the emotional strength of this album can't be questioned but the majority of the tracks here just don't really cut it as far as anathema's other material goes. tracks like hope and the eternity tracks just don't resonate at all and sometime the guitar tone and production is really unpleasant and confused like they're having a difficult time deciding how they want things to sound. that's forgiveable though consider to all intents and purposes it's a transitional album. it's a good album, it just doesn't showcase the best of the band and i'd recommend you move to this one after you've heard some of the others. :]
I admire the risk Anathema took with this record, but as a whole it doesn't work. Eternity is too long and many of the songs feel drawn out, which results in a mostly boring release. (Special mention to the song "Angelica," though, which is excellent.) Some of the vocals are quite poor as well, but their passionate delivery is good- as is the atmosphere throughout, which I give extra points for.
An overlooked album, that is actually pretty amazing. The Eternity suite is flawless, Radiance is an incredible song that builds and builds until it gets to a climax of beautiful leads and Cries on the Wind is utterly haunting. Only problems are Far Away *yawn* and some vocal inconsistancies