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Anathema

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Artist Listing: A - F G - R S - Z
Line-up:
Vincent Cavanagh - Guitars,Vocals
Daniel Cavanagh - Guitars, Vocals
John Douglas - Drums
Les Smith - Keyboards
Jamie Cavanagh - Bass
Duncan Patterson - Bass (up to 1998)
Darren White - vocals (1990- 1995)

"Liverpool's Anathema, started out in the early '90s as strictly a doom metal outfit, with the requisite growled vocals and the trademark muddy sound, but when original singer Darren White left the band in 1995, with guitarist Vincent Cavanagh taking the reins, Anathema started their slow journey into completely uncharted (and unexpected) territory. In fact, Anathema's metamorphosis over the past decade is one of the most remarkable band transformations in recent memory, as album after album has sounded more and more progressive and melodic, in no small part fueled by Cavanagh's superb singing voice. 2001's 'A Fine Day to Exit', aided by excellent songs like Release and Pressure, was an artistic breakthrough, as the band completely shed themselves of their goth roots, while still putting out powerful, brooding hard rock.
-- Adrien Begrand, popmatters.com

 Anathema Discography - Album / CD Reviews

1993: Serenades

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1995: The Silent Enigmaaudio

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1996: Eternity

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1998: Alternative 4audio

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***½ 1999: Judgement audio

"This time the music is a little less angry and eerily atmospheric than that of 'Alternative 4', but it is still sorrowful and full of great guitar playing. On Judgement, Anathema play their resonant arpeggio-based guitar licks with the usual impressive skill and Vincent's vocals are crystal clear, harmonizing flawlessly with the music. The mix is perfect and illustrates the band's tonal complexity: bringing the bass low end forward and maintaining the thick guitar and vocals as the lead instruments. This is a very emotional album that conjures up feelings from bittersweet sorrow to pure bemoaning sadness. Despite the darkness of the music, the record is kept from sounding bogged down and funereal due to the beautifully expressive guitar playing and the melodic strength of the band itself. Standout songs include the memorable intro Deep the vocally multi-layered Pitiless, the guitar instrumental Destiny Is Dead and the female-vocal backed Don't Look Too Far. Probably the best song on Judgement is Make It Right (F.F.S.) with its Eternity-era guitar and a refrain composed of gloomy symphonic power.
-- internetEd.com

***½ 2001: A Fine Day to Exitaudio

"Taken altogether this is a very sombre, subdued album, despite the odd frantic moment and sees the band once again refusing to conform to expectations and keeping the public and media guessing about their next move. While drawing on the style of their earlier disks, the sound is more stripped down and less riff-orientated. Acoustic guitar effects are used heavily and the clever use of keys and samples construct the soundscape over which the half spoken / half sung vocals from Vincent fit the mood perfectly. Whilst in tone and structure, this may have some similarities to recent Porcupine Tree output, these compositions are perhaps not as musically intricate as those of the Tree. Neither are they particularly emotionally compelling and the end result is to leave the listener with a sense of disappointment - as if something is missing. Not a bad album by any means, just not quite up to the standard of their previous couple of releases."
-- Charlie Farrell, Dutch Progressive Rock Page

**** 2003: A Natural Disasteraudio

"Anathema’s 'Natural Disaster' is yet another departure of style in comparison to their experimental album in 2001 'A Fine Day To Exit'. What I am hearing is a reaching back from whence they came, just a bit, to the metal sound and some of the textures of the previous album all combined to form an excellent all encompassing album that is bound to please many listeners. Their overall sound will continue to piss off those that want the black/death metal band they knew to return. After listening a gazillion times to this CD, I think it is definitely one of the better releases of 2004. Pulled Under At 2000 Meters Per Second explodes like a classic rendering from Dream Theater. It builds your anticipation with atmospheric keyboards then breaks through like a titanium/steel battering ram giving your senses and eardrums a major wakeup call… nothing like a bit of abruptness to shake you out of the mood the more languid sounds they paint lapse you into before swallowing you up with their big sound. The wall of sound, built with hard driving loud guitars and rhythm section that is to die for, pounds away until all five minutes and twenty-three seconds worth drives home with conviction. (...) I liked the flip-flopping back and forth of the musical moods, but I was disappointed at the same time that they didn’t let the horse out of the barn so to speak, which was peeking out and ready to run, but got pulled back in and tied up to the post. This band is on the brink of a major masterpiece, they are so close with this one. I think if they let go of the restraints next time out, it could be so brutally beautiful."
-- Keith Hannaleck, rockreview.co.uk

***¾ 2010: We're Here Because We're Here

Tracklisting: 1. Thin Air 2. Summernight Horizon 3. Dreaming Light 4. Everything 5. Angels Walk Among Us 6. Presence 7. A Simple Mistake 8. Get Off, Get Out 9. Universal 10. Hindsight

"Anathema is a band that has always suffered from the public's expectations. By changing their sound and style throughout this career, they've been criticized for either being too metal, too soft, too melancholic, not metal enough, too pop, not prog enough, too Radiohead and so on. This album won't be an exception. However, if you're open to contemporary rock and allow the passion of this music to engulf you, then you're in for a treat. Anathema's mission is not to fit in a genre box but to purge pure emotion through their music, whatever form that music takes: imposing doom metal, gothic prog or atmospheric rock as on their previous 2 albums. (...) The influences from modern alternative rock and post rock such as Radiohead and Sigur Ros are still the main source of inspiration, meaning we get outstretched and minimal compositions with a brooding atmosphere that grows to rousing climaxes. Needless to say this will not appeal to people who rate music by the number of notes played per second. The album starts very strongly with 3 brilliant songs. It then has a short dip with a couple of poppy songs of which Everything is the most disappointing. It's a track that has been available for download from Anathema's home site for more then 5 years and it had really lowered my expectations towards this album. The final album version is more focused then the demo but it remains a rather lame pop song similar to Porcupine Tree's Lazarus. Also Angels Walk Among Us is rather average. But with the album's highlight A Simple Mistake, we're all set for another string of gorgeous Anathema songs."
-- Bonnek, progarchives.com, 6/10

2012: Weather Systems

Tracklisting: 01. Untouchable, Part 1 02. Untouchable, Part 2 03. The Gathering Of The Clouds 04. Lightning Song 05. Sunlight 06. The Storm Before The Calm 07. The Beginning And The End 08. The Lost Child 09. Internal Landscapes

Release date: April 16, 2012
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Recommended Links:

The Official Anathema site
AnathemaBand: fan site
Similar/Related Artists:

My Dying Bride | Paradise Lost | Radiohead | Antimatter | Pink Floyd | Moonspell | The Wounded

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