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Anathema Ranking

A ranked list for the Liverpool-based death/doom-turned-atmospheric rock band with short descriptions and lyrics from favourite songs off each album.
A Fine Day to Exit

Great musicianship, excellent vocals and a strong sense for atmosphere, but the overall package, though definitely worth a listen, is not as compelling as the rest of Anathema's catalogue. Certain segments could have been trimmed down or cut out completely, while others are simply better executed on the surrounding releases. "Somewhere in the hurricane hope is waiting"

Onerous riffs and Darren White's pained vocal delivery showcase the origins of Anathema as a death/doom band in all its fiercely gloomy glory. Highly regarded by many fans of the genre, "Serenades" is, however, brought down by a muffled production and a way too minimalistic overlong ambient track. "Thy bed of roses, funereal drapery, impale me on your thorns"
The Silent Enigma

"The Silent Enigma" starts planting the seeds for the band's future stylistic shift and has guitarist Vincent Cavanagh taking over vocal duties, able to provide a flawed but fitting performance through growling, singing and spoken parts. The improved yet still raw production makes the doom songs stand out more than the debut and the new ideas bring more variety, even if at the cost of a weaker middle section, due to the band not fully grasping the new desired sound yet. "Aspirations fade away, reverence dies within"
Weather Systems

With fantastic bookends and remarkable performances all around, "Weather Systems" is another impressive and heartfelt addition to Anathema's discography. Special attention should be given to the breathtaking vocal duets and beautifully composed buildups. Nonetheless, the album could have been more adventurous beyond the foundations laid by its very successful predecessor. "And I know that you just want me to belong to someone"
Distant Satellites

"Distant Satellites" mainly takes the formula of the previous two records, but mixes it with a darker atmosphere, making it seem like the missing link between "A Natural Disaster" and "We're Here Because We're Here", had it been released at another time. Also, the last four songs delve into the realm of electronica with some interesting results. "Such good intentions, failing, slowly we faltered from the line, slowly dissolving our time"

A transitional album showing the band's love for atmospheric progressive music and their capacity of conveying highly emotional arrangements, only marred by a few imperfections in the vocals and some repetition. The scarce traces of metal in certain riffs and melodies along with the lavish use of keyboards create a unique gothic feel. "I danced with the shadows in tranquil chaos"
A Natural Disaster

Drowning the listener in a relaxing bleakness, yet unafraid to ruffle him once in a while, "A Natural Disaster" decorates the underlying dark atmosphere with layers of experimentation and skillful songwriting. Daniel Cavanagh, Vincent's brother, and Lee Douglas are brought to the forefront in a few tracks and manage to show their own prowess as vocalists. "Freedom is only a hallucination that waits at the edge of the places you go when you dream"
3 Anathema
We're Here Because We're Here

Charming. Fervid. Pristine. The long-awaited 2010 release encapsulates a rejuvenated Anathema that has not forgotten its knack for incredible emotional intensity, but is reigned by a vision of exhilaration rather than melancholy. Superb dynamics marked by numerous up-tempo passages, majestic crescendos, delightful vocal harmonies and orchestral elements portray the vibrant and unrestrained songwriting. "In the moonlight's pale embrace we come to know the space between us"

There is no wallowing in plodding tracks despite the depressive nature of the album, as the band unravels their brand of atmospheric alternative and progressive rock, a soundscape filled with diverse guitar playing, the occasional pleasant piano, proficient rhythm work and passionate vocals. Brilliantly crafted by talented musicians, flowing perfectly and painstakingly exploring the human psyche when confronting negative feelings in various facets, "Judgement" is a genuine work of art that deserves far more recognition. "In my dreams I can see you, I can tell you how I feel"
Alternative 4

Well-produced and heavily influenced by Pink Floyd, "Alternative 4" is the first album where Anathema's changed sound and Vincent's vocal ability truly take flight. Consequently, they may still not be as refined as on "Judgement", but the strength of this output, aside from the accomplished musicianship and emotional power, lies in the minor details, such as the dissimilar structures, the rare instances where a violin shows up or the glimpses of slight grittiness in a few songs contrasting with the overall downbeat atmosphere. "Today I introduced myself to my own feelings, in silent agony, after all these years they spoke to me"
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