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Christina Cobain "A" (UK)

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Ashore the celestial burden (1992)
Ashore the celestial burden (1992)

5.0 out of 5 stars Progressive death metal, 10 Jun 2014
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I'm not sure why this band are so unknown! Well, I guess I am but that doesn't make it any better! These guys sound like they would satisfy Death, Cynic, Atheist and Pestilence fans. Their riffing and vocal style belongs to the old school (and more unique) wave of death metal bands and their progressions are very ethereal, with Cynic, Focus-esq intersections at times and melancholic clen vocals here and there (not so much on this album, more so on the sophomore), and what surprised me most was how early this was, 1992! This is progressive death metal not only before Opeth, before Gojira, etc but it's even before Atheist got really progressive sounding. Is this the first progressive death metal band? This album is truly nothing short of a masterpiece. Such a shame they only had two albums because they had that "forward thinking" mentality that very few bands these days have. I wonder where they are now...

Distant Satellites
Distant Satellites
Price: £12.99

6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Anathema 2014, 10 Jun 2014
This review is from: Distant Satellites (Audio CD)
A lot of people are going way over the top with their reviews. People are either calling this some kind of masterpiece, or I saw one review who gave it one star and called it boring. I think both sets of Anathema listeners are just way over the top. So this is where I stand...

This is no Dark Side of the Moon and it's hardly a "progressive" album. It's pretty repetitive in places and a tad predictable with it's destination. The opening track sounds just as tired as the opening track on the last album. Very similar songs which led me to believe the band had run out of ideas. Weather Systems sounded like a bunch of We're Here B-sides for the most part and I feared this album would follow that depressing pattern, but aside from the opening track, thankfully it doesn't.

If you listen to Radiohead, Steven Wilson / Porcupine Tree, Jeff Buckley, etc you will have already heard a lot of what Anathema try to do in recent years, only better and fresher but if you're pretty new to music, you'll be fooled into thinking they're mouthwateringly original and I think with that ignorance you'll be able to enjoy this album a whole lot more.

If you're an Anathema fan who joined them on the very poppy and mind numbing Weather Systems, then you may like this album. But that's not a given because this album is a bit darker and features more electronics in places. If you joined them a little earlier with We're Here Because We're Here, you may like this better than Weather Systems but I doubt you'll enjoy it just as much as We're Here, which was a lot less predictable and closer to the "progressive" genre than they've been since. If you're an old Anathema fan -- that is to say, those who remember the days of Duncan Patterson's amazing song writing -- then you may be very pleased to know that this album is a tad darker than Weather Systems and a bit more interesting as far as the guitar riffs and melodies go too. Danny actually remembered that they're a rock band and managed to play some riffs on this album (though not much and I feel they'll never top A Natural Disaster with this attitude), but my personal highlight of the album is the self titled track which ends with a melody that would please Anathema fans of their more unique era. An excellent song and the best Anathema song since "A Simple Mistake" and "Universal". The other song on the album that I was impressed with (yes, sadly there are only two) is called "You're not alone" and along with "Anathema" this is the track on the album that was written with the rock musician heart. It's got distortion and it's got riffs! Rejoice (even if for a couple of minutes only). Had the whole album sounded more like these two tracks, I may be talking about the best Anathema album since Judgement. Alas, that is not the case...

It's certainly a good album but it's not as magical and ground breaking as some people would like to make it out to be. I'm not trying to be mean or negative but Anathema aren't as original as they used to be. In the 90's the closest bands to their sound were bands like My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost and Katatonia, and even those bands sounded nothing like Anathema. Anathema were just unique and if you wanted to hear anything like Anathema, you had to listen to Anathema. Now Anathema just sound like a pretty contrived band that merges various other musicians works together whilst fooling less knowledgeable people into thinking they're a progressive (rock) band. This to me is the opposite of "progressive" (and with a scary lack of riffs on their last two albums, they're becoming less of a rock band even), and although they still have good songs here and there, they're no longer unique to me. This album is not a progressive rock album, a better title for it would be "atmospheric pop" and if it were labelled as such, I believe I'd enjoy it a lot more on a subconscious level.

So overall, I believe it's an okay album, but the only other Anathema album that I think is worse than this is Weather Systems, everything else they've done is significantly better in my opinion and I believe that as far as 2014 and "dark /atmospheric pop" goes, the new Lana Del Rey album will satisfy me a whole lot more. Shocking...

