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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anathema - Universal Blu Ray
Universal is a concert recording by the British band Anathema, released in 2013 on K Scope records. The concert was shot in support of the band's Weather Systems album at the Ancient Theatre of Phillipopolis, Bulgaria on the 22nd of September featuring the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert was shot while the band were in support of their Weather Systems album...
Published 11 months ago by Gentlegiantprog

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A live concert blu-ray in 2013 without a surround mix????
Great band, excellent songs, nice venue, direction is good as well, but I really miss a 5.1 mix! The only sound option is stereo. How stupid is that? With the orchestra in the surround speakers, it would be a five star blu-ray for sure! What a missed opportunity. Strange enough, they released their latest cd's with a good surround track....
Published 11 months ago by J. F. Schortemeijer


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anathema - Universal Blu Ray, 24 Sep 2013
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
Universal is a concert recording by the British band Anathema, released in 2013 on K Scope records. The concert was shot in support of the band's Weather Systems album at the Ancient Theatre of Phillipopolis, Bulgaria on the 22nd of September featuring the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert was shot while the band were in support of their Weather Systems album from 2012 and their setlist draws heavily from both it, and the previous two full-length studio albums We're Here Because We're Here and A Natural Disaster.

The performance is of a very high quality, delivering equally well on the energetic sections of songs, and the shimmering, beautiful quiet sections. The astounding vocal trio of Vincent Cavanagh, Daniel Cavanagh and Lee Douglas, both blend and then contrast their vocal styles to great effect, the rest of the musicians deliver everything with both precision and passion and the Orchestra provide colour and texture, really filling out the sound.

The mixing job is pretty much perfect and all the instruments are arguably balanced as well as they would be on a studio album, with only the added humanity felt in the vocal and drumming performances giving away that it's a live affair.

The visuals are great, with a tasteful stage show in the beautiful ancient theatre, a subtle light show and the Orchestra to draw your eye when the band aren't moving much. The camera work and editing is slow and musician-friendly, letting you get a good look at what people are playing rather than zooming frantically from one shot to another every second.

The track listing for the main show is as follows: `Untouchable Parts 1&2,' `Thin Air,' `Dreaming Light,' `Lightning Song,' `The Storm Before The Calm,' `Everything,' `A Simple Mistake,' `The Beginning And The End,' `Universal,' `Closer,' `A Natural Disaster,' `Deep,' `One Last Goodbye,' `Flying,' `Fragile Dreams,' `Panic,' `Emotional Winter/Wings Of God,' `Internal Landscapes' `Fragile Dreams (Reprise)'

The bonus feature included is a set of five tracks taken from the stripped down, A Night At The Union Chapel concert, the track listing for which is as follows: `Kingdom' `Thin Air' `Angels Walk Among Us' `A Natural Disaster' `Fragile Dreams.' This feature is similarly well recorded, mixed and edited and no simple throw-away. There are some tracks repeated from the main feature, but their alternative, more unplugged (not completely, but close) style makes it worth having both versions.

The Blu-Ray comes in a slim case with a booklet full of photos and the credits. The visuals are NTSC. The main menu only features play and track selection options, and there are no alternative audio (or subtitle) options which may upset some viewers, however I personally was incredibly happy with the audio provided as standard. There are other editions available, for example on Burning Shed with more extensive features, such as a CD of the audio, but as a cheap and simple version of the main concert, this edition certainly delivers it.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with this well made and well performed, good looking and good sounding Blu-Ray Anathema concert, and as long as you like the band and don't have an issue with the lack of audio options, or the setlist, then I highly recommend picking up a copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Outsanding, 8 Oct 2013
This review is from: Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
Maybe like me you have lots and lots of live music DVD's in your collection, you play them once and that's it usually. Well not this one. Universal is one of those rare jewels that captures a wonderful moment so perfectly, its like being there. Although some have complained about the lack of a surround mix I view the glass as being more half full (or overflowing even!)because the stereo mix here is superb, perfectly balanced to enhance a faultless performance in a magical setting.

Highlights? Its all one big highlight really, maybe Dreaming Light which sends shivers down my spine and Untouchable part 2 where Lee's vocals combined with Danny's lyrics will bring a tear to the eye of anyone who has lost a loved one. Good to hear both versions of Fragile Dreams too.

Thanks Anathema, this is one of my best live videos ever!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The calm before the Storm!, 2 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
This 2 hours and twenty minutes concert was filmed in Bulgaria, 22nd September 2012. For those who don't know the band, this is a metal rock atmospheric band that has developed a melodic sound with heavy passages. Most of their songs starts with a theme that his slowly building in intensity with some soaring guitars. There's always in their music some well placed vocals lines, that create a melancholic feel. There's not any long guitar solo, if any, in this show, i have counted only one and it was short, in the beautiful song "Universal". If you prefer some demonstration of technicality, you won't find it here. The musicians create a music that take his strength in a dynamic that is gradually accompanied by the expression of emotion and some nice vocal melodies.

I have enjoyed very much the first part of the concert, because the band played a lot of their two latest releases: "We're here because We're here" and "Weather Systems", who was for me my favorites albums from their long career. The picture in high definition is nice, but they didn't make a surround mix, which is odd for a Blu-Ray release. The camera work gives you plenty of close shots and a view from high above the stage. The addition of the orchestra is perfect for this kind of music, who contains some slow and quiet parts, and in this case the orchestra can be heard clearly, but sometimes when the music is heavier, their sound is overwhelmed. Also featured on this video, a acoustic concert "A Night at the Union Chapel". So, this Blu-Ray is a lot better that their two previous DVDs and a must of Anathema's fans or any progressive rock fan who enjoyed this kind of music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, wow, wow, 1 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
Oh man, I've been waiting for this a long time.

If you are reading this is because you love the band and, if you love the band, you really have to watch this.

Amazing concert, terrific image and sound, and the songs, well, you know what I mean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Band -------Great music, 29 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
Brilliant Concert from one of my favourite Bands!!!. Anathema are a Liverpool Progressive Band and one could say Pink Floyd-ish in their music. Anyone liking Barclay James, Yes or Floyd WILL LOVE their music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great watch!, 25 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
Really atmospheric, a brilliant watch from start to finish. I would definitely reccommend this bluray to any fan of Anathema or music in general.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anathema!!!!!!!!, 21 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
Amazing band and best blu-ray/dvd concert ever made...We need more of this guys in the world,buy it!! looking forward for the upcoming new album!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 July 2014
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This review is from: Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
Anathema live is a breath taking expsriebce, but on blu ray even more so.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 18 April 2014
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This review is from: Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
Great live concert. Worth buying. I only recently heard of this band. Probably one of the best rock bands from Liverpool ever.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent band...., 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] (Blu-ray)
...excellent live show. I was at the Union Chapel gig, so the bonus material on the blu-ray was of special interest to me. But why, oh why, oh why only stereo? It's the 21st century, it's a blu-Ray release. An opportunity missed.

The CD is good though!
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Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B]
Universal [Blu-ray] [2013] [Region A & B] by Anathema (Blu-ray - 2013)
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