10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Considering the situation, a fine and influential album,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Silent Enigma (Audio CD)
This album must be understood in its context. Previously, Anathema had recorded Serenades, a mixture of "Lost Paradise" era Paradise Lost and Iron Maiden style of doom metal. This gained them much popular and critical acclaim. However, just before the recording of this, their second album, Darren White was removed as the singer and rhythm guitarist Vincent Cavanagh took the helm.
"The Silent Enigma" beautifully builds upon the basis that "Serenades" had previously formed. The songs have more depth and contrast and encorporate a very subtle keyboard approach that suggests a more mature style of song-writing. The production sounds very "full" and the bass is more prominant than ever, most likely because bassist Duncan Patterson wrote most of the music! As ever, the guitars are heavily distorted, the drums powerful and the tempo slow. Cavanagh offers similar vocals in the same "growly"/"moany" style of White although it must be said that Cavanagh also appears to have been much influenced by Celtic Frost's Thomas G. Warrior.
Opener "Restless Oblivion" is one of the strongest songs on offer, incorporating a sing-a- long chorus that is almost completely absent in most doom metal bands. "A Dying Wish" is a crowd favourite that slowly builds to a magnificent crescendo. As with Serenades, female vocals are prominant on the occasional track. This time it is the song "...Alone": a simple track with only female vocals, accoustic guitar and haunting keyboards.
The main gripe I have with this album is the vocals. They do tend to grate after a while and its such a shame because the music would work so well otherwise. All in all though, this is a fine album, slightly flawed, but well worth a look if doom metal rocks your boat.