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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
10
alternative 4
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£11.30+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 9 May 2015
Fantastic album & beautifully put together, although quite morbid in parts. It's the only album I've purchased that I play from start to finish each time I listen to it which I may add is very often. I never tire of playing this album and being a big Floyd fan, the bonus tracks were a wonderful surprise.!!
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on 6 December 2017
Great album and a good quality pressing too. Would it hurt to provide a digital download though? Would've been 5 stars otherwise
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on 10 July 2014
As with most of Anathema's output since the mid 90's, alternative 4 is superb. Anathema's own work, from the superlative song writing, to the music and heartfelt vocal, this is another example of how brilliant Anathema are.

The Pink Floyd covers of One of the few, your possible past's and Goodbye cruel world are true to the originals with Anathema's musical and vocals added to the atmospheric sound.

A must for all fan's.
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on 8 July 2015
Anathema is definitely a band I like more and more as and when I discover their albums.
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on 23 July 2015
THX
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on 7 May 2013
Although I liked some of the tracks I found some did tend to drag on a little.Knew nothing about this band until a friend played their more recent progressive items with a laidback approach.Personally I found Judgement to be the best of their offerings as there is more rock/progressive element to it with good guitar breaks.
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on 4 February 2005
Having made waves in the scene that gave us Paradise Lost, as an up-and-coming act, Anathema ditched the doom-death My Dying Bride-esque approach and released "Eternity".
The more Floyd-y sound, featuring some surprisingly sensitive singing and ditching the growls of yore, might make most old fans call Anathema sell-outs. But unlike some of their peers (yeah that's YOU, Paradise Lost), Anathema's softening of their onslaught was very welcome, as it provided fans with three unbelievable, innovative records. This is the middle one. "Judgement" is the next (and sadly, last) good "prog-metal" style record released by the Liverpudlians.
"Fragile Dreams" and "Inner Silence" are particularly remarkable tracks, but the concept feel and strong, varied songwriting keep the whole album moving and it's hard to fault any of it.
One criticism: Anathema have essentially made a harder-rockin' paean to their heroes, Pink Floyd, having previously sounded very original on "Eternity". This record to easily evokes "The Wall" in places, but this slight fumble is deftly recovered on the next album, so I forgive them. Beautiful. AND CHEAP!
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on 18 July 2008
For me, this album is the highlight of mid period, post-death/doom-metal Anathema. I remember reading once that Duncan Patterson, the main songwriter for this album, described it as a modern fairytale set to music, and I can't think of a better way to describe Alternative 4. This album exudes feeling, from the heartache of "Fragile Dreams" and the anger of "Empty" to the regret of "Lost Control" and introspection of "Inner Silence". What's more, while the album is absolutely drenched in emotion, it remains sincere and mature. Musically, I feel some of Anathema's finest moments are in these songs, for example the vocal melody and guitar solo in "Inner Silence" or the acoustic guitar passages in "Regret".

I cannot find any fault this album. There are no weak songs, no boring moments. It is, quite simply, beautiful.
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on 29 March 2009
For some time, I was quite prejudice towards Anathema's later material. Later than 'The Silent Enigma', that is. I've come across a few bands that have crossed over genres. Usually from doom metal to any form of rock. Anathema are no different. What was once a doom metal band, with death metal elements, are now an atmospheric rock band. In the past, when i've seen this occur, bands tend to lose their way. The momentum wasn't carried over and although they might have lost fans from the 'golden days', they've gained new popularity under a new genre name. Anathema are one of the few fortunate bands that have managed to carry over their success from one genre to another without losing fans but instead, gaining many new ones and with ease. A lot of the plaudits has to go to the musicians of Anathema, obviously. As band members have come and gone, Anathema have weathered the storm and appear to be entering a phase of their careers when their best material is flowing from the mind to their individual instruments with class.

Musicianship is order of the day for those of you looking to hear 'Alternative 4'. Anathema seems to have kept much of the dark brooding concepts and have carried them over from earlier albums, on to this particular piece. Though the sound is much different to what it was, the goal seems to be the same as it ever was. The idea of 'Alternative 4' appears to be to portray a vast array of negative emotions to the audience. Despite this, there can be moments of a truly touching nature:

"When the silence beckons,
And the day draws to a close,
When the light of your life sighs,
And love dies in your eyes,
Only then will I realise,
What you mean to me."

Lyrics are never usually that important to me, but it's nice to feel a connection with what the bands vocalist is singing about. Not only are the lyrics quite touching, but they are also universal. I'm sure the majority of us have felt inner struggles such as these, or will do in the future. It's inevitable. The effectiveness of the lyrics is obviously down to the vocals. Whilst I used to consider myself a fan of the old Anathema style, the experimentation of the band brings out the best in their abilities. The vocals, which are now cleaner than ever before, are more affective. The lyrics now have a greater chance of being coherent with the vocals being of a clean nature. Whilst the old growling style wasn't exactly incoherent, the overwhelming style of the clean vocals suits the style of Anathema more. Of course, albums like 'The Silent Enigma' were designed to be heavier, therefore the vocals were also heavier, but this more subtle venture appears to be where Anathema can truly get to work on cementing their reputation amongst the best rock bands not only to come out of England, which there are a fair few, but the world no less.

As I said, the subtlety of Anathema is something I can greatly appreciate right now. What with being ill, I needed some soothing music and this is just the right thing for my mood. It's not only because i'm unwell, but as i've got older, my tastes have swayed more and more towards a softer sound than ever before. This is something Anathema provides, both in terms of their soundscapes and their lyrics:

"As I drift away... far away from you,
I feel all alone in a crowded room,
Thinking to myself
"There's no escape from this
fear
regret
loneliness..."

The soundscapes, which i've touched upon, are gorgeous. They're concealed under a shroud of emotion, but gradually, after steady build up play, they're released for us all to gaze upon. Using acoustics and clean vocals are to Anathema's gain. The acoustics add a whole new atmospheric touch to the music on 'Alternative 4'. They don't sweep you off your feet like the electric's do, but they softly take you by the hand to look out upon the marvellous creation that 'Alternative 4' is. There are times when the pace quickens, so it certainly doesn't become drab at any stage. The percussion element of Anathema would never allow that anyway. Musicianship is again credited here. The use of varied tempos, varied sounds from the acoustics to the piano or keyboards all add up to a fine piece of work. So, my opinion of Anathema is slowly developing. As my knowledge on their music continues to grow, so does my appreciation. 'Re-connect' is my favourite song on the album.
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on 30 October 2014
great prog metal, nuff said
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