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ANATHEMA - A Fine Day to Exit cover
3.72 | 37 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 2001

Filed under Non-Metal


1. Pressure (6:44)
2. Release (5:47)
3. Looking Outside Inside (6:23)
4. Leave No Trace (4:45)
5. Underworld (4:09)
6. Barriers (5:45)
7. Panic (3:30)
8. A Fine Day to Exit (6:49)
9. Temporary Peace / In the Dog's House (18:26)

Total Time: 62:21


Vincent Cavanagh – Vocals, guitar
Danny Cavanagh – Guitar, keyboards, background vocals
Les Smith – Keyboards, programming
Dave Pybus – Bass
John Douglas – Drums

Additional vocals by Lee Douglas

About this release

Released by Music for nations on October 1st,2001.

There is a hidden track (2:59) after "Temporary Peace" (only on the CD version,
the 12" version just fades out after Temporary Peace).

Nick Griffiths - Engineer, Producer
Travis Smith - Engineer
Wil Bartle - Assistant Engineer
Colin Richardson - Mixing

re-released on 180 grams double vinyl by Peaceville Records in 2011, both
limited to 2000 copies

Thanks to Prog Geo, adg211288 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

The Crow
Another step further in the surprising evolution of this wonderful british band!

"A Fine Day to Exit", of course has nothing to do with the first doom metal Anathema albums... And It's also far away from the gothic and enchanting "Alternative 4". Maybe it's a bit similar to the previous "Judgement", but less acoustic and with a more alternative feeling, taking elements of bands like Radiohead... Maybe it can be difficult to accept this change, but after a few listenings, it's ovious that the band did not lost any quality in this transformation progress.

The album opens wonderfully with Pressure, where we can notice that this is obviously still Anathema, but with a different orientation... Nevetheless, through the album we can find some tracks in a similar style of previous works, like Leave no Trace, in the best "Judgement" vein, and Underworld, wich reminds me to the hardest parts of the same album. Songs like Looking outside Inside and Panic are more experimental, and others like A Fine day to Exit, Barriers, along with the named Pressure, help to configure this renewed Anathema orientation.

Maybe I miss some of the old Duncan Patterson's bass lines, and the genuine melancholy of "Alternative 4" and "Judgement", but "A Fine Day to Exit" shows that the last thing that the brothers Cavanagh want, is to repeat themselves. And they achieved their intention, because "A Fine Day to Exit" is different of the rest of their albums, but it sitll has the typical elements that make this band so special, and recognisable.

Best tracks: Pressure (I really love the chorus...), Release (great acoustic intro, and marvellous electric guitar melodies... One of the album's little classics), Leave no Trace (maybe the best track here), A Fine day to Exit (the most melancholic song, and it's a perfect example of the departure with the previous Anathema albums...) and Temporary Peace (great ending... And another marvellous chorus)

Conclusion: If you are waiting of another "Alternative 4", or a new "Judgement", then you'll be dissapointed with "A Fine day to Exit"... Because it's a definitive departure from the more gothic style, a departure that we could anticipate in "Judgement", and he is fully stablished. It has a more alternative rock orientation, and more variated, and it opens a new and proggier way for the band that was continued in "A Natural Disaster". Luckily, this album is only a little step under the quality of the previous two albums, and if you did not like this gothic and depresive style, then maybe you'll find a satisfying experience in "A Fine Day to Exit". Excellent!

My rating: ****

This review was originally written for
"A Fine Day To Exit" is the third incredible release by ANATHEMA in a row. This is a concept album about a man who has come to the conclusion that the only way out is suicide. Hence the title "A Fine Day To Exit". Of course the cover art gives the impression that he has drowned himself but on the final track we hear our subject walking away from the water muttering to himself like he's lost his mind. Actually the part where he yells "What about cats, what about dogs, what about chickens !" was done by drummer John Douglas when he was out hiking one day with his tape recorder shouting random things. I've never been big on concept albums but this one is killer simply because the songs are all so amazing. That final track though called "Temporary Peace" is heart-breakingly beautiful early on with the sound of waves in the background. The Doom style is now gone but the next album will drag us back into that river of melancholy.
This type of prog has slowly started to come in to fashion, ever since Porcupine Tree's popularity seemed to ensue. Anathema, originally a death metal doom band, decided to ditch the growling and go for a more experimental and alternative sound.

I think these guys are at the head of true British modern prog (along with Porcupine Tree & The Pineapple Thief), because they just can't make a bad album. I never think they have made an extraordinary album, but they sure have made something special everytime, this album being one of them.

I think the artwork says it all, I don't know what it says, or what the music itself says, but it does say something pretty darn good.

1. Pressure ? Reminds me of Planet Telex (first song on Radiohead's The Bends) Great intro for an album. Great chorus. 10/10

2. Release - Love the Pure Reason Revolution vibe to the song. Great build up throughout. 10/10

3. Looking Outside Inside - Got some nice poppy influences and some great instrumental work. 8/10

4. Leave No Trace - Great chorus. The acoustic playing reminds me of Opeth. 9/10

5. Underworld - Sounds like if Porcupine Tree could still make those amazing chorus' like they used to. Best song on the album. 10/10

6. Barriers - These guys seem to draw their strength from songs like these. Dreamy and soothing. 9/10

7. Panic - I like the punky & frantic feel to the song. Reminds me of Trembling Willows by Pure Reason Revolution. 9/10

8. A Fine Day To Exit - Full of post metal build ups and atmospheres. A bit samey to be honest. 7/10

9. Temporary Peace - Great ending. The vocal are amazing. Very soothing. Simple, but wonderful. And then we fade out with waves. 10/10

CONCLUSION: Not a masterpiece, but a damn good album.

