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Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here [Album]

Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here [Album]

K-Scope Records

Review 5742 Views
Last Edited by: Chris MUG5 Maguire May 23rd, 2010.

I'm going to be very honest when I say that I know absolutely nothing about Anathema. So, you are probably thinking ‘what do you have to offer in terms of a review’? Here’s the link which brought me to Anathema’s new album "We’re here because we’re here" and his name is Steven Wilson, the driving force behind Porcupine Tree. I am reliably informed that this ‘...multi coloured, multi layered work of unbridled emotion, passion and intensity..’ has been mixed by Mr Wilson himself. Not only that, but having been released by K-Scope records, I have a very good idea about what style this album is likely to be. Described as inspirational and pioneering Liverpudlians, it’s a wonder why I didn’t know about Anathema sooner, however, now I am here, I don’t think I’ll ever have reason to go back.

Without further ado, I was quick to dive into the fray and listen to ‘Thin Air’. As the name would suggest, it is atmospheric, dreamy and carries a light, wispy aura from the vocal lines and gentle sway of acoustic guitars. A simplified and crisp drum beat keeps the track flowing, as guitars roll in with uplifting tonality towards latter chorus sections. Originally I felt this band would take some getting to grips with, as I found during my initial Porcupine Tree listening experiences, but Anathema really do capture emotion and energy with relative ease.

You can check out a picture slideshow video of ‘Thin Air’ here:

As much as I would love to highlight the ins and outs of each track, I'm going to simply select a few to discuss, however you can trust me when I say this is a truly awesome from start to finish. There is no filler with Anathema, only inspiration.

‘Summer Night Horizon’ is an absolute corker and the piano and drum work are utilised to the max, displaying ability and skill like no other. You get a sense that even during the recording process, the band laid the track down with effortless precision. Listening to ‘Dreaming Light’ reminded me of where artists such as Radiohead and Muse take some of their quirky, but classy approach from. And on the flipside to that argument, why do Anathema not share the same success? Perhaps they aren’t as commercially viable, but they are spot on with their musical arrangements and delivery. Steven Wilson also does a stunning job of mixing the album, keeping its fragility and vulnerable spirit, whilst still achieving something very special.

Take yourself on a journey with ‘Everything’, which could be featured in many a rom-com flick, with the leading lady crying by the window on a moving train, while rain laps against the windows and memories of past float by with camera fade ins (I could definitely be a musical director for films). The added feature of a female vocal creates a harmony that is sweet and gentle, whilst the musicians in the band build layers and take steps towards developing contrast and sensitivity at their very fingertips.

So much for not discussing each song eh? Nevermind, I am passionate about this band!

‘Angels walk among us’ has a real charm, beginning with smooth and light guitar and vocal combinations, but don’t rest on your laurels, as it soon picks up to shoehorn some grit between the clean passages. ‘Prescence’ features a mainly spoken word approach, although the band does make an appearance during the latter stages, just to remind you that they are still alive and kicking. ‘A simple mistake’ is another calming performance, which certainly focuses on meaningful and honest content, not afraid to explore the quieter aspects of tracks, over a wall of sound.

‘Get off, Get out’ has a storytelling quality like no other, seemingly touching on Porcupine Tree influence, with a pinch of Tool thrown in for good measure. Nevertheless, Anathema are not a band who need be compared with others, because their weight alone as a unique entity would set them aside from anyone in their shadow. ‘Universal’ is probably the furthest from the sound of any other track on the album and possesses another aspect to the band previously unchartered. ‘Hindsight’ is an atmospheric ending to the album and one which remains firmly in the listeners head and heart as the band makes a departure from the airwaves, leaving those who have experienced the album to long for more. Thankfully, I only had to lean forward and hit play again, but this is a definite long-lasting masterpiece and something which others should take note of. A charming display and a wealth of talent thrown into one pioneering creation.

High five!

You know when you go round to your friend’s house for a BBQ and they stick on a rudimentary ‘Chillout’ album which batters the airwaves all night, with little interest being shown by guests? I personally think this album would be nothing short of perfect, with a cold drink and a deck chair. Noticing Anathema have a healthy back catalogue, I can already see myself trekking through their work in the following months, trying to catch up on lost time!

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