PS. If you're into pre "A Fine Day to Exit" Anathema, check out Duncan Patterson's new band, Alternative 4, who've already released their stunning debut, "The Brink", which is really a continuation of what Patterson started on Anathema's "Alternative 4" album. "The Brink" sounds like a mix between Patterson's work on Anathema's "Alternative 4" and "Eternity" albums and his post Anathema, Antimatter work. Very artistic, dark, atmospheric, thought provoking and unique. There is simply nothing commercial about it, just pure original sounding, dark and ethereal art.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 21, 2014 4:04 PM BST

Hit Me Like A Man (Ep)
Hit Me Like A Man (Ep)
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £5.61

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For "Cold Blooded", five stars is justified..., 12 May 2012
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This review is from: Hit Me Like A Man (Ep) (Audio CD)
All the songs are good, but "Cold Blooded" is far beyond good, it's a masterpiece of a song, and gives this little EP a worthy five star rating for me. If these guys (and girl) write more songs in a cold blooded way, then their next album will not only sound more mature, sexy and interesting than the last (which I really like too), but they will be one of those bands who actually do progress from their earlier stuff in opposed to just getting boring and lacking the originality, energy or quality they once possessed. Too many bands from Metallica, to Anathema, to Muse and as of recently, Inme, to solo pop artists like Britney Spears, etc, they all seem to get worse and blend into specific scenes. Hopefully The Pretty Reckless will continue to progress, mature and stand out from peers around them... and not suck as they get older.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 20, 2012 10:29 PM BST

Weather Systems
Weather Systems
Price: £9.43

5 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok.. people just like to throw the term 'masterpiece' around way too much!, 12 May 2012
This review is from: Weather Systems (Audio CD)
I'm actually shocked out how many people jump on bandwagons... the new wave of Anathema fanboys and girls makes me laugh. This new stuff is not interesting whatsoever. The good songs are poor versions of songs they've done better between "Judgement" and "A Natural Disaster", and the other songs are just ridiculous and should never have been written and released under the name Anathema. True, I do prefer their older stuff, but also I'm not a typical narrow minded metalhead, and I listen to all sorts of music, so my distaste and utter bordom in the name of this album has nothing to do with the fact I prefer their doom/ gothic stuff. It's about song writing and since the 90's came and went, their song writing has just gone down...

Aside from the excellent "A Simple Mistake" & "Universal", "We're Here Because We're Here" began to bore the hell out of me, it just got boring, and all these kids stating this to be some innovative prog rock release, just annoyed me. These kids surely have never heard such albums like 'Dark Side of the Moon, '2112' or 'In the Court of the Crimson King', but then this Weather nonsense album came out and its lack of quality compared to the previous album was clear, and no I have a little more respect, (just a little) for "We're Here"...

Anathema used to be an interesting, original sounding band, true that was mainly down to Duncan Patterson, but they still wrote good music after Duncans' departure on "Judgement". Even the following albums, although not true Anathema albums in my ears, they were still good, and I still love "A Natural Disaster", but this new album is just boring. Three good songs, three average ones and three throw aways. The spirit of Anathema left with the 90's.
If I want to listen to anything "like" this, I'll listen to it done properly, bands and musicians like Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Astra, Riverside, Porcupine Tree, Storm Corrosion, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, etc, so many other musicians do this kind of thing, but with my balls, originality and quality...

This album is just boring, and Anathema don't care at all about their original fans, the fans that supported them in the early to mid days. The fans that, without them, most of these new girls who claim to love the band but only like their pop stuff, wouldn't exist.

In the end, my review isn't for those girls mentioned above, but for those Anathema fans who support their earlier to mid stuff. I think, on a subconscious level, had they just split the band up and reformed under a new name, I'd view this stuff differently, and proably have a lot more respect for it, but this isn't fooling anyone. This is NOT Anathema, this is more a Daniel Cavanaugh solo band with a couple other singers. Overall, too much fiddly, widdly picking, no riffs, nothing too memorable, RIP Anathema.

