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4.00 | 44 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 2010

Filed under Non-Metal


1. Thin Air (5:59)
2. Summernight Horizon (4:12)
3. Dreaming Light (5:19)
4. Everything (5:06)
5. Angels Walk Among Us (5:17)
6. Presence (2:58)
7. A Simple Mistake (8:14)
8. Get Off, Get Out (5:01)
9. Universal (7:19)
10. Hindsight (8:10)

Total Time: 60:26


- Lee Douglas / Vocals
- Vincent Cavanagh / Vocals & Guitars
- Daniel Cavanagh / Vocals & Guitars
- Jamie Cavanagh / Bass
- John Douglas / Drums
- Les Smith / Keyboards

- Ville Valo / vocals on "Angels Walk Among Us"

About this release

Label: Kscope Records
Release date: May 31, 2010

Thanks to Stooge for the addition and Vehemency for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

The Crow
We had to wait seven years for Anathema to come back... And they returned with one of their best albums!

Taking the deep and mature sound of the underrated A Natural Disaster, Anathema developed their sound a steep further with the help of the mixing of Steven Wilson, achieving not only their best sounding release to date, but also their most homogeneous in terms of songwriting and quality.

Thin Air opens We're Here Because We're Here energically, with beautiful lyrics and enough progressive moments to satisfy the most demanding fans of the band. The general ambient of this song is a less dark and melancholic the in previous albums, offering a surprising change in the band's direction, a lot more optimistic and bright. Just like the cover of the album!

Summer Night Horizon brings back the best moments of A Natural Disaster with mellow melodies but intense drums and a precious duet between Vincent and Lee, confirming that this album of 2003 was an advance of what the band would later do. Dreaming Light is even better, and a tremendous proof of how Vincent Cavanagh improved his voice through the years. Maybe the lyrics are a bit corny, but that's not so important while we are hearing the marvelous guitar and keyboard solo.

Everything was a single that we heard years before We're Here Because We're Here was released, and a great song despite its obvious Coldplay influences. It's also a very good act in live performances of the band. Angels Walk Among Us is my favorite song of the album. Another sentimental lyrics with splendid guitar melodies in the background. Prodigious!

Presence is musically a follow up of the previous track, but it contains some kind of philosophical speech in consonance with the mood of the album. A Simple Mistake is a bit more melancholic, a bit in the vein of Judgement but without reaching the best moment of this album. A good track nevertheless, with strong guitars towards the end.

Get Off Get Out is the most experimental moment of the album, and also one of its lowest moment. Is not a bad song, just anodyne? Luckily Universal is a better. A orchestral song with beautiful singing from Vincent and a very powerful second half. This should have been the ending of the album, because Hindsight is just pleasant, but not brilliant. And also a bit too long, making a good second half of the album, but not so outstanding as the first five songs.

Conclusion: despite its weak moments, We're Here Because We're Here is a very good Anathema album. Sometimes even excellent. It introduced a brighter and more optimistic stage for the band, which would encounter an excellent follow-up on Weather Systems.

It has also a very competent production and mixing (the hand of Steve Wilson is there) and even the sometimes showy lyrics can't ruin the excellent songwriting that the band achieved during its almost seven years without releasing an album.

Best Tacks: Thin Air, Summer Night Horizon, Dreaming Light, Everything, Angels Walk Among Us.

My rating: ****

This review was originally written for
Every so often I decide to give late-period Anathema another chance, reasoning that the high regard they are held in by so many prog fans must have some justification. Every time I come away mystified. To give them credit on We're Here Because We're Here, they at least ease off a little on the "echoing telephone" vocal effect so beloved by Pink Floyd imitators everywhere; it's still here and still overused, but it's somewhat quieter and less blatant this time. However, the musical package as a whole consists of slick, smooth and absolutely unthreatening melodic rock. If you like your prog to lack bite or an edge, if you prefer your rock music completely emasculated and unchallenging, if you really don't want your Floyd-influenced ex-metal prog albums to surprise you in any way, I guess We're Here Because We Here more than merits the good reviews it's received. For my part, though, this just doesn't measure up.
It's almost like they were supposed to create this style of music. I say that because they do it so incredibly well. This is a long way from their early Death Metal days, heck it's a long way from the doomy style of their previous five records. And while we still get some melancholy in their music it's like the light has chased away the darkness that dominated their sound. I swear that this might be the most emotional inducing album i own. I can't explain why, it just is. This was mixed by Steven Wilson and Dave Stewart helps with the string arrangements. There are a couple of tracks that standout from the rest as far as style goes, and that's the John Douglas composed "Get Off, Get Out" which almost brings the FOO FIGHTERS to mind. And "A Simple Mistake" that vocally brings the "Damnation" album by OPETH to mind. Still it's "Angels Walk Among Us" which is like a continuation of "One Last Goodbye" from "Judgement" that brings out so much emotion. Same with "Dreaming Light" but there are so many others as well. It feels weird giving this 5 stars on a Metal site but i can't give this one anything less. Less darkness but even more emotion.
"We're Here Because We're Here", the title that was inspired by the Allied song of the World War 1, is the eight album of Anathema and my first experience with the band. Probably not a good start since they have had a major shift in their musical style but judging from many positive reviews, I decided to give this a shot. Produced by Porcupine Tree's Wilson, I'm expecting his influences within their music, and at a glance, this album is a mix of progressive rock, contemporary alternative rock, and atmospheric/post rock style. If I need to pick four popular bands to describe this mix, I'll pick Coldplay, Muse, Pink Floyd, and Porcupine Tree itself.

