By F. Daniel Kent
4 stars out of 5
Eight albums into their storied career, Liverpool based independent Progressive Rock band Anathema return to the fold with a long awaited follow-up to 2003’s A Natural Disaster. Self-produced by the band, We’re Here Because We’re Here was originally released in the UK last year but is finally making a splash on this side of the pond through US distributor The End Records.
When front men Danny & Vincent Cavanaugh led the group away from their heavier, more Gothic doom metal sound starting with 1996’s Eternity many were doubtful. Despite that, Anathema has proven naysayers wrong time and again. We’re Here Because We’re Here is no exception. Indeed, it is the opinion of this not-so-humble reviewer that this album is the masterful and logical continuation and of every one of the albums leading up to here.
Opening with the ethereal “Thin Air” setting the stage for the magic that is to come, Anathema then launches headlong into the driving fury Of “Summer Night Horizon” which borrows elements from the harder sound the group used in the early 90’s. Stopping shy of full-on doom metal, the song actually seems to take an uplifting and inspiring tone that seems perfectly at home with the power chords of Vincent’s furious guitar work.
These two songs form the foundation of a musical story that weaves back and forth between quiet, atmospheric and introspective (“Universal”) to hard driving, powerful and confrontational (“A Simple Mistake”) and every point in between.
Other highlights include the intensely powerful “Angels Walk Among Us” featuring guest vocals from Ville Valo of the Finnish Goth Rock outfit HIM. Though somewhat out of character for the HIM front man, Valo’s baritone takes on a nearly beatific beauty that blends almost sorrowfully with the towering musical textures swirling throughout the uplifting piece.
Fusing elements of traditional Prog-Rock with modern Alternative styling and flourishes reminiscent of the Goth Metal days without all the doom and gloom, We’re Here Because We’re Here is nothing less than a harbinger of seething power and inspiring magnificence as only Anathema could deliver.
I only hope it doesn’t take another seven years to get another release from Anathema.
Anyone who pre-orders Anathema’s “We’re Here Because We’re Here” from The Omega Order (the bundle, the special edition or the standard edition) is eligible to enter the Anathema Song Title Contest.
You get to create a song title and Danny Cavanagh will WRITE the song for you to go on a future Anathema album!!
Follow this link and you’ll find a video by Danny explaining the competition and all the written details on how to take part:
ENTER THE CONTEST HERE
Closing date is 14th June 2011.