything else, as the music, while surprising, isn't really that amazing. For collectors and fans only.

 Falling Deeper by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.80 | 402 ratings

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Falling Deeper
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

4 stars Deep and beautiful

Following the 2008 album "Hindsight", where Anathema revisited some of their more recent songs, and placing them in a softer, more acoustic setting, the band took the project a stage further in 2011. Falling deeper into their doom-laden past, this appropriately titled album brings a new found grace and beauty to some of their earliest material. While at the time of those recordings the band were known for their growled vocals and funereal sounds, it was always apparent that underlying it all was a collection of fine melodies and sensitive performances. "Falling deeper" finally allows those nuances to come to the fore as the band call upon Dave Stewart (of Egg) to add orchestral arrangements while they themselves seek to exploit the lyrical and musical themes that were often buried under the deluge of thumping and growling.

The eight songs included here (the album runs to under 40 minutes) originally appeared on albums and EPs such as "Crestfallen, "Serenades", "The Silent Enigma" and "Pentecost III". We open with the two part "Crestfallen / Sleep In Sanity" which is rather cut down from the original 10 minutes of "Crestfallen" (on the EP of that name) and 7 minutes of "Sleep in Sanity" (on "Serenades"). Instantly, we are presented with a piece of great beauty and harmonic perfection. Gone are the random growls and manically depressive lyrics, this interpretation relying solely on the underlying strength of the song. "Kingdom" was for me one of the more palatable songs on the "Pentecost III" EP. That album bore the first hints of the band's direction change, and it is those hints that are exploited here, with full orchestration.

"They die" previously appeared on the "Crestfallen" EP and also as "They (Will Always) Die" on "Serenades". As with most of the tracks here, it is pared back quite a bit, becoming much tighter and more focused in the process. "Everwake" was already the best track on "Crestfallen", but here it benefits further from the divine female vocals of Anneke Van Giersbergen, the heavier backing and superb orchestration once again resulting in an album highlight. "I made a promise" originally bore its French title "J'ai Fait Une Promesse", but here it loses its female vocal, becoming a soft instrumental.

"Alone" is one of the few songs to be in a longer from here than it was originally (on "Silent Enigma"). On that album, the symphonic overtones were already apparent. Here, the arrangement is actually a little more Spartan, the emphasis being more on the acoustic aspects. "We the gods" once again removes the vocals completely, along with about 6 minutes of the original song, leaving a delightful instrumental piece. "Sunset of age" is the closing track on my version of the album. It makes for a superb finale, with (dare I say) ELO style swirling strings and a heavy back-beat laying the foundations for a strong melody. Here, an excellent lead guitar solo adds a further welcome dimension.

"Falling deeper" sees the band going back to their early days for the basic songs, but then transforming them into pieces that would fit well into their current output. The symphonic orchestration brings out the full beauty of the melodies, resulting in an album that is every bit as good as the bands fine albums from their more recent past.

 Weather Systems by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.01 | 897 ratings

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Weather Systems
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

5 stars 'Weather Systems' from Anathema is the ninth full-length album in their discography. The line-up is the same as the last album except for the absence of the keyboardist Les Smith. Keyboard duties are shared by other band members through this album. Where the previous album 'We're Here Because We're Here' (WHBWH) was produced by Steven Wilson and had a more symphonic feel to it. This one is produced by members of the band and, even though it has symphonic aspects to it, it seems to be less noticeable. However, it is an album that is a lot more moving and emotional than WHBWH and "Falling Away". Also, Lee Douglas has more lead vocals than she did in WHBWH, where she did more support and harmony singing.

Immediately, this album starts off sounding a lot different from the last one, with an upbeat track, the first part of 'Untouchables' being driven by an acoustic guitar playing a quick arppegiated chord pattern. Vocals start up quickly and this song gets more and more exciting and intense as volume builds to a somewhat heavy and driving song. The 2nd part starts off much slower with a piano riff and a more emotional vocal. After the first verse, it gets a little more symphonic as Lee Douglas takes over vocals on the 2nd verse. Her voice is a welcome change as a regular in the band since the previous album. Harmonies as both singers join together. This has a nice build in intensity even if it stays at a slower rhythm.

'The Gathering of Clouds' starts with the sounds of thunder and strings. It has a dramatic feel to it with a rumbling guitar and some interesting, contrasting vocals singing different lyrics. It flows into the next track 'The Lightening Song', which is headed by Douglas' voice. This one continues the same feeling until about the 3 minute mark where it explodes into a crashing and emotional climax.

