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Anathema : Eternity

Today recognized as one of 'The Big Three' of British Doom, Anathema have released such majestic records as 'Serenades' ('93) and 'Pentecost III' ('95). However, 1996's 'Eternity' sees the band drifting away from their roots and taking a step towards more melodic music. With ex-vocalist Darren White now clearly a thing of the past, Vince Cavanagh continues to fill in his past role. This time he opted for clean vocals, fitting the somewhat changed style of Anathema.

It's interesting how in a short period of time all of 'The Big Three' bands ventured into unexplored territory. All of them also came across negative responses from old fans, with the fabulous term 'sellout' surfacing. I've never liked that term, so I won't use it to characterize this album. I wouldn't use it anyway since I like this album. Now that we've put that aside, let's concentrate on the important issues.

'Eternity' is quite different than 'The Silent Enigma', which is obvious right away. After an instrumental intro, 'Angelica' slightly reveals the new Anathema - a pretty catchy but moving guitar line, gentle clear vocals and keyboards. All of which makes a fine contrast to the harsh opener, 'Restless Oblivion', from the last full-length.

As the album moves along, the first part of the title track and 'The Beloved' are a bit more direct and 'heavier'. 'Hope' clearly stands out with its spoken part and the simple guitar melody. Mind you, this is a cover of Pink Floyd, a band Anathema have been compared to on numerous occasions. A song I most definitely dislike, is the suicidal 'Cries on the Wind'. Vincent's questionable vocal skills are surely the weakest part of the album, which is (also) evident on this track. Fortunately for the band, the sheer quality of the music on the rest of the album makes up for this imperfection.

'Eternity', clocking in at just over fifty eight minutes, is the result of a cooperation of four talented musicians. As I've said, this album is different from 'The Silent Enigma', but under the surface, there's that beautiful sorrowful music that Anathema always provides.

[Editor's note: the digipack, with an all red cover, features 2 acoustic bonus tracks]

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Sentient
2. Angelica
3. The Beloved
4. Eternity Part I
5. Eternity Part II
6. Hope
7. Suicide Veil
8. Radiance
9. Far Away
10. Eternity Part III
11. Cries on the Wind
12. Ascension

Duration : Approx. 58 minutes

Visit the Anathema bandpage.

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