ANATHEMA
Doom Metal • United Kingdom

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Anathema is an English band based in the city of Liverpool, associated with "atmospheric" rock, as well as death/doom metal from their debut days.

Current Members Vincent Cavanagh - Lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar (1990-present) Daniel Cavanagh - Lead guitar, vocals (1990-2002, 2003-present) (Lid, Antimatter, Leafblade) Jamie Cavanagh - Bass (1990-1991, 2001-present) Les Smith - Keyboards (2000-present) (ex-Cradle of Filth, Antimatter, Ship of Fools) John Douglas - Drums (1990-1997, 1998-present) Lee Douglas - Vocals (2000-present)

Anathema formed in 1990 as a doom metal band, initially under the name 'Pagan Angel'. In November of that year, the band recorded their first demo, entitled An Iliad of Woes. This demo caught the attention of several bands from the English metal scene, allowing Anathema to play gigs with bands like Bolt Thrower and Paradise Lost. At the beginning of 1991, the band adopted its current name, and gained a lot of attention
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Universal [Blu-ray]Universal [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray
Kscope 2013
Blu-ray$12.16
$14.45 (used)
We're Here Because We're HereWe're Here Because We're Here
The End Records 2011
Audio CD$8.97
$11.82 (used)
Weather SystemsWeather Systems
The End Records 2012
Audio CD$7.15
$9.98 (used)
Falling DeeperFalling Deeper
KSCOPE 2011
Audio CD$4.41
$5.49 (used)
Alternative 4Alternative 4
Remastered · Extra tracks
Peaceville UK 2004
Audio CD$4.73
$4.58 (used)
Natural DisasterNatural Disaster
Import
Sony UK 2006
Audio CD$4.50
$5.25 (used)
UniversalUniversal
Kscope 2013
Audio CD$13.89
$16.43 (used)
JudgementJudgement
Import
Sony Bmg Europe 2008
Audio CD$4.49
$8.76 (used)
Silent EnigmaSilent Enigma
Remastered · Special Edition
Peaceville UK 2008
Audio CD$10.80
$7.45 (used)
HindsightHindsight
Snapper Music Group 2008
Audio CD$7.83
$15.97 (used)
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ANATHEMA Discography

ANATHEMA albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 2.47 | 15 ratings
Serenades
Doom Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 2.94 | 18 ratings
The Silent Enigma
Doom Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.05 | 15 ratings
Eternity
Doom Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.93 | 35 ratings
Alternative 4
Doom Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 3.80 | 35 ratings
Judgement
Doom Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 3.75 | 22 ratings
A Fine Day to Exit
Doom Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 24 ratings
A Natural Disaster
Doom Metal 2003
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 10 ratings
Hindsight
Doom Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 3.97 | 32 ratings
We're Here Because We're Here
Doom Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 4.08 | 12 ratings
Falling Deeper
Doom Metal 2011
.. Album Cover 4.03 | 24 ratings
Weather Systems
Doom Metal 2012

ANATHEMA EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.09 | 7 ratings
The Crestfallen EP
Doom Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 2.92 | 10 ratings
Pentecost III
Doom Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Alternative Future e.p.
Doom Metal 1998

ANATHEMA live albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Untouchable
Doom Metal 2012

ANATHEMA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
An Iliad of Woes
Doom Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
All Faith Is Lost
Doom Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Sweet Suffering
Doom Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demos '97
Doom Metal 1997

ANATHEMA boxset & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Resonance
Doom Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Resonance 2
Doom Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Pentecost III / Crestfallen
Doom Metal 2004

ANATHEMA singles (8)

.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
They Die / Crestfallen
Doom Metal 1992
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
We Are the Bible
Doom Metal 1994
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Make it Right
Doom Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Deep
Doom Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pressure
Doom Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unchained (Tales of the Unexpected)/Flying
Doom Metal 2008
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Everything
Doom Metal 2010
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dreaming Light
Doom Metal 2011

ANATHEMA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Vision of a Dying Embrace
Doom Metal 1997
.. Album Cover
4.50 | 1 ratings
Were You There?
Doom Metal 2004
.. Album Cover
3.77 | 5 ratings
A Moment in Time
Doom Metal 2006
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Universal
Doom Metal 2013

ANATHEMA Reviews

ANATHEMA Weather Systems

Album · 2012 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Kingcrimsonprog
Anathema are a British modern Progressive Rock band, who started their career as a Death-Doom band in the early nineties. Their 2012 album Weather Systems was my entry point to the band, and since its release I have constantly listened to it, over and over, absorbing more and more of its obvious entertainment factor and its hidden depths. It got me hooked on the band and started me off getting more of their albums.

