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Anathema reaches the top - 97%

Marx_Rattlehead, November 6th, 2006

This is, perhaps, their weirdest album: lyrics talkin' not 'bout love, but instead, they write about trust. Songs almost entirely piano-driven and there's a lack of guitar solos, different from the previews albums, specially "Eternity". From the very start, when Vincent sings the intro to "Shroud Of False", I knew this would be a trip through desperation, conducted by this beautiful soundtrack made by the Cavanagh brothers and co. A touching piano intro sets the mood and then we hear a whisper: "we are just a moment in time, a blink of an eye, a dream for the blind" by Vince. Then the song really starts with heavy guitars and fast drums. This one minute and half piece is pure Pink Floyd, the vocals even remind me of Davild Gilmour.

But it's just the introduction, what comes next is the real thing! "Fragile Dreams" starts with a brilliant riff provided by guitars and an atmospheric keyboard and then the singing. The verses are cool, talkin' about shattered dreams and grief, but the chorus stands out; catchy and precise. Perfect. One of the highlights, for sure. Then comes "Empty", the angriest song here, and of their most desperate anthems. It's not a melancholic tune, instead, a really really mad (and fast as hell) chant about emptiness with lots of screams and the lyrics... Well, pure Anathema. And to complete this album's holy trinity comes "Lost Control", their most beautiful and depressive song ever. The riffs are remanescent from earlier works and this, my friends, are the three songs that alone, would made this album a great release.

I usually listen to it a few times in a row, because of these songs and I prefer the first half of the album, although in the end there's "Regret", another classic. If your going through hard times and need a soundtrack, buy "Alternative 4" and enjoy, but not too much. This is by far their most depressive album.

Highlights: First 4 tracks, Inner Silence, Alternative 4 and Regret (yeah, almost everything)