Couple of good starters makes a good impression. "Thin Air" with a far-sounding vocal backed by a huge background keyboard, gives more room for the rhythm section and "Summer Night Horizon" was driven by piano with a gloomy nuance but topped with a melodic chorus. "Dreaming Light" is a sentimental piano ballad with a touching composition and a fantastic guitar solos, I love this song. "Angels Walk Among Us" featured Ville Valo from H.I.M, a slowtempo approach with sustained guitar sound on the background and the passionate vocal flowing on the stream of chilling song, another strong tune. "A Simple Mistake" burst out with a dreamy keyboard and floating voice, best to be played with lights out and couple of candles burning.

"Everything" is another piano-driven midtempo song, a pretty straight forward composition and also a good one. "Presence" started with a 1.4 minutes speech before the music starts pouring in, a unique style but I think will be better if the spoken part was shorter. "Get Off Get Out" is my least pick of the album, I found this song is too noisy and like on a narrow passage, the song just circling around pointless and bored me quickly.

In my opinion, this album depends heavily on the mood and not an everyday music. Majority of the songs are in depressive stance, too many pianos, too many downtempo. If only they put some more uptempo songs, I will like this better, but maybe that's not the point and intention of the album. But still, this is good.
Phonebook Eater
Anathema, like in "A Natural Disaster" completely abandon the Heavy and Doom Metal riffs, leaving place for delicate, haunting melodies, creating an excellent album, "We're Here Because We're Here", a hymn to peace and positive existentialism.

Just recently I saw this band live, and they performed the full album, from start to finish, so I can confirm that the album is even better live. All the songs perfectly flow one to another, making it really enjoyable and not too hard to listen. We find here songs that seem to be illuminated by divinity, songs that are so light but fragile at the same time, even though some moments are a little shacked by the sublime vocals of both Vincent Cavanagh and Lee Douglas, so sometimes the atmosphere is agitated. But most of the time, everything seems so ethereal and unreal, especially in the second part of the album, which is also the most experimental one, as as well as the weakest one. Basically, this is an album divided in two parts; the first one, more enjoyable, where the experimentation is weaker but the melodies are a lot more haunting, being this way a semi Alternative Rock album. The other half is the more Progressive one, with massive experimentation but weaker melodies.

As a conclusion, this album is definitely a must listen to if you enjoy both Prog and Alt Rock. An excellent addiction to your music collection.
Conor Fynes
'We're Here Because We're Here' - Anathema (8/10)

Each year, there is always a small handful of albums that I really anticipate, and count down the days until they are released. 2009 had me with the new Dream Theater and Porcupine Tree albums that came out, and 2010 presented me with months of eager excitement for the moment I would finally get my hands on a copy of this latest Anathema record. Hearing a few stunning samples from the album beforehand only intensified the hype for me, and all I could do is wait until the day 'We're Here Because We're Here' arrived in the mail.

'We're Here Because We're Here' (previously named 'Horizons' until a few months before release) might seem like a redundant, even stupid name for an album, but looking deeper into the title alone shows a level of deepness which reflects the rest of the album. Despite being silly at first glance, the title suggests a nihilistic (or possibly humanistic) point of view; that we exist simply for the sake of existing, and that there is no underlying meaning to life. To this extent, it is a very fitting title for an album that enjoys a recurring theme of mortality and life itself.

After having listened to it, I really found myself torn in terms of what to think of it. On one hand, it certainly did not live up to my expectations of being 'the instant classic' I sought it out to be, but there really was some beautiful music here that made it completely worth the purchase. The songs I had sampled were still as moving as ever, and there was some great fresh material to delve into as well. However, the second half of the record seemed to start taking a bit of a dive in quality as the album reached the last two or three tracks. This fact is almost tragic, because had the last fifteen or so minutes of the album been occupied with something as engaging and moving as the rest of it, 'We're Here Because We're Here' would be Anathema's definitive, even 'perfect' work of art they were meant to make.

Starting out with the atmospheric track 'Thin Air,' things take a little while to heat up but the track nails down it's sense of atmosphere very well. Although using repetition alot, things still feel fresh by the end of the song and it's a good, lucid track to bring things into the mix, although definitely not my favourite.

