It has been almost a year ago since Anathema visited our country for a full concert Danny guitar and backing vocals and Vinnie vocals visited our country last December for a solo gig and you could tell by the reaction of the crowd that it was definitely too long.
The sound during the whole gig was very good and the instruments were well tuned. When sitting onstage I even saw his leg trembling. Performance When Anathema entered the stage and saw the almost fully loaded venue, the ambiance was set immediately. Vinnie vocals and Danny guitars and backing vocals greeted the audience and told us that it was so very nice to play in a smaller and more personal venue again after touring big sold out venues with HIM.
During the concert a lot of jokes were made and there was a lot of contact with the audience. Off course Les keys again made a joke out of Vinnie vocals by producing a fart sound with his keyboard when speaking to the audience.
Jamie spend a lot of his time on the front of the stage making contact with the fans, which was greatly appreciated. When coming back after 5 minutes it seemed that he had to loose Mr. Alternative 4 might be borderline metal, and without surprise it was and still is shunned by fans of the band's early style, but for enthusiasts of lighter alternative metal, gothic and heavier progressive rock, it constitutes an indisputable highlight of the 90s, comparable to the also somewhat derivative but quality releases from fellow British act Porcupine Tree from that period.
The band ultimately discarded all metallic elements from their formula, maybe a mistake, although I do enjoy their last efforts all the way to the lighter of them all, 's The Optimist. This is an album that I have been looking forward to reviewing for so long because as a huge fan of Anathema, 'Alternative 4' is near and dear to my heart because it was the first full album I heard from the band. I had already reviewed Anathema's 'Eternity' album through my previous profile and didn't know if I was allowed to review it again.
However, I still stand with my opinion that 'Eternity' is one of the greatest metal albums I've ever heard and is a major inspiration on me. I fell in love with Anathema's music ever since I first heard the song 'Lost Control', that song to me was so depressing and so dark that it eventually took me deeper into gothic metal music. Now 'Alternative 4' is unusual release for the band because it's the gateway in which Anathema started to move away from their metal edge.
I still consider albums like 'Alternative 4' and 'Judgement' to be their last records to ever show any sign of metal and gothic influence. Also, John Douglas doesn't return for this album, but instead we get Shaun Steels who at the time had left his former band Solstice and would go on to drum for fellow Peaceville band My Dying Bride.
This is also the last album with bassist Duncan Patterson which after the release showed Anathema moving away further from metal on their next album.
Although 'Alternative 4' is not as powerful and inspiring as 'Eternity', the album is still one of the greatest albums I've heard in gothic metal for being as depressing and showing more gothic elements then in 'Eternity. The guitars still sound heavy enough to be metal from a doom metal perspective, but shows Anathema slowly showing less metal guitars.
It features some soothing and ominous sounds from melodic guitars that sometimes don't sound heavy, but still has some really great riffs that are simple and doom-like. Hearing songs like 'Lost Control', 'Inner Silence', and 'Regret' sounds like they are going for more melody, but at the same time, they were extremely depressing, which is one big reason why I love the album.
Also, I really like Shaun Steels drumming in this album for some reason, I just found his drumming really catchy. The musical approach is amazing that gives out emotion and simplicity to the music. From the piano in the beginning of 'Shroud of False', the depressing yet simple playing in 'Lost Control', the ominous synths in the title track, to the depressing and mournful sounds of 'Regret.
I mean come on, it features organ in 'feel', and dark effects in the last track 'Destiny. Cavanagh no longer show signs of hitting high notes or dirty sounding vocals. Instead his approach is more deeper and simple. While Vincent is showing a more rock style approach, it's still showing more adding depression to the music.
Vincent is so calm and melancholic that it feels like he is showing his pain throughout his music. Instead of showing anger is more melancholy. Not that 'Eternity' didn't have a lot of melancholy, but it did show emotions of anger that were still well executed. It would be seen in future albums, even in albums where Anathema stop playing metal. It's a range in which Cavanagh feels more comfortable with and people should really appreciate that he found his sound.
Sure Vincent's vocals are simpler than 'Eternity', his vocals are very melancholy that is a perfect match 'Alternative 4's musical direction. The lyrics for 'Alternative 4' is also really good. When doing research on 'Alternative 4', the common lyrical theme that I heard is trust and betrayal. Some would say that the Anathema should lose points for going to a more simpler direction.
However, that was the point of 'Alternative 4' and the lyrics match well with mood of the entire album. A great example of the albums depressing lyrics is heard in the title track.
The title track also hits it out of the park with Vincent Cavanagh's voice where he speaks with that nasal accent from that line to the end to make it much more ominous. After all, Duncan Patterson is the driving force for writing the music and the lyrics to the title track. That explains why it is amazing to hear something so dark, depressing, and lives up to more creative success from the bands previous album. Not all the songs were written by Patterson, some of the bands well-known songs are written by Danny Cavanagh.
Dreaming Light 5. Storm Before the Calm 6. Everything 7. Simple Mistake 8. Beginning and the End 9. Universal Closer Natural Disaster Judgement CD. Deep 2. Pitiless 3.
Forgotten Hopes 4. Destiny Is Dead 5. Make It Right F. One Last Goodbye 7. Parisienne Moonlight 8. Judgement 9. Don't Look Too Far Emotional Winter Wings of God Anyone, Anywhere Anathema 2. Untouchable Part 1 3. Untouchable Part 2 4. Thin Air 5. Ariel 6. Can't Let Go 7. Dreaming Light 8. Are You There? J'ai Fait Une Promesse Leaving It Behind Springfield Distant Satellites Internal Landscapes.
The Optimist CD. Endless Ways 4. Gaining huge critical acclaim, Anathema entered the Kerrang! Indie metal charts at number two, and got Metal Hammer album of the month. Musical differences saw the departure of bassist Duncan Patterson. Blues Classical Country. Electronic Folk International. Jazz Latin New Age. Aggressive Bittersweet Druggy. Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying.
Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip.
Piece By Piece - Kenny Thomas - Wait For Me (Vinyl, LP, Album), My Guy - Sandra Cross - This Is Sandra Cross (Vinyl, LP, Album), Trio Helse Cadavers - Tumoristisch (CDr, Album), Hu E Norsk - Vigdis Eidsvåg - Eg Undras (CD, Album), オー・セニョリータ, Eusaphia - Cellar Door (File, MP3), Boogie Nights - James Last - Non Stop Dancing 1977/2 (Vinyl, LP, Album), Bills, Bills, Bills (Vocal) - DnD - Vol. 2: Bills, Bills, Bills (Vinyl), Pitter Patter Interlude - Lullatone - Little Songs About Raindrops (CD, Album), Tying Tiffany - Dark Days, White Nights (CD, Album), Nord-Est: Parc National Kruger - Jean C. Roché - Oiseaux Et Fauves DAfrique - 2: Afrique Du Sud (Vin Tambourin Chinois - Henryk Szeryng Spielt Fritz Kreisler - Caprice Viennois; Schon Rosmarin; Liebesl