The record starts off with the fantastic ‘Untouchable’ which is an incredibly powerful and interesting track that constantly builds up, its got brilliant evocative lyrics and an emotionally charged mixture of male and female vocals. This is followed by the bittersweet piano driven ‘Untouchable Prt 2.’ From then on the album goes through a range of different moods and atmospheres, from light to dark, happy to sad. There’s strings, spoken word sections, acoustic sounds, electronicy glitching and more, and its all topped off with deep intriguing lyrics and a crystal clear production job.

Highlights include the aforementioned Untouchables as well as the ‘Sunlight’ and ‘The Beginning And The End’ although to be fair there is absolutely no filler, the record is a strong journey from beginning to end. There are some naysayers to the album out there, most of whom are either caught out by an album they expected to be heavy but wasn’t, or are fans of the band’s early days and don’t like the new direction. I can see how very different this is to anything the band did at the start of their career, and if you came in expecting something that sounds like early My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost then it may be disappointing, as there is nothing in the way of Death or Doom on offer here at all, but this is an extremely enjoyable, masterfully crafted modern Progressive Rock album, full of interesting, inventive tracks that flows really well as an album and that just grows and grows with every listen.

If you are a fan of bands like Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Tool, Rishloo, Amplifier or even The Mars Volta, Coheed & Cambria or Dream Theater, you may at least want to check this album out. Overall; Since I first heard it, I’ve grown extremely fond of this record, its got some of my favourite ever songs on it and I highly, highly recommend it, if you think you might like it.

ANATHEMA We're Here Because We're Here

Album · 2010 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
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.

ANATHEMA Weather Systems

Album · 2012 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Weather Systems" is the 11th full-length studio album by UK progressive/alternative rock/metal act Anathema. The album was released through Kscope Music in April 2012.

The music on the album is atmospheric and semi-progressive rock with very few nods toward metal. The tracks are generally slow building, going from mellow beautiful sections into grand climaxes. A release effect that the band master to perfection. The atmosphere is melancholic but not in a dark depressive fashion. There is a rare uplifting spirit in the music despite it´s generally melancholic nature. Male and female vocals compliment each other throughout the album and as a consequence the music vocal part of the is varied.

Add to that a warm and organic sound production and tracks that have emotional impact and "Weather Systems" comes off as a consistent and entertaining release. Tracks like the opening duo of "Untouchable Part 1" and "Untouchable Part 2", the darker edged "The Storm Before The Calm" and "The Lost Child" are simply breath takingly beautiful.

To be honest I wasn´t too impressed by "Weather Systems" upon my initial listen. I felt the music was a bit too sugar coated and lacked bite. After a couple of spins I´ve changed my view on the music though. I´ve been captivated by the emotional depth of the delivery, the simple yet intriguing compositions and the beautiful melodies. This is a matter of getting much out of little. You don´t always need to compose music with a million riffs and sections to entertain, and "Weather Systems" is a perfect example of that. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

ANATHEMA Weather Systems

Album · 2012 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Conor Fynes
'Weather Systems' - Anathema (9/10)

Going back around this time two years ago, I remember first listening to ANATHEMA's 'We're Here Because We're Here' and finding myself surprised. It wasn't that it was some great leap of quality that startled me- in fact, I had loved their previous album 'A Natural Disaster'. Where ANATHEMA caught me off guard was the tone, or 'mood' of the music. In the several year cooldown period between their seventh and eighth records, Anathema had inverted their trademark dreariness for something that sounded much more fresh than it admittedly should have; a sense of optimism. This more harmonious, hope-filled approach is continued on 'Weather Systems'. Like all great sequels, this one builds upon the previous work's strengths in every way, solving many of the last record's problems as a result. In the end, 'Weather Systems' does not stand only as a successful maturation of the style cultivated on 'We're Here Because We're Here', but one of the brightest moments this band has ever experienced.

