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Anathema : A Fine Day to Exit

Starting out as a harsh death/doom act, Anathema slowly re-invented themselves towards creating more progressive music with influences by, for example, Pink Floyd. Now we face their 8th official release (not counting their singles and promotional material), and expectations for this one were high to say the least. While Anathema changed musically, they managed to keep a large part of their following and became known as one of the most emotional bands around.

So was this album worth the wait? Is this another roller coaster of emotions? Well, I am sad to say that if you ask me, the only emotion that surfaced with me was that of disappointment. While I am sure the die-hard Anathema fans will gobble this one up as they have done with past releases, this album fails to truly catch my attention. Don't get me wrong, this is by no means a bad album. The musicianship is high-quality and there are some nice tracks on there, but the "Radioheadish sound" makes me long for the real thing and not some second rate interpretation of this rock band. Unless I put in a real effort, most of the album passes through one ear and right out of the other.

I have no problems with mellow and soft music, but somewhere along the road, Anathema seem to have lost their emotional nature that should be an interwoven part of this type of music. This is something where Anathema could learn from for example Katatonia, who have pulled off their metamorphosis towards emotional rock much more to my liking. The long-winded songs, bland song writing and Vincent's at times truly whiny voice, they simply all seem to miss the sorrow that I am looking for. They try, but it to me it just seems hollow. The spark of sadness seems to have been exinguised and what is left, is a band desperately trying to recapture it. I however am sure most Anathema fans will shed more the one tear when listening to this album and declare me both insane and insensitive.

If I had to point out a few songs that do interest me it would be the nice claustrophobic rocker 'Panic', the more mellow 'Leave No Trace' and the emotional beginning of 'Looking Outside Inside'. 'Pressure', or "The stalker song" as I have already dubbed it due to the line "I don't care where you go, you won't get away from me" also has its good moments. Still overall this is a disappointment for me. A grower? Only time will tell and this is one that is going to need time. a LOT of time.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Intro (untitled)
2. Looking Outside Inside
3. Underworld
4. Pressure
5. Release
6. Breaking Down the Barriers
7. Leave No Trace
8. A Fleeting Glimpse
9. Panic
10. A Fine Day to Exit
11. Temporary Peace

Duration : Approx. 60 minutes

Visit the Anathema bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Aldo Quispel
Hate Your Guts Records
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