Phonebook Eater
Anathema in every album search for a different sound, with "A Fine Day To Exit" they try to combine Pink Floyd with Radiohead and alt rock in general.

I initially overrated this, I thought it was going to be a masterpiece. It turns up it's still a great album, full of surprising and appealing moments, some fantastic songs, satisfying musicianship. It also is one of my favorite albums of this band. Like any album, it does have some weak songs and moments: "Temporary Peace" is a very dull song, and I can't see to many good qualities, except mabe the relaxing sound of waves in the background. Also some other tracks are kind of forgettable and not so appealing. But enough for all the bad qualities!

The first three songs of the album are absolutely amazing: "Pressure" has a simple but great and catchy melody, "Release" is one of the most powerful and deep songs of the band, and "Looking Inside Outside" seems like it could come out of "Alternative 4" Not to forget "Panic", a good concert song, and a great piece. The title track is also one of the band's most unappreciated gems, very powerful indeed.

There is, even though not as highlighted and obvious as in their previous efforts, always an atmosphere of calm despair, a beautiful hymn to man's darkest thoughts and fears, narrated with such mellowness that it blows my mind all the time.

In conclusion, a fine album, very enjoyable and pleasant, an excellent addiction to anyone who loves prog metal or doom metal.
Conor Fynes
'A Fine Day To Exit' - Anathema (7/10)

In releasing another album, another evolution occurs. This can be said for almost every Anathema release, but 'A Fine Day To Exit' signifies the end of the doom phase for Anathema, a phase that (to this point) encompasses much of the band's history. 'Eternity' showed the band beginning to adopt 'post metal' into their mix; and this fine album shows yet another development in the bands sound; losing the metal for a more mellow and down-to-earth approach.

What used to be the band that innovated one of the most grim genres on the planet has now changed into something that I'm sure even the 'indie' kids could now appreciate. 'A Fine Day To Exit' is by no means a commercial album; but it does have alot more of an accesible sound than even the predecessor 'Judgement' had. What we have here are songs that resonate a warm but haunting art-rock sound.

As far as the songs themselves go, many of the songs are fantastic, with there being only a few moments of exception ('Panic' and 'Looking Outside Inside' both do very little for me.) Still, the band has seen better days. 'A Fine Day To Exit' has not the paralyzing moments of inspiration that 'Judgement' had, nor the overall album cohesion of 'A Natural Disaster' but it's a fine album for those looking for a good, melancholic art-rock album to get into, and a fitting gateway for one of the most emotive bands out there.

A perfect example of a four star album.

Members reviews

Peacock Feather
With that creative vector that Anathema has formed, it was hard to guess which way the band would move on the next release. And so it turned out that the Liverpudlians decided to try to experiment not only with the sound, but also with the format of the material, because they planned to make a concept album, the first in their career. The essence of the concept is the progressive movement of the lyrical hero down the spiral (almost like in Trent Reznor's 1994 masterpiece The Downward Spiral) straight to suicide. Sounds intriguing, doesn't it?

However, do not rely on chewing the meaning and plot from the mouth of Vinnie or anyone else from the group - the canvas of Anathema is cut into unequal pieces, which, with all the desire and perseverance of the listener, will not reveal the true storyline. And band members themselves, it seems, did not fully understand exactly how and in what order to listen to the compositions they wrote; in the 2015 remaster, the intro of A Fine Day, which was thrown out of the original release, is added, which resembles Panic in its nervousness and despair, and the original songs are mixed in a radically different order (for example, the same Panic and the Pressure opening the album are located in the middle of the album). However, I personally prefer to listen to the album in the original order.

And how are things going, actually, with the music? It was just a wonderful alt-prog-rock record. As you know, all the best of 2000' alternative starts with one name – Radiohead. This infection, which I do not like with every fiber of my soul, has turned heads of our Liverpool heroes. Another thing is that I really like the ideas of Radiohead, but the way they implement these ideas, I'm sorry, I can't stand it, and I'd rather listen to the Radiohead-esque album from my favorite Anathema, who made these ideas in the best possible way. By the way, even now this album is often underestimated and not remembered at the mention of the name of Anathema, and I can not even find any explanation for this phenomenon. Although, probably, the matter is in several existing factors, the main of which is that 2 years before A Fine Day to Exit, Judgement was released. The uneasy fate of the successor to the great album also befell A Fine Day to Exit. Moreover, the focus on alt-rock confused even many fans of the band's last 2 albums. And very wrongly, because this album, despite the concept that runs through all the songs as a leitmotif, is full of treasure. These are the first 2 songs, slow Pressure with a haunting chorus and Release with a slight touch of electronica, and wonderful alt-rock Leave No Trace, written by Vinnie, and psychedelic-evil Underworld and Panic, and tragic Barriers (again a duet of Danny Cavanagh and Lee Douglas) and the title song. Anathema also did not forget about the concept itself, and their lyrical hero ends... (?) And then the Liverpudlians cut the story short, leaving it up to us to interpret the end of the album, whether the hero really killed himself in the cold ocean or decided to wait. The answer to this question will be given 16 years later, but this is already another story.

In the end, we have a unique work in the Anathema discography, which is underrated by the fans, but no less beautiful in its melancholy and depressive nature, and I think the band has finally reached maturity on this album. And although between Judgment and A Fine Day to Exit, I would still prefer the former for, let's say, greater ambition and elegance, the feeling that this work did not come from here, A Fine Day to Exit is valuable precisely for the band's attempt to do something extremely separate from the rest of the work and at the same time deeply beautiful.

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