Onto something more interesting... Duncan Pattersons' new band: Alternative 4 should please real Anathema fans.
Or if you want to hear something progressive, and a lot more original than this, listen to Leprous, Riverside, The Mars Volta or Astra.
Comment Comments (12) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 6, 2013 4:55 PM GMT

Burning: Wish
Burning: Wish

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Gothic Doom!, 12 May 2012
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This review is from: Burning: Wish (Audio CD)
There's not much to say that hasn't been said below really, except if you've never heard of these guys until now, and you really miss Anathema when they were interesting, original and still had testicles, then you might want to check out the first four/five albums by these guys. They too went down hill, even further down than Anathema, but for five albums, this is quality stuff that any real Anathema fan should own...

...But these guys aren't just an Anathema 'cover band', they do (did) have their own unique identity, nevertheless, this is directly aimed towards Duncan Patterson era Anathema, My Dying Bride, Tiamat and to some extent, early Paradise Lost.

I'd say, the first three albums are slightly better than this one, although the first two albums do suffer from poor production, and even though that usually doesn't bother me too much, it kind of does with these guys. So with that said, depending on my mood, this could either be my fourth favourite or second favourite album by these guys, either way, it's a classic.

Also, if you're looking at this, check out the bands "My Silent Wake" and Duncan Patterson's new band "Alternative 4" if you haven't already!

Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2013 4:44 PM GMT

Tragic Idol
Tragic Idol
Price: £13.21

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good album, but not great like Faith Divides Us..., 12 May 2012
This review is from: Tragic Idol (Audio CD)
There are Paradise Lost fans I consider their opinion, and then there are Paradise Lost fans who I really don't take seriously, ie, the ones who don't like Lost Paradise but think One Second and Host are amazing... I've found that the most narrow minded Paradise Lost fans are actually the ones who don't like Lost Paradise, their opinions on a PL album is based on how commercial the album sounds, or how 'cool' it is (in reading an amazon review for Lost Paradise, the girl gave the CD one star and said -- "It's just not cool guys"), whereas those who like all PL albums, from the Frozen Illusion demo onward, there opinion is broadly based on quality, riffs and song writing, thus those are the opinions I take into consideration...
So when there was all the excitement of 'Omg, the new PL is the best!' I knew I'd have to wait until I heard it myself before I got excited... or at least wait for the opinion of a proper PL fan. So...

With the fact that "In Requiem" was easily their best since "Draconian Times", and arguably their best since "Icon", as well as the fact that "Faith Divides Us - Death Unites Us" was / is my personal favourite PL album since "Gothic", as well as being one of my favourite albums', by any band, of all time, "Tragic Idol" was extremely anticipated by yours truly, but did it live up to expectations though?


The first song came on and I was scared. It was beautiful. Their doomiest song, since what, "Rotting Misery"!? Bliss! I thought to myself: Dear Lord! This could be their best effort since "Gothic". All it needs to do is better "Faith Divides Us" and this is going to be a masterpiece... The opening track is excellent, and set us on the way to another complete PL album... But even though (most) of the other tracks are really good, not too many live up to the standards of the opening track, or the tracks from the last album. The only song on the last album that I didn't think deserve six starts out of five was the title track, which was somewhat mediocre, but with so many other great songs, it was ok. This time around though, I feel the standard has dropped a little and only a few actually blew me away ie. "Solitary One" & "Theories From Another World". The rest were either pretty cool or in the case of the title track and "Worth Fighting For", two filler tracks that truly sound like b-sides.
Maybe I'm being a little harsh on the title track, but then again, maybe not. But "Worth Fighting For", god lord, is a song I hope they never play live, especially when they're so insistant on pretending they were never a death/doom band, and the first two albums really didn't exist, much to the delight of all their feminine fanbase.


What Paradise Lost have done here with the follow up to "Faith Divides Us", is what they did with the follow up to "Icon". They did something, somewhat similar to the previous album, but dropped the intensity, and replaced the doomier riffs with more melodic lead lines. Where "Icon" and "Faith Divides Us" were heavy doom monsters, with depressive riffs and gothic melodies, "Draconian Times" and "Tragic Idol" are a lot more 'catchy' in a poppier way and less riff heavy, with more of a focus on melody. For some, that's great, for me, not so much as I'm more interested in their heavier/emotional side. But on the whole, both are great albums, but this is certainly not as good as "Faith Divides Us", and had it not been for "Solitary One" and "Theories From Another World", I'd probably have said "In Requiem" was better too.

