Anathema
Eternity


4.0
excellent


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.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2012


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

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

Dreamflight
April 30th 2012


2180 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.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
April 30th 2012


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

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


747 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

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

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2012


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

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

menawati
November 15th 2012


16715 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea good stuff

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2013


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

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

Dreamflight
February 10th 2013


2180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

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

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2013


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

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


17609 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

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

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2013


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

:P

Mad.
February 11th 2013


4901 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 11th 2013


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

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

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

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


4901 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Go for it brah.



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

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Yeah, it took a while for me to dig

manosg
Emeritus
May 3rd 2013


12703 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
May 3rd 2013


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Oh yes it is

Silvius
March 4th 2015


147 Comments


why is this album is written in something like a sharpened 1/7 above pitch standard? is there some hoity-toity music theory explanation for this

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2015


59359 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Excellent question; tbh I think they wanted a melancholic, doomy sound and thought that the tuning would help, but I don't know for sure :/



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