Up to this point, the male lead vocals have been from Vincent Cavanaugh, but the next track 'Sunlight' is sung by Daniel Cavanaugh. His vocals are softer than his brother's, but that fits the mellow feeling of the song. This one, however, has a build somewhat similar to a Post Rock song, especially when it comes to chiming and repeating guitar chords in the heavy climax.

'The Storm Before the Calm' is the longest track on this album at over 9 minutes. This is the only track not written by Vincent as it is actually written by the band's drummer John Douglas. This one has a darker feel with a great intensity that builds in the verses and releases in the dramatic choruses. The feeling is more metallic and harsh, especially during the instrumental sections. There is a sudden release around 5 minutes and things get calm, as noted in the title. There is a build and vocals start again once again building in intensity. This track is very cinematic and emotional, and also an amazing progressive song.

'The Beginning and the End' is more driven by lyrics and piano. It is a mid tempo song that would work great as a single. Great, emotional vocals with another great build up in intensity and an impressive guitar solo before the ending. 'The Lost Child' has the Cavanaugh brothers sharing vocal leads. It starts out ambient with an echoing wordless vocal later joined by strings. A nice piano interlude begins and vocals eventually start. The harmonies evoke a dark feeling using minor 4th key counterpoint (known as the evil interval). As it builds in volume and intensity, the harmonies break out of this interval and become very emotional. Another beautiful piano-led interlude finishes the track off.

The last track is another one that approaches the 9 minute mark. 'Internal Landscapes' starts off with a spoken word section done by a guest artist speaking of a near-death experience. When the singing starts, it's Lee and Vincent sharing lead vocals, singing softly with a pensive feel. It gets more intense about 4 minutes in.

One thing apparent about this album is the amount of emotion but into the vocals where on the previous album, the feeling was more morose. This one is a brighter feel throughout, though most of the tracks are slow at first with a building intensity. This album has some very beautiful tracks, well done and well produced. The album has all the great traits of the last album, but with a more heartfelt attitude. Even after hearing it several times, I put it up there with the bands best, and it easily earns a place among the best progressive albums.

 We're Here Because We're Here by ANATHEMA album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.06 | 878 ratings

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We're Here Because We're Here
Anathema Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

4 stars So, with this album, we are up to Anathema's 8th full album release. They have come a long way from their black metal beginnings. This album is many times more positive and less morose than their previous releases, which tended to be quite dark, even if when they had separated from the heavy sound they started with. The songs now are much mellower, yet they are replete with emotion and passion.

The 3 Cavanaugh brothers are still present, as they have been most of the time through the band's history. Vincent and Daniel still share vocal duties, but they have added another vocalist in Lee Douglas as a full time member of the band. This is the main reason for the brighter feel of this album, but she is an excellent vocalist, so all is good. You will notice her providing harmony in most of the tracks, and with her past guest vocalist duties with the band, it only seems natural to hear her singing as a regular band member.

This album is so well orchestrated and produced. Steven Wilson, of course had a hand in mixing the album, which explains the clarity of every instrument and sound. Interestingly enough, the album does not take on the sound of a Wilson project so much, because of it's positive feel, where most of Wilson's projects tend to be dark. The feel of the tracks is expansive and full, with many places being almost orchestra-like. The keyboards stand out a lot more in the tracks, but don't worry, there are plenty of places where the guitars kick in making the impact of many of the tracks even that much more solid.

Now, with all of this amazing musicianship, there are weaknesses here that weren't as apparent in the previous album, and that is a tendency to get too poppy sounding towards the middle of the album. In addition to this, 'Presence' is an annoying spoken word track with organ supplying back up. Fortunately it is a short track.

Things do get better again after the weak middle however. You know everything is back on track when 'A Simple Mistake' starts playing, and there is a collective sigh of relief. So tracks 4, 5, and 6 might be weaker, they aren't so bad to ruin the album. 'A Simple Mistake' has the feel of one of Pink Floyd's better tracks with a guitar solo that is not only awesome, but very progressive too. And the amazing songs continue after this on through the final track. It's almost as if the band is closer to Symphonic Prog than it is Post Metal.

There is so much to love about this album, and I have always loved Anathema when they are at their most expressive, which happens many times in this album. The weak middle part of the album does bring it down a notch, but for top quality, emotional and passionate music, the rest of the album should not be missed simply because of that. Unfortunately, it takes away from what could have been a 5 star album. When it's at its best, this is still high quality emotional prog.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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