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Anathema : The Silent Enigma

'The Silent Enigma' was Anathema's first without the original vocalist Darren White, who later went on to form The Blood Divine. Now the younger of the two Cavanaghs, Vincent, tries to prove he's a worthy successor to White. Which, by the way, cannot be an easy task as Darren earned himself something of a legendary status among doom fans. Vincent did a nice job with both the lyrics and the mournful vocals, which aren't that different from what we've heard from good old Darren on 'Pentecost III'.

The album varies from harsh crunchy parts to slow, hypnotic and depressing tunes, and it is certainly a hard one to get into. Listen, for instance, to the everlasting 'Carulean Twilight' and you'll see what I mean. 'The Silent Enigma' departs with 'Restless Oblivion', which is perhaps the strongest of the nine tracks on this record. Other fine songs, with a nice melodic tinge, include 'Shroud of Frost', 'A Dying Wish' and the title track. The latter being less complex and significantly shorter. Anathema have made a video for that track, where the lads pretend to play on a beautiful location surrounded by mother nature. Not a bad video, that one.

I've read somewhere that a lot of this material has been written in the studio, practically minutes before recording. And it sounds like that to me. Some of the songs are dull, monotone and uninteresting. Whether the guys were pressured by a deadline, or it was the dropping of White that has made writing music more difficult, it doesn't really matter. 'The Silent Enigma' remains one of my least favorite Anathema albums. These guys are capable of more.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Restless Oblivion
2. Shroud of Frost
3. ...Alone
4. Sunset of the Age
5. Nocturnal Emission
6. Cerulean Twilight
7. The Silent Enigma
8. A Dying Wish
9. Black Orchid

Duration : Approx. 54 minutes

Visit the Anathema bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Bojan Janjanin
Hate Your Guts Records
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