Anathema - Judgement
"Looking for the sun that eclipsed behind black feathered wings. Tomorrow never comes, there was only ever one day but now it's too late".
These lines above, which are written in the booklet, really capture the mood and the theme of this beautiful, but very sorrowful album.    
Judgement has a tentative sound, with a metallic twist and is highly emotional. This is my first encounter with Anathema and certainly not the last one, that's for sure. It's a very good album, however, you have to be in a certain melancholic mood to hear it.
"Fell my heart burning, deep inside yearning, I know it is coming" are the first words of the song Deep, so peaceful. A very good opener, it's melodic and it has some metallic elements, which also characterizes the album.
I have really fallen for Vincent's voice, I just enjoy hearing him sing in this very mellow mood and his British accent is a nice twist. Sometimes, he almost sounds as if he is on the edge of a breakdown.
The song continues right into Pitiless, which has a more angry feeling and some cool psychedelic moments. The guitar solo stands out because it's one of the heavier on the album.
Next, we slip quietly into Forgotten Hopes, which starts with some lovely, calm and melodic guitar which stretches throughout the song. It stands as a great contrast to the lyrics that are more "unforgiving".
The keyboard is very much in front in Make it Right (F.F.S), which is an overall good song but it lacks some variation and it's in the equivalent tone spectrum as the 3 previous songs.
One Last Goodbye is my favorite song on the album; it's very touching and so miserable. I love the calm guitar in the beginning that builds up the depressing mood and then Vincent enters...I totally love his voice. Calm, warm, sincere and sorrowful; he's a man that really has something on his heart - you can feel it. The guitar solo ends the song in a fantastic way, just close your eyes and let the music flow. The words and the music really come under your skin and you feel touched deeply. The entire album is a dedication to Helen Cavanagh, the mother of the Cavanagh brothers, who passed away the year before they made this album and that's why it's so mournful.
The cold as ice Parisienne Moonlight is a duet between Lee Douglas and Vincent Cavanagh and they complement each other nicely. This song is one of the highlights, the piano gives me the chills - it sounds freezingly.
The song that made an impression on me immediately, was the title track. It's a very angry song but sung in the calmest way, however, the distorted guitar brings some of the pain in there. When the bombastic breakthrough hit you, you've just reached the point of no return. I simply love when it speeds up and blasts in to an inferno of ass kicking tightness. All the anger comes out in the drumming and the guitar, it's totally an unexpected surprise that lifts the song up and makes it very memorable.  
In Don't Look Too Far we are back in the calm depressing atmosphere. The distorted vocal actually work! And isn't too much. However, the simple chorus is a bit out of place and drags this song down. The repeating line just gets very tiresome with time.
The beginning of Emotional Winter has clearly some Pink Floyd over it. I'm enjoying this one very much. Highly atmospheric and at times Vincent almost sounds like David Gilmour.
The album ends with the instrumental 2000 & Gone and once again you hear the Pink Floyd inspiration. It's very relaxing and a very good closing track that makes you reflect on the album.
It's as if the depressing mood slips of your shoulders and just leaves you (as the title indicates), like a clearing up after a heavy downpour of rain.  
There's much good stuff on this album, however, sometimes it's a little too predictable. I miss something that really surprises me, something that sends a cool breeze down my spine.  However, don't get me wrong, there are some really good moments, there's just a little bit too much in-between these moments.   
I have to say that I have an ambivalent relationship to the fact that the mood is pretty predictable or some of the songs sound a bit too alike. They could have delved further into the soundscape of the album, because it really has the potential of becoming something distinctive.  And yet I just love the flow, this bobble of sad and relaxing moods you get into and the relatively "simple" sound of being progressive.
A big plus is the quality of the lyrics, they are consistent and there are lines that are almost heartbreaking.
Like these lines in One Last Goodbye:  "Somehow I knew you would leave me this way, Somehow I knew you could never stay and in the early morning light, after a silent, peaceful night, you took my heart and slipped away.."
The albums strongest selling points are definitely emotion and lyrics of high quality. Progressive music sometimes has a tendency to be emotionless and focused on the technical. However, this album shows that the progressive genre can be much more than complexity and a show off.  

Written by Sandra
Thursday, February 25, 2010
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Sandra: 7/10

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Comment by Craig (Member) - Friday, February 26, 2010
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Comments: 134
Ratings: 29
This is one of the Anathema albums I've listened to the least even though many consider it their best.

My favourite is probably Eternity, there's plenty of Floyd influence there too. A bit heavier too, which is all good.

Posted by Craig
Friday, February 26, 2010

Review by Sandra

Released by
Music For Nations - 1999

3.Forgotten Hopes
4.Destiny is Dead
5.Make it Right (F.F.S)
6.One Last Goodbye
7.Parisienne Moonlight
9.Don't Look Too Far
10.Emotional Winter
11.Wings of God
12.Anyone, Anywhere
13.2000 & Gone

Gloomy Progressive Rock

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