In addition, the two bonus tracks (one original and one cover) are really not worth the time. Rather futile, although I do admit, I don't even remember what the b-side/bonus original track sounds like, whereas the bonus track on "Faith Divides Us" not only stuck with me straight away, and til this day, but it's one of the best songs on a damn near perfect album.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 22, 2012 1:37 PM BST

One Day Less
One Day Less
Offered by nagiry
Price: £14.25

5.0 out of 5 stars For those of you who are sick at Pop/rock era Anathema..., 12 Oct 2011
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This review is from: One Day Less (Audio CD)
Ok, so I like all Anathema albums to some degree, but the last album (We're Here Because We're Here) just sounded too pretentious and lame. The songs were almost just as boring live. If I want to hear something similar, but a lot better, Steven Wilson will take care of that.
Anyway, why am I talking about Anathema? I hear you ask... Well these guys have clearly been influenced by Anathema when the band were original (who else sounded like Anathema back in the day?!) and not trying to appeal to girls who listen to indie rock and wannabe prog. Well, I imagine maybe this is what Anathema would've sounded like had they been the 'same people' mentally, who wrote classic's such as 'Serenades', 'Pentecost III', 'The Silent Enigma' and even the criminally underrated 'Eternity'.

'One Day Less' sounds modern, yet old skool at the same time. The singer uses both death and clean vocals as well as the occassional 'Crying' vocals that Tom Warrior and the two Anathema singers both did in the earlier days. It gives the album a nice touch that feeds the nostalgia perfectly.

The review below mine is one of the reasons I brought this album actually, and I'm glad I did. Excellent album for fans of early Anathema, My Dying Bride, A Dream of Poe and The Foreshadowing (check out those bands I've just mentioned if you haven't already).

Great solid gothic death/doom album with some pretty long epic songs on here.
Very emotional in an honest and not winging way.
Enjoy and support doom metal!


Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £7.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Staind album in over a decade., 12 Oct 2011
This review is from: Staind (Audio CD)
*Snoop Dogg isn't on the new Staind album. Are these people deaf, stupid or have they never heard Aaron Lewis before? I know he's rapping but it's still clearly him. The rapper on 'Wannabe' IS Aaron Lewis. There is another version of 'Wannabe' that didn't make the record due to time constraints, apparently, and that version is due to be released' soon according to Mike Mushok, apparently*

Anyway! If you like Chapter I, II & III, then you'll like Chapter VII. It's as simple as. It's Staind's heaviest effort since Chapter III (Break the Cycle) and in fact, it goes even heavier... so technically, it's their heaviest since Chapter II (Dysfunction). There are some similarities between the heavier few tracks on Chapter V (Paper Jesus, Falling, King of all Excuses) and the songs on Chapter VII (Staind), but these new songs sound a lot more natural, and the focus was clear--lets make this the best that we can! I feel that the odd few heavy tracks on the not-so-heavy-as-a-whole Staind albums, are good (I really like 'Falling' from Chapter V), but on the whole they could've been a lot better had the intent and focus been as clear and strong as that on this new record.

Staind fans hoping for a lighter sounding album will be upset. I went to see them live last night and the annoying girl next to me kept on saying 'I want them to hurry up and play 'It's been awhile' so I can go...', it's these kind of 'fans' that bands don't need. Those posers who jump on the ballad bandwagon won't find too much about the REAL Staind to like, and I'm glad.

On the whole, it's in their top three heaviest (and imo, best) albums, replacing 'Break the Cycle' as the third.
It's not as raw, but probably just as heavy as 'Dysfunction', albeit being more melodic at the same time. Not as heavy or raw as 'Tormented', but it is the first set of Staind heavy songs since 'Tormented' to have guitar solos on them. 'Dysfunction' was heavy, but the songs were great Nu metal / post grunge songs and there was an intentional shift to write songs with less tormented aggression (pun intended). The same can be said for 'Break the Cycle'.
On the new album however, like a few tracks off of 'Tormented', the songs are heavy and Mike shreds which to my ears, makes it sound a little more brutal.

