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My relationship with this band started few years ago when my friend introduced to me to this band. At first I didn't like it, because at that time I didn't like growls which are quite typical in music like this. What made me then like this band? Well I started with lighter albums such as Judgment, Alternative 4 and A Fine Day To exit. The more I listened to this band the more I wanted to hear it even if it would be heavier. Actually Anathema led me to extreme metal and showed me the beauty of doom, black and melodic death metal. Why am I writing this? Well I think that you can't write a review if you hadn't listened to the whole production, and this fits particularly to Anathema.
Crestfallen is pure doom metal album
Harsh, simple, desperate. Those are the words that first pop up when you think Anathemas first EP, Crestfallen. The album starts with song ...And I Lust which is quite epic song. Intro is filled with distorted guitars, growls and moans making a very doomy fealing. The song rolls nicely and ends up with quite marvelous solo. The Sweet Suffering is song which is song about finding the truth and end to the suffering and the answer lies in death. Wake up! Or then don't because the song Everwake blows your mind with somniferous mood, where distorted guitars and growls have been changed to acoustic guitars and clean, woman vocals. Add this song to your mp3 if you want to listen music just before you are going to sleep.
And then comes the albums masterpiece, the Crestfallen. Intro is very depressive and emotional, which is made with Dannys leads and Whites suffering vocals, and I personally think that this is one of the best intros that I've ever heard. After the intro the song starts rolling with similar doomy feeling as in Sweet suffering just having more emotion, harshness and dedication which is making this song a masterpiece of doom metal genre. Crestfallens lyrics have also connection to Anathemas newer production such Inner Silence and falling deeper. Last but not least comes the They Die which continues with similar musical appearance as heard previously in the album. The lead is very epic, shame that the song didn't end with it did like in the album Serenades.
The album has minor drawbacks and I warmly recommend it to anybody who is interested in doom metal, or generally in metal. This is the album which set Anathemas course to the top of doom metal genre, and eventually made same the same success in alternative/atmospheric rock genre.
“…by the haunting shadows of trees and graves, mesmerized am I…”
With a series of power strokes and some grisly monotone narration “…And I Lust” would become the public’s true entrance to the Liverpool band’s volume warping death/doom euphony. By now, Paradise Lost’s Gothic, The Gathering’s Always, and My Dying Bride’s As the Flower Withers (and some will argue to include Cathedral’s debut Forest of Equilibrium, not that it’s entirely off the mark, but tends more toward a nephew-of-Sabbath retro vibe than anything else) were brusquely serenading many to mournful pastures, but one really couldn’t leave out Anathema without some sort of crime being committed.
While adding three more minutes to the already interminable staple “They Die”, the rhythmic charge of the remaining four tracks is more determinable than on their previous 7”. Less evasive and tangled are the melodies and drumwork, marching along with a more exacting structural stamp that comes off kinda inflexible, noticeable mostly during “Crestfallen” in less-than-spectacular fashion, but also within the roar-infested sections of “The Sweet Suffering”.
Darren White often interrupts his mammoth death growl ideology with woundedly spun, gothic interludes that are easily perceptible when thrown against the barbaric (and likely purposeful) ultra-growl of “The Sweet Suffering” and twined with the same during the stringently paced title cut, a song where the start strays toward an unassuming mid-90’s Savatage-ish veil in its spurt of piano-driven elegance, like something off Handful of Rain, but is quickly squashed by not only the aforementioned recurring hip-wader gait, but by a heavy blanket of slowly wrought, near symphonic drear that doesn’t stay hidden here, during the anti-pounding parts of “The Sweet Suffering”, or in opener “…And I Lust”.
Then there’s the ever-alluring “Everwake”, the classy, acoustically aired magical rift in the brutish death/doom hemisphere where the Ruth (last nameless) fills a light, keyboard-entranced void with a promise of something beyond the burning cliffs of despair and sledgehammer motif. With next year’s lovely “J’ai Fait Une Promesse” and In Flames’s “Everlost (Part II)” (‘ever’ wonder about coincidences?) two years after that, it appears the promise hadn’t been broken, let alone forgotten.
Instead of a step forward, Anathema’s Crestfallen seems to shuffle parallel to itself with a damage report that details a simultaneous regression and progression in accomplishment. While the overall riffage endures in a more prosaic strafing motion, the atmospheric vernacular has a target somewhere nearer to being locked. White’s eroded warble and Ruth’s serenade keep this from slipping down the percentage ladder from the They Die 7". Still the beginning stages of a promising band.