Anathema
Judgement


5.0
classic

Review

by johnny of the Well USER (38 Reviews)
June 5th, 2012 | 14 replies


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An incredible work of art that will find its way to your heart

Anathema have an knack of matching their album artwork with their music. This applies right throughout their discography, from the murky celestial expanse of Eternity to the lush, humid tranquility of A Natural Disaster to the clarity and openess of Weather Systems. It also applies to Judgement, the sound of which is reflected perfectly by the dense, blue/purple background, from which shines rays of emotional light; not glaring or harsh, but saturated with hopelessness and emptiness that can blind the listener just as effectively.

Judgement is quite a tricky album to review for me; I can easily listen to it and point out what it goes well and why I enjoy it, but the way that I connect with it and allow it to envelop me is very hard to convey. Right from the start, you are swallowed by the gentle rhythm and earnest-yet-composed vocals of Deep, which introduces the album very well, easing the listener in to a relaxed state of mind that the band exploits to its full potential. The next track, Pitiless compliments the opener's soothing aspects with a harder, more aggressive edge that is perfected by a wild solo, and the track after - Forgotten Hopes - is slow and minimalistic, making it all the more effective.

These are three songs that when listened to clinically are very different, but when heard with a more open mind sound very similar. The reason for this is that they all present the listener with exactly the same atmosphere, and that is the genius of Judgement; it contains a wide variety of songs that all convey dispair, sorrow, lack of direction and a general blue swirl of emotions in various different ways, so that whilst it is a fairly diverse album, it is also incredibly coherent and to be enjoyed as a whole.

The various aspects of Judgement all compliment each other fantastically, from the dreamy, synth-laden Make It Right to the raging regret of Pitiless to the passionate lament One Last Goodbye. The soul-touching piano duet Parisienne Moonlight is paired with the doom-laden build-up of Judgement, which explodes into a searing frenzy of anger, and the towering wall of power that is Wings of God is followed by the bleakness of Anyone, Anywhere, which climaxes beautifully only to slip into the trailing outro of 2000 & Gone. By the end of a listen, you feel emotionally drained, perhaps not inclined to immeadiately listen again, but guarenteed to revisit Judgement sometime later.

Judgement has found a place in my heart by being both loud and quiet, subtle and ostentatious and angry and hopelessly calm. It is a classic to me because it does perfectly what music is supposed to: it conveys emotions and feelings that surpass words in exactly the same way that the obscure, shining artwork does. I recommend it to anyone; it is both accessible as well as deep and a great starting point for Anathema.

Pros

Powerful atmosphere
Consistant and with variety
Great vocals and musicianship

Cons

Erm...sorry guys, I really tried hard, but I can't think of anything

Top 5

1. Judgement
2. Parisienne Moonlight
3. Anyone, Anywhere
4 . Emotional Winter
5. Pitiless



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user ratings (729)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (5)
Certainly not for the faint of heart, Judgement takes the listener on a heavy hitting journey filled...

Jorn van Schaïk (4.5)
Keep the tissues ready, because this is one hell of an emotional ride......


Comments:Add a Comment 
johnnydeking29
June 5th 2012


9055 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

My spellcheck is broken, neg away

Digging: Envy - A Dead Sinking Story

IdiotequeCigar
June 5th 2012


348 Comments


Nice review

PistolPete
June 5th 2012


3608 Comments


Ah you rec'd me this album a while ago in a list you made. I'm in the process of getting to know the band so I'll check this out next. Great review! I would say you might use personal pronouns a bit too much, but it comes with rating something a 5, as it only warrants that rating if it means something to you. Just always try to minimize those, I am currently working on that too.

Digging: Banks - Goddess

johnnydeking29
June 5th 2012


9055 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, I'll watch out for that
You should definitely check this out; what else have you heard from them?
Also, it's great to know that someone pays attention to my recs!

PistolPete
June 5th 2012


3608 Comments


Just the two newest albums, I kinda thought they were a bit too samezee and formulaic. But I would be willing to try this one along with maybe an older doom-metal release cuz of how different they've become.

johnnydeking29
June 5th 2012


9055 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I haven't heard WHBWH, but I agree with that as far as Weather Systems is concerned. This isn't like that at all, there's a lot of variety here. Check out Eternity if you want something older (it was their transition album but still had some doom vibes)

PistolPete
June 5th 2012


3608 Comments


That sounds perfect, a bit of doom but not a full nosedive into it, I'll check that out too.

johnnydeking29
June 5th 2012


9055 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Enjoy, they are both amazing albums

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2012


10198 Comments


Nice review, and lovely album, and lovelier band.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

thumbcrusher
June 6th 2012


3592 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album is so good, make it right in particular is amazing.

great review btw, pos

Dreamflight
June 6th 2012


1760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ace review bro, nut how the fuck did you leave One Lost Goodbye out of your top5?

Ah jk to each his own.

Gmork89
June 6th 2012


5510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Forgotten hopes, buried in your souls lonely grave. pos'd

Lunarfall
June 6th 2012


3179 Comments


one last goodbye not listed as the best song on the album? auto neg


nah jk, good review

johnnydeking29
June 6th 2012


9055 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys, I've always found that One Last Goodbye is a great song, but a bit overrated



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