This is how I rate Staind albums overall:

Tormented (10/10)
Dysfunction (9.5/10)
Break the Cycle (9/10)
14 Shades of Grey (5/10)
Chapter V (7/10)
Illusion of Progress (4.5/10)
Staind (9.5/10)

Highlights of the album for me are (all of the tracks, but more specifically) 'Eyes Wide Open', 'Failing', 'The Bottom', 'Paper Wings' & 'Something to Remind You' (now my second favourite Staind ballad to 'Excess Baggage' as they're two Staind ballads that are more about emotion than being poppy and commercial like 'It's Been Awhile' etc (which I still like, but find it overplayed). Pretend 'fans' won't appreciate these collection of songs as much (Yay!)
So, job well done! Now I just hope Staind give us some 1996 Staind songs live again, and continue in this vein of music writing for their next album.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 27, 2013 4:40 PM GMT

Under Saturn Retrograde
Under Saturn Retrograde
Price: £14.38

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-so..., 23 May 2011
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This review is from: Under Saturn Retrograde (Audio CD)
I haven't given this enough time to sink in yet, but I'm pretty sure my basic opinion that this is their worst album, will remain that way, even if the album does grow more on me.

I loved the last album, I thought the clean vocals were ace and I'm not one of those F.T fans ho disliked it, but U.S.R isn't that great. Musically, its quite similar to Brave Murder Day (Katatonia) but not Dance of December Souls as it's not really that doomy, which is a shame. I guess it is DOOMY but it's not doom, it's more like melodic black metal with doom influences in opposed to black/doom or suicidal depressive black metal like their earlier stuff.

I'll give it more spins before giving a proper opinion on it, but like I say, I very much doubt it'll move from being their 'worst' album in my opinon... unless they bring out another album, that's worse, god forbid...
So, overall, better than most things, good enough to want in your CD collection if you're a fan of F.T, early Katatonia and Paradise Lost, Shining (swe) etc. but you're not really going to enjoy this album, if you compare it to the old ones...

Now, the new Shining (Born Loser) that's out pretty soon, will not dissapoint, I'm sure! (I hope)

Price: £14.61

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In Death Metal We Trust, 23 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Doctrine (Audio CD)
While I like all Pestilence albums, I have my favourites and least favourites. The first album, Malleus Maleficarum, was their death/thrash introduction, good stuff but only a stepping stone in my ears. It wasn't until Consuming Impulse that things started sounding really heavy and evil. Proper death metal, the way I like it. Then came their masterpiece, Testimony of the Ancients. My personal favourite, the riffs, god damn, the riffs! Spheres was the follow up and it was ok. No, it was good, but not as good as it could've been. I'll refrain from going into detail about these albums, you probably know them already! Then their was the come back album... some loved it, others hated it. Maybe to some it felt a little contrived? It did sound like a 'modern Pestilence', but it was still good because it didn't sound like a 're-hashed Pestilence' and I'd prefer have a modern sounding Pestilence album like Resurrection Macabre than a Pestilence that seems to be rehashing their classics or no Pestilence at all.

Now to the current album, the follow up to R.M, and boy, I did like R.M before, but after hearing Doctrine, it kind of shines a dark light on why R.M isn't good enough for a Pestilence album... Doctrine was said to have mixed the heaviness of Consuming Impulse, with the theatrics of Testimony of the Ancients with a clear modern element as showcased on R.M. Although in places this could've been done better, it does the whole mixing of previous records whilst staying fresh pretty well, and on the whole the riffs sound like the band have really gotten back into their groove and comfort zone, whereas maybe the last album seemed like they were 'getting back, but not quite there yet' leaving the final product sounding like a stepping stone to what they should really sound like (I'm hoping Death Magnetic is the same kind of thing for Metallica), one problem I have with Doctrine though is it feels too short! I'd take a few more brutal songs (with Pestilence type melody) here! Also, I'd like to hear a few songs like 'Land of Tears' again, the blistering riffs that eventually lead into a melodic solo, basically, something 'catchy' without sounding commercial like modern day Arch Enemy or something...

Anyway, great stuff and as far as the Godfathers of Death Metal & their new albums go, this ones better than the recent Deicide, Cannibal Corpse (E.P not KILL), etc. outputs. This has to be one of the better new albums by the old boys (along with Jupiter by Atheist). Kinda like how 'World Painted Blood' had an old-skool Slayer vibe to it, yet at the same time, was clearly modern (due both to production and certain elements of the song writing), Doctrine has both an old-skool and new-skool Pestilence vibe.

Five star for the modern day state of metal, four stars with the benefit of hindsight...
Overall, excellent album that starts with a freaky 'Celtic Frost' type speech intro, and closes with a crush!
This is their best since 'Testimony' for me!

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