Things start really getting going with the second track 'Summerlight Horizon,' which is arguably the heaviest track on the album, despite being piano driven. Opening up with a dark, heavy piano motif, some metal-styled drumming erupts and a song in the typically dark style of Anathema is in full swing. This song really shines though for it's heavy use of vocal harmonies, which are of real highlight in the album. Although the songwriting itself is enough to carry most of the album along beautifully, producer Steven Wilson has really actualized Anathema's vocal potential, and made the music ring out even more as a result.

Next up is possibly my favourite song off of the album, and possibly even my favourite tune ever written by the band, 'Dreaming Light.' Despite sounding a little bit in the vein of Coldplay, the song shows a side of Anathema that has rarely been shown until this album; a sense of optimism. While 'happy-sounding' tunes have a bad reputation with me for seeming superficial and emotionally hollow, 'Dreaming Light' takes the typical melancholic feel of the band's music and spices it up with the all-so elusive motif of hope. Reaching a climax of tremolo-plucked guitar beauty, atmosphere and harmony all around, my heart almost dropped when I first heard this. This is definitely not the sort of track you would expect coming from a metal band, but it's stunning in any context.

The next two songs were the ones I heard even a year before the album was released. Strangely enough, the versions of 'Everything' and 'Angels Walk Among Us' that I heard without Wilson's production, I enjoyed more. The musicianship seemed more organic and vibrant, even though things are still beautiful as ever here. 'Everything' takes Anathema's newfound spirit of hope to new heights creating a song that has almost no sense of despair whatsoever; only forward thinking cheer. Don't let the description turn you off however, it's executed brilliantly and the vocal harmonies shine through once again. Ville Valo of the alternative rock band HIM does guest vocals for the song 'Angels Walk Among Us.' While red flags definitely poked up a bit when I heard this, his voice does fit the music well, and even bears a stunning resemblance to Vincent Cavanagh's tenor voice itself.

After the beautiful crescendos and melodic peaks of 'Angels Walk Among Us,' the album begins to take a bit of an unsettling slip from the 'absolutely stunning' to 'above average' to relative mediocrity. 'Presence' is an extension of the previous track, and has some bluesy soloing and organ work while a voiceover speaks on top. While the dialogue helps tie the recurring subject of mortality less abstractly into the music, I sort of wish I could turn off the dialogue after listening to it once or twice, so I could enjoy the calming ambience without the annoyance.

'A Simple Mistake' is a good song, but it certainly takes it's time to get to the good part, and the melodies aren't as moving as they were earlier on. Using alot of the same textures as were used on 'Thin Air' except with a much more sombre feel. Despite being less engaging and satisfying than the better tracks on the album, it works itself up to a really powerful climax, giving one last section of aural perfection before 'We're Here' falls into a state of complacent mediocrity.

'Get Off, Get Out' is a decent song, but it really doesn't match up to anything previously played on the album. It reminds me alot of 'Panic' from the album 'A Fine Day To Exit.' While variety is nice, it's very fast-paced compared to the two songs it sits betweens, so it fits in a bit awkwardly. It doesn't sit quite right with me, but it's more or less a good track.

The last two songs are where I started to really get disappointed. 'Universal' is the most down- tempo song on the record, and while it has some very nice string section work going on (reminiscent of some of the stuff that Muse has done) and builds up rather well, some of that 'hopefulness' from the earlier tracks would do well to rub off on this one. While the first few minutes aren't much to talk about, 'Universal' builds up once a classically influenced piano melody starts playing and a buildup in the post-rock vein starts off. Before you know it, the orchestral string section is in full blast, making the music sound like something out of an epic film score. In fact, had this been the last song on the album, it would have been all the more powerful and intense to behold. However, the band made the problem of throwing an extra track in, robbing the effective climax of 'Universal' of it's rightful place as the finale.

'Hindsight' is pleasant enough, but it feels more like a wandering afterthought that the grand conclusion that an album of this calibre seems to warrant. It feels like Anathema wanted to recreate the brilliant conclusion of their previous album, 'A Natural Disaster' with this closer. However, 'Hindsight' proves to be alot less effective and makes for a bit of a sour note to what was otherwise a brilliant album.

'We're Here Because We're Here' was an album that disappoints in sections, but is phenomenal in others. A mixed bag of sorts, things range from being 'mediocre' to being some of the best music my ears have ever been graced with. While I am really tempted to call this a masterpiece, the few things that went wrong with the album seem to hurt what could have otherwise been a classic in the art rock scene for years to come. Despite it's flaws however, Anathema still stand as being one of the most emotive bands out there in the music scene, and with 'We're Here Because We're Here,' they have established yet another chapter of beautiful music that will get under your skin if you let it do so.

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