Like 'We're Here Because We're Here', the resurrected ANATHEMA's sound is accessible, but in more of an ambient, rather than a 'pop' sense. To elaborate on this, the music enjoys rich orchestrations and ambitious structure, yet ultimately demands little from the listener, save for an openness to emotional suggestion. In truth, by progressive rock standards, the compositions are straightforward, but complexity has never been an aim for ANATHEMA. 'Weather Systems' is an album that would be nothing without its melody and vast atmosphere, and both are supplied in overwhelming quality.

Christer-André Cederberg gives ANATHEMA their greatest production job yet, correcting the somewhat treble-centric Steven Wilson mix of the last. The instrumentation benefits the most from the production quality, with many subtleties in the mix that won't get noticed by the average earphone or computer speaker set. Although ANATHEMA have all but absolved themselves of their metal leanings at this point, the music is far from mellow, often with many things going on at once. Somehow though, ANATHEMA never demand anything of the listener, and no matter how lush the string section or vocal harmonies get, 'Weather Systems' remains an album that instantly lets the listener fly.

It takes barely a minute into the gorgeous first segment of 'Untouchable' to know what 'Weather Systems' is all about. The album takes no time to get going, quickly pulling in a listener with a slick acoustic fingerpicking idea, courtesy of guitarist Danny Cavanagh. Vincent Cavanagh's vocals are soft at first, but as the rest of the band comes into play, a cinematic intensity is built until the point where it's damned near impossible to resist the emotional power of it. Although the orchestration is at times mindboggling, the true highlight of ANATHEMA remains the beautiful vocal work and accompanying melodies. In a nearly hyperbolic contrast from the doom-n-gloom 'Alternative 4' and earlier, there is nary a dreary word sung by any of the band's three vocalists. More than ever before, ANATHEMA focus in on harmonies in the vocals, and it works perfectly with the equally vast instrumentation. On a less positive note, the lyrics are not particularly engaging, generally falling upon credos of optimistic imagery and the recurring motif of nature, as reflected by the album's title. For what it's worth, the lyrics do work for the soaring sound of the band, and when they don't, it's not enough to detract from the rich atmosphere the rest of the music has created.

'The Gathering of the Clouds' continues where 'Untouchable' left off, without much of a noticeable gap between the two. Comparing natural imagery to a state of mind, ANATHEMA veer the album down a more melancholic route, all the while putting an even greater emphasis on vocal harmony and counterpoint. Within three minutes, ANATHEMA have worked enough orchestrations into the song that they could have fed a song twice its length. 'Lightening Song' plays on the momentum, but reins the intensity in a little, leaving it to Lee Douglas' gorgeous voice to reclaim the feeling of serenity. Lodged in the middle of the album, 'Sunlight' is arguably the least memorable track on the album, keeping the mood and orchestrations consistent and enjoyable, yet failing to add any new surprises to the already-magnificent string of songs so far.

Besides the five minute, 'single-worthy' tune 'The Beginning And The End', the second half of 'Weather Systems' is left up to longer-form compositions. Having found myself pretty damned disappointed by the so-called 'epics' on 'We're Here Because We're Here', I had my apprehensions when I got to this point in the album the first time around, and while 'The Storm Before The Calm' does not enjoy the same stirring melodies as those that came before, the atmosphere and sonic beauty are just as strong and beautiful. 'The Storm Before The Calm' does feel as if it could use a minute's shortening, but in fairness, the piece may have been best cut in two, with the first track comprising the trance-like rhythm built up over the course of five minutes, and the second devoted to the refreshing return-to- form ANATHEMA use to wrap up the piece.

