Anathema
We're Here Because We're Here


4.5
superb

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
May 27th, 2010 | 1219 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: How can a band live up to expectations that have been seven years in the making? I don't have the answers, but apparently the guys in Anathema do.

Taking seven years to complete a new album is a huge risk. The problem is that it provides too much time for expectations to become unattainably high, and that’s the situation that Anathema is now in. At this point, fans probably envision the band releasing their defining album – an album that all other Anathema releases will have to be judged by. They, at least, almost certainly imagine an album that builds on all of the band’s previous strengths while removing all of the nagging issues. Also, the fact that Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) is attached to the project probably has fans expecting at least some of the proggy tendencies that come along with his influence. Well, it turns out that Anathema’s fans are a bunch of ***ing psychics because that is exactly what has occurred with the release of We’re Here Because We’re Here.

We’re Here Because We’re Here is the complete realization of everything Anathema has been working towards since Eternity. It’s the moody atmospherics mixed with dreamy Pink Floyd essentials. It’s the strong emotional tones carried by an undercurrent of subtle progressive melodies. More importantly, it’s all of those elements expanded upon and delivered in a more dynamic package. Anathema has accomplished this by broadening the scope of their influences, and by not being afraid to push the BPM of their songs beyond the leisurely pace set by the previous few albums. This expansion of influences and tempos has lead to a diverse album that can flow from a song such as “Summernight Horizons” with its energetic riffs, quick tempo and excellent vocal harmonies directly into a slower, more conventional track such as “Dreaming Light”. The end result is an album that should be able to appeal to those that started to lose interest while sitting through A Natural Disaster’s meandering arrangements.

That’s certainly not supposed to imply that the wonderfully lush atmospheres and melodies of that album are absent, because they’re not – in fact they’re back and better than ever. The difference between A Natural Disaster and this album is that these lush melodies aren’t forced to carry the bulk of each song, as seemed to be the case previously. Instead they’re integrated into the fuller musical arrangements and diversified by the various tempo changes. They’re further complimented by the much-improved vocals of Vincent Cavanagh and the welcome addition of newest member, Lee Douglas (John Douglas’ sister – sang on “A Natural Disaster”). Vincent’s vocals are clear and expressive, and the harmonies that he shares with Lee Douglas are often some of the main highlights of each song. Without the interplay between the two vocalists, tracks such as “A Simple Mistake” or “Dreaming Light” just wouldn’t have the same depth or impact that they do.

Seven years is a damn long time in between albums, but it turns out that it was worth the wait. We’re Here Because We’re Here is a confident step forward for the band – a move that finds them breaking free of the artificial limitations that they had begun to impose on themselves. This is a band that no longer seems hesitant to break from the Floyd-ish atmospheres in favor of something a bit more dissonant, a band that isn’t resistant to occasionally stepping up the energy levels for more than a brief moment. This confident move has lead to the best work of Anathema’s long and diverse career, a move that one can only hope doesn’t take another seven years to follow up on.



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user ratings (864)
Chart.
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
May 27th 2010


16117 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Album of the year? Possibly.

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2010


16466 Comments


I was waiting for you to review this. Album has been getting lots of praise but I have heard very, very little from this band so I don't know if I will check it out.

TheSpirit
May 27th 2010


17988 Comments


yeah, i heard this when it leaked, it's really fucking good. ace review to go along with, perfectly matches the quality of the album

Digging: Volahn - Aq Ab Al

Ponton
Emeritus
May 27th 2010


5815 Comments


Was going to review this, but very glad you did instead. Great review, great album, though my score would probably be a bit lower.


Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

BallsToTheWall
May 27th 2010


44794 Comments


"Also, the fact that Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) is attached to the project "

Buzz kill.

Good review, probaly myspace a song.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

Romulus
May 27th 2010


8447 Comments


Great review, I was feeling a 3.5ish for this when I first listened

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2010


31475 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I shall add it to the list......

Great review etc

Digging: Hyperdub - Hyperdub 10.4

Infernis
May 27th 2010


398 Comments


So glad the reception has been good because I was in fear it wouldn't be so great. I really really enjoy Anathema and will pick this up..

eggsvonsatan
May 28th 2010


1087 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This sounds pretty good. I liked A Natural Disaster, but i put it down about 4 years ago, and haven't had the urge to listen to it since.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2010


20857 Comments


Is this metal?

TheSpirit
May 28th 2010


17988 Comments


They used to be but now it's more like atmospheric rock.

eggsvonsatan
May 28th 2010


1087 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Hmm, currently at track 4, not enjoying at all.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2010


17224 Comments


I'm sorry, I don't get what this has to do with Hayley Williams' tits.

Pebster49
May 28th 2010


2993 Comments


???

bodiesinflight57
May 28th 2010


870 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah, thanks for writing this review. The one I've written for it sounds pretty much exactly the same in tone though...ah well

Knott-
Emeritus
May 28th 2010


10198 Comments


gonna get this for some reason

Mordecai.
May 28th 2010


8281 Comments


wow i had no idea this was finished. can't wait to hear it.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2010


20857 Comments


"They used to be but now it's more like atmospheric rock"

Ooh, more interested now.

foreverendeared
May 28th 2010


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is so fucking good. So is the review.

jingledeath
May 28th 2010


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I had a feeling you'd be reviewing this Trey. Super review, can't wait to listen to the album.



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