Anathema
The Crestfallen


2.0
poor

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
January 12th, 2008 | 17 replies | 9,344 views


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Anathema's first release does a good job of showing their potential, but isn't worth getting.

It was a sunny day in England and the birds were sure to be chirping. A young band out of Liverpool had been signed to a label and were about to be given the chance to record the music that they had pored so much time over. It was probably with a giddy heart that Anathema set out to share their music with the world with nothing but a pocket full of dreams and this first EP. Ok, really, I couldn’t help writing an uplifting intro for such a depressing Doom band, but in all seriousness, this is their first release and it comes in the form of a five song EP called The Crestfallen EP.

This EP starts off strong with “And I Lust” which is darker and heavier then the music that would eventually appear on their full length, but other then that it shares a lot of similar elements. It has the great Death vocals of Darren White who does so well with conveying emotion, while still sticking almost solely to Death growls, but not quite as well as he will do on their full length album, Serenades. The same thing could be said about guitar melodies on this song; they’re good but not as fully developed as the songs on their full length. On the other hand, the heavier riffs are just as good, if not better, then the ones found on Serenades. As mentioned earlier, they’re heavier and seem to have a more ominous tone to them, which is great for the atmosphere they create.

The description for the first song pretty much applies to the second track just as easily. It is another slow Doom song with some dark riffs, ominous melodies, and great vocals. Unfortunately, it’s the last song on the album that can be called “good Doom”. The next track, “Everwake”, is an acoustic number that contains very subtle keyboards and a guest female vocalist. It is a great song and does an excellent job of conveying a sense of sadness, but it really could have been fleshed out a lot more to take it to another level.

After those first three songs, the quality takes a turn for the worse. The last two tracks are both demo songs, complete with the bad production that comes with that description. Anathema’s Doom output was never very original or experimental, but it was always very solid, and unfortunately these two songs just don’t hold up. The vocals sound like he is growling while gargling water, and everything else is just washed over in too much treble. What makes it worse is that there are re-recorded versions of these two songs that can be found on various versions of the Serenades album, and after hearing those versions first, it just makes these seem even worse.

For a first attempt, the first three songs are pretty good, and definitely show the direction that Anathema would take on their first full length release, but there just isn’t enough here to truly warrant any attention. When the horrible final two tracks are taken out of the equation, what you are left with is two good Doom songs, and a filler acoustic song with female vocals and that’s just not good enough to get them over a two.



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user ratings (60)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
January 12th 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

There is a version of "Serenades" that drops the useless 20 minute track, and includes the first three songs from here, as well as the fourth song re-recorded. That's the best version of both of these albums.

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

BallsToTheWall
January 12th 2008



44164 Comments


Good review but this is going to be one of those bands that will take a while. I heard the stuff from your Anathema myspace. Sounds promising but easy to lose focus.

Willie
Moderator
January 12th 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Yeah, due to how slow most the music is, I guess it could get lost in the background, but Serenades always keeps my attention... this one, not so much.
Balls, did you see my response on the Skinny Puppy review talking about the different Thought Industry albums?

rasputin
January 13th 2008



14516 Comments


I want to ge Serenades, and I'll know from there if I'll continue with the band. I don't think I'd like their newer stuff though, I'm picky when it come to un-extreme doom.

rasputin
January 13th 2008



14516 Comments


Oh, great review by the way.

Neoteric
January 13th 2008



3243 Comments


The cover is kinda cool.

Altmer
January 13th 2008



5652 Comments


later anathema is better than this

Willie
Moderator
January 13th 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

All Anathema is better then this EP. As far as trying to decide if "Serenades" is better then their current stuff... the early stuff is way too different then what they play now to try to compare them. It would be like trying to compare Joy Division and New Order to decide which is better.

Wizard
January 13th 2008



19210 Comments


Sounds like a potentially good album hahahaha. Great review Willie. I've never heard these guys before. But then again, I'm not much in Doom metal. This Message Edited On 01.13.08

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Look at that, someone decides to go through and neg a review from almost 6 months ago (and of course are too scared to leave a comment which might make them back up their shit). Negative reviews almost always bring out the bitch in the fanboys, I guess.

rasputin
June 22nd 2008



14516 Comments


Just leave a post in the forums, it's probably a troll.

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Probably. I had a good run anyway; 88 reviews without a neg.

rasputin
June 22nd 2008



14516 Comments


well yeah, they were 88 very well written reviews :D

Willie
Moderator
June 22nd 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks, apparently it was a troll because it has been removed.

Wizard
June 22nd 2008



19210 Comments


So 88 and counting still...........

I remember a while back I heard a few tunes from these guys. Not very good (but I don't remember if it was just off this EP).

Willie
Moderator
June 23rd 2008



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It may have also been their newer stuff which is kind of Pink Floyd/Radiohead-ish.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
March 23rd 2013



1844 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Better than 'Pentecost III' is my opinion. I feel the Death/Doom genre worked well with Anathema in the early 90's, although now they obviously use different styles. The title track and 'They die' are sure highlights for me.

Digging: Black Anvil - Hail Death



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