'The Beginning and the End' sees 'Weather Systems' following an increasingly dark path, with one of the band's most memorable guitar ideas driving the song along. Although the song is surprisingly based around a single idea, it never feels tired, constantly building up in intensity until its climax. Finally, 'Weather Systems' arrives at my absolute favourite track off the album. Although at least one person I have talked to about the album has cited it as one of their least favourite tracks, 'The Lost Child' holds some of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard. The piano plays softly and simply, and the introspective melancholy is reminiscent of the same dreary atmosphere Radiohead often evokes. The string section that has been so far lodged in the background is thrust to the forefront, and by the piece's devastating zenith around the five minute mark, there's little to do but sit in emotional shock and awe. Admittedly, the climax's dramatic beauty is offset a bit by the vocals milking the repetition of the words 'save me' towards the end (when you listen, you'll understand), but it's an easy flaw to look past in light of the rest of 'The Lost Child's quivering beauty.

'Internal Landscapes' ends what I consider to be the album of the year thus far on a somewhat mixed note. Although the pleasant ambiance ultimately builds up into a song, it feels as if 'Weather Systems' may have been better with the same concise melodic brilliance that defined the early half of the album. Instead, the first few minutes plod softly along, with some spoken word sample concerning life-after-death and redemption playing overtop. Although the rock-centric meat of 'Internal Landscapes' offers 'Weather Systems' a just and powerful ending, the sparse moments of 'Internal Landscapes' where so little is happening is the only time I would daresay I feel bored when listening to the album. Normally, this less-than-climactic finale would rob an album of being called a masterpiece, and while 'Weather Systems' doesn't see ANATHEMA quite reaching an inhuman perfection with their music, the significant proportion where the music does become inhumanly perfect is reason enough to give it the highest recommendation. Although ANATHEMA do not challenge the listener with this music, they excel at doing what music is most meant to do; evoke emotion. It's easy to say that music is emotional, but when listening to an album can change someone's mood so profoundly, it's reason enough to call it something special.

ANATHEMA Weather Systems

Album · 2012 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sinkadotentree
ANATHEMA continue in the same style as their "We're Here Because We're Here" record but the emotion of that particular album is scaled way back here. This is still a good record but they are really close to slipping down a slope in my opinion. It will be interesting to hear how the next one sounds. I did find this one to be a grower. Dave Stewart is back arranging the string sections and Jamie Cavanagh plays bass on one track. "Internal Landscapes" is interesting with this guy talking about his near death experience. Lots of atmosphere and emotion later in this one. This is probably closer to 4 stars but on a Metal site 3.5 stars seems appropriate.

ANATHEMA Movies Reviews

ANATHEMA A Moment in Time

Movie · 2006 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Conor Fynes
'A Moment In Time' - Anathema (5/10)

First off, might I say that the rating for this work is not based on the music itself. 'A Moment In Time' is being rated here for what it is; a piece of visual media. The songs themselves are amazing, and have been commended as such on other reviews. As far as being a vessel for such beautiful music however, this DVD really comes up short. There are so many errors that make it a sloppy creation, that could have been avoided and corrected had extra care been given.

As far as the musical arrangement goes, things are really good. As well as the band performing, there is a string quartet that plays throughout, as well as a guest appearance from a talented female vocalist. The vocal passion I generally expect from Vincent Cavanagh is a bit lacking here, but that can be forgiven. There's a nice setup here, a beautiful selection of songs, so what could go wrong?

Throughout watching 'A Moment In Time,' I find myself increasingly agitated over the camera work. The camera is fixated on the vocalist, and fails to give a visual mention to either the bass player or rhythm guitarist almost at all!

Another issue is the recording of the sound. For example, during the climax of 'Empty,' the vocals drown out completely for a few seconds. For a band that's had such a high standard of musical quality, my jaw dropped at how they could ever let a DVD release come out to the general public with that sort of negligence.

Despite it's flaws and failure as a professional DVD release however, being an Anathema fan; it's hard to not at least find some enjoyment in it, and there's an CD counterpart included as well! Two stars.

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