Anathema
Eternity


4.0
excellent

Review

by johnny of the Well USER (41 Reviews)
April 30th, 2012 | 18 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Anathema take a step forward and create an interesting album that takes a few listens to sink in

When someone mentions Anathema, the majority of people think of their Pink Floyd-inspired dense, emotional sound that is presented best in albums like Judgement and We’re Here Because We’re Here. A few will maybe consider their doom metal roots. However, I find that this album gets overlooked very easily, which is a shame because it is a definite hidden gem.

Eternity is Anathema’s transition album from the doom of The Silent Enigma to the more alternative rock-based Alternative 4. There are still remnants of their doom sound here, for example Suicide Veil is a heavily gothic-based song and Cries On The Wind is utterly chilling. However, tracks like Angelica and Far Away wouldn’t sound too out of place on Judgement. Despite having aspects of old and new, Eternity has constant atmosphere of melodic doom/gloom/depression/hopelessness that makes all the songs identifiable and cohesive.

The opener Sentient works very well by completely immersing the listener with a powerful atmosphere and a gorgeous piano melody, drawing you into the ethereal, emotional world of Eternity. Once absorbed into the album, things only get better; The Beloved is a more aggressive song that uses fast, upbeat riffs effectively, Suicide Veil opens with dour lyrics and explodes into a devastatingly powerful climax and Radiance uses slow chugging and dramatic synths to build up to the vocal highlight of the album, which is accompanied by an excellent guitar solo.

Special mention must be given to the title tracks, the Eternity Suite. Eternity Part I begins it with a riff that brings to mind the image of a slow-burning fuse, and contains some of the album’s best lyrics; “Do you think we’re forever? The unseen, the eternal river of understanding.” Eternity Part II is a nice instrumental, similar to Sentient, that is worth hearing, but can’t come close to the quality of the other parts. Eternity Part III is a masterpiece. This song doesn’t hit a single wrong note and gets better and better as it goes on, until it reaches another “slow-burning” riff that evolves into a stampeding outro with the haunting line “Never to return...” shouted over the top. Brilliant.

There are two things that really characterize this album. The first is Vincent Cavanagh’s vocals. When I listened to this for the first time, my only previous experience of Anathema was Judgement, and I had a bit of a shock when I heard the difference in his voice. Vincent’s vocals here have a much rougher edge to them and are generally lower. It took me a while to get used to them, but once I did, I realized how passionate and emotive they are, and that they succeed just as well as in Judgement, only in a different way. The second characteristic is the production, which is pretty much the opposite of the production on more recent albums like Weather Systems and We’re Here Because We’re Here; the guitars are surprisingly low in the mix, especially compared to the vocals, and there is a murky feeling that is found throughout the album. This isn’t a bad thing, since it fits the atmosphere and makes the album more distinctive.

Overall, Eternity is a great insight into Anathema’s past and an album that is well worth buying, so long as you are prepared for a strong contrast with their recent music.


Pros

Powerful and atmospheric
Great musicianship, riffs and melodies
A huge progression from their doom-era

Cons

Far Away is a very boring song
Vocals can seem too rough at time (Hope verses)
They moved on from this sound too quickly

Top 5

1. Eternity Part III
2. Radiance
3. Sentient
4. Cries On The Wind
5. Eternity Part I



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Comments:Add a Comment 
johnnydeking29
April 30th 2012


9460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

First review I've written in a while, and unless anyone has any reason otherwise, the last for a while

Digging: Warren of Ohms - The Wolf and The Fox

Dreamflight
April 30th 2012


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Spot on review sir.

This is indeed a great album, and I couldn't agree more about how boring Far Away is.

johnnydeking29
April 30th 2012


9460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, the solo is alright, but there's only so many times that you can here the drone of "Far awaaaaaaaay" before you impulsively grope for the skip button

Buccaneer
April 30th 2012


692 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The review was really good and I agree, the album does take time to grow on you. It's not their best by any stretch, but still damn good though

johnnydeking29
November 15th 2012


9460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

How the fuck did I only give this a 4 before? It's one of my all-time faves now

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 15th 2012


16114 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea good stuff

Digging: H.P. Lovecraft - H.P. Lovecraft II

johnnydeking29
February 10th 2013


9460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Sentient and Ascension are so perfect as bookends it's unreal

Dreamflight
February 10th 2013


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed. Especially Sentient, is too damn beautiful for words. Best intro i've heard on a rock/metal album.

johnnydeking29
February 10th 2013


9460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Agreed hard, have listened a ridiculous amount of times. This would be an easy 5 if Far Away wasn't such a snoozefest

OmairSh
February 10th 2013


11923 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Even the reviewer thinks Far away is boring, what a coinciden..... Hey wait a minute.

Digging: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Mustt Mustt

johnnydeking29
February 10th 2013


9460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

:P

Mad.
February 11th 2013


4075 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Far Awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...zzzzzz.... solo is great though.

johnnydeking29
February 11th 2013


9460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Agreed, but it's not worth hearing the title a quadrillion times

johnnydeking29
May 3rd 2013


9460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I kinda wish I hadn't written this review now; I'd do a much better, more meaningful job now. Oh well...

Mad.
May 3rd 2013


4075 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Go for it brah.

Jammed some of this today, it's more worth listening to than I remembered.

johnnydeking29
May 3rd 2013


9460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, it took a while for me to dig

manosg
May 3rd 2013


6541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album.

Digging: Witchfynde - Give 'em Hell

johnnydeking29
May 3rd 2013


9460 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Oh yes it is



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