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a sad way to exit
on 4 February 2005
"I remember them when they were a heavy metal band" is probably the lamest review ever, but it's true, and would be enough here.
After the colossal "Judgement", many of the hard rockin' fans that followed from the aggressive "Silent Enigma" and before, were increasingly disappointed with the quality of Anathema's output. Those who latched on to the "Eternity" record and the masterful "Alternative 4" may still find points to enjoy in this seventies-evoking, parent-friendly prog rock release.
BUT, the sophisticated riffs are gone, as are the folky, modal acoustic passages. Worst of all: the soaring technicality of their previous electric lead work is obviously missing. And I, for one, miss that bitterly.
This album could actually be a lot worse, Anathema have at least skipped genre convincingly, if you like that sort of thing. Unlike ex-labelmates and founding fathers Paradise Lost whose slow evolution from Death Metal into Depeche Mode-esque dad rock was peppered with bad records, Anathema have failed so far to really screw up. But this album is a very pleasant, well-produced waste of guitars.