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Anathema : Resonance

The release of Anathema's latest pop album 'A Fine Day to Exit' contains mostly relaxed, accessible, easy listening music. The first part of Anathema's retrospective 'Resonance' contains exclusively soft, acoustic, accessible tracks of the band's glorious history. Coincidence? I don't think so. Both Peaceville and Anathema have a considerable profit in linking those two releases, the first to sell more albums to the 'new' Anathema fans, the second to (hopefully) make the new fans understand that subtlety was always an aspect of the band's sound and contrary to common belief, wasn't only 'invented' with the 'Eternity' album. So why my rant? I just feel that since Anathema always combined a harsher side with subtlety, it's really unnecessary and misleading to separate those two different sides of the band (the second 'Resonance 2' retrospective comes out next year and it shall contain harsher/more solid Anathema tracks).

Aside from this rant, I must admit that this compilation is a good "chill out" album. The sequence of these soft, beautiful tracks seems to be part of a natural process. It's pretty remarkable how well old tracks like 'Scars Of The Old Stream' and 'Alone' seem to fit together with more recent tranquil tracks like 'Innersilence' and 'Destiny'. Melody and emotion always went hand in hand with this band and the same thing happens in this 'Resonance' compilation.

The question you always have to ask yourself with this kind of "greatest hits" compilations, is: "What does that album offer me that I can't find in the other albums of the band?" The answer regarding this album, depends on the digipack versions and compilation albums with tracks of this band that you have. The acoustic version of 'Far Away' and the orchestral version of 'The Silent Enigma' are bonus tracks from previous releases. Especially the second track is really worth a listen; imagine a whole orchestra playing Anathema! Pure brilliance. The two short Pink Floyd covers 'One Of The Few' and 'Goodbye Cruel World' are also very effective and capture quite well the spirit of the originals. The Bad Religion cover 'Better Off Dead' however, makes me less enthusiastic, especially because of the mediocre female vocals which keep the sound of this cover far from the typical Anathema sound.

The rest of the tracks come all from the previous Anathema albums. The only two exceptions are mystery track 'Horses' (I still can't figure out where this track comes from) and a live version of the 'Eternity' track 'Angelica'. The sound quality of that second track, is absolutely outrageous. It is clear that the only reason Peaceville chose for this bootleg, is because the Hungarian public seems to go completely crazy during this song. Unfortunately, they go so crazy that it's almost impossible to hear the band performing, probably because the bootleg was taken from amidst the audience! A live track with a bad sound quality and an audience which sounds louder than the band? We're talking about a band that has already performed this track live so many times, so the excuse that it is a rare recording can't be used here. Smells like rip-off to me.

I have quite some mixed feelings about this release (and such retrospective compilations in general), but all in all, this is a nice album. I'll repeat once again though that whether it's worth it or not, depends mostly on which of the 'rare' tracks on this album you already own.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Scars Of The Old Stream
2. Everwake
3. J'fait Une Promesse
4. Alone
5. Far Away (Acoustic)
6. Eternity (Part 2)
7. Eternity (Part 3) (Acoustic)
8. Better Off Dead
9. One Of The Few
10. Inner Silence
11. Goodbye Cruel World
12. Destiny
13. The Silent Enigma (Orchestral)
14. Angelica (Live Budapest 1997)
15. Horses

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes

Visit the Anathema bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Kostas Panagiotou
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