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On disc: Anathema

The Silent Enigma - Volker Raabe - 8 stars
Weather Systems - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars
Universal - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars


(KScope - 2013)

Anathema decided to record a one-off show at the ancient Roman theater of Philippopolis for a live recording. The show took place in May 2012 supported by Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra. They first released the concert on vinyl and now they present the CD/DVD package. The orchestra is staying in the background and helps to create the special sound of nowadays Anathema. You get 2 hours of Anathema's art rock and even if I only got the sound, the trailer shows that it was a special show...

You have to experience the whole thing, picking one song wouldn't give justice to Universal. Fans who have Untouchable will have an idea what to expect, but the images will help create the atmosphere - watch the trailer and you'll know what I mean.

If you love Anathema, then this is a must-have!

Track listing:

1. Untouchable, Part 1
2. Untouchable, Part 2
3. Thin Air
4. Dreaming Light
5. Lightning Song
6. The Storm Before the Calm
7. Everything
8. A Simple Mistake
9. The Beginning and the End
10. Universal
11. Closer
12. A Natural Disaster
13. Deep
14. One Last Goodbye
15. Flying
16. Fragile Dreams
17. Panic
18. Emotional Winter / Wings of God
19. Internal Landscapes
20. Fragile Dreams

BluRay Bonus:
A Night At The Union Chapel
1. Kingdom
2. Thin Air
3. Angels Walk Among Us
4. A Natural Disaster
5. Fragile Dreams

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Weather Systems

Weather Systems
(KScope Music - 2012)

When Anathema started in 1990 they were a death / doom metal band and they soon left a mark on the scene, but through the years they changed! In the mid-90s their songs became more atmospheric and with 1999's Judgement they left behind their doom / death sound and headed into more experimental rock sounds. With Weather Systems they deliver their 9th studio album, let's take a closer look!

The kick off with Untouchable Part 1, a piano-based opening passage immediately takes you onto a trip into the sonic world of Anathema. When the band joins in, they take off the melancholy edge and get a bit heavier - and at the end symphonic. Part 2 follows and again it's vocals and piano who lead you into the tune. Vincent Cavanagh's sad vocals will hook you up, then Lee Douglas joins in and Untouchable Part 2 becomes a beautiful duet. The symphonic soundscapes will enchant you. The Gathering Of The Clouds is like a storm front building up... You can see it coming, it's a beautiful sight and it's fascinating. Then all of the sudden they slow down and it's like being in the eye of the storm - it's peaceful here at Lightning Song. Peaceful like a sunny day begins Sunlight. But they picking up speed, the song gets heavier and the riffing reminds me a bit of some post black metal stuff.... But it's The Storm Before The Calm which will take you onto a different sonic path. But it's split into two parts, it's like the different sides of a storm front... One the stormy side, the other is like the beauty emerging when the sun finds her way through the clouds. Another slow one is The Beginning And The End, but this time it ain't a keyboard-based one. The guitars are more dominating the keys. Just let the Liverpudlians carry you away into their world. One more time the keyboard is showing you the way, The Lost Child is an sad but enchanting tune. Towards the end you can feel the despair and the repeated line 'save me' is getting at you. But like some stories which have a happy ending, this tune gets a beautiful end. The closer Internal Landscapes starts with a narrator part, and the music in the background gives it a sacred touch... Even if the atmosphere changes, it has a dreamy edge. At the end the narrator is back and his calming voice is what lasts - for the moment. But you will soon spin this album again!

Beautiful soundscapes will enchant you when Anathema is taking you onto a sonic journey. Enjoy the ride!

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


The Silent Enigma

The Silent Enigma
(Music for Nations - 1995)

It was announced for release for quite awhile and got delayed several times - Anathema's latest release The Silent Enigma. The performance of the foursome - even if the label biography is talking about 5 - shows superb mid-tempo death metal, but with slower, partly acoustic parts which enchants the listener. The unique stertorously voice of the front man of the Liverpool-based band who is these days Vincent Cavanagh - who replaced Darren White - especially shows on the title track as well as on A Dying Wish is impressing. Anathema followed their own way and in comparison with other bands of this genre they managed to find their own identity.

8 stars

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)

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