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Completing the triangle of UK death/doom - 84%

Gutterscream, January 23rd, 2006
Written based on this version: 1992, 7" vinyl, Witchhunt Records

While My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost were writing vast funeral overtures to emotionally bankrupt the people of West Yorkshire, Anathema were over in Liverpool unleashing their own scene-sweeping suicidal winds no bomb bunker could seal off. Chronology will tie these three bands together forever with the five-piece becoming the third and final prong of the early ‘90s triumvirate of UK doom/death groups.

“They Die” and “Crestfallen”, elongated nocturnes that appeared on the band’s ’91 All Faith is Lost demo in slightly different versions and lengths, unashamedly collide the doom and death genres: voracious and beastly death vox underscored by long and oppressively fertile riffs that don’t merely drone on, but exhale a more artistic performance through unconventional percussion, mazy pacing, and structuring that follows no rules. Without these creative aspects, you'd be stuck with the imperceptible thrum of Doom Snake Cult, begrudged areas of Disembowelment, and early Mordor (Che), all of whom dried up as soon as they appeared.

But it wouldn’t be this pair of 7+ minute dirges to steamroll the band into circulation. The Swiss neophyte label Witchhunt, whose only previous offering was Sinister’s Putrefying Remains 7”, pressed the usual 1,000 copies for distribution that was meek at best. Live shows with Bolt Thrower and Paradise Lost would certainly bolster the band’s credibility, and they would finally end up in the death/doom headquarters of Peaceville (a far cry from coincidental) creating the loftier Crestfallen ep.