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anathema universal
Artist: Anathema
Title: Universal
Genre: Progressive Rock/ New Prog
Release Date: 20th September 2013
Label: Kscope Music

Album Review

Latest trend of many bands is to really bite into releasing their live recordings. Maybe it’s a push against the age of internet, whichever... with ANATHEMA after the fantastic ‘Weather Systems’ I’m not going into overanalysing... That album grew on me so much that it’s turned into my most listened album, not only of their career (spanning from the ‘90’s), but of albums I’ve reviewed in my time of writing for Reflections of Darkness. The concert in question took place in the ancient and impressive Roman theatre in Philippopolis (Plovdiv, Bulgaria) in September 2012, a concert special also for the band having performed together with Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra. It was released under the title of ‘Untouchable’ in June of this year and is entering now with different track-sequencing under ‘Universal’, targeting other audiences.

As usual it’s coming out in many formats; sadly you won’t be reading about the film footage by Lasse Hoile (Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, Opeth, Dream Theater) but about the audio, which contains songs from the aforementioned latest album (of 2012) but also from their highly successful ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’ (2010) and also out of ‘A Natural Disaster’ (2004). It’s interesting to hear the songs gel together even if taken out from that selection and time scope. The delicate, fragile beauty of human existence (in particular its melancholy) captured in their songs comes out with a feel of intimacy, urgency and immediacy. Yet although it feels intense, it’s also very relaxing and serene. The orchestra adds to it without pushing it into a new version, the atmosphere of the concert is muted and it centres on music with only little shading of the audience.


01. Untouchable Part I
02. Untouchable Part II
03. Thin Air
04. Dreaming Light
05. The Storm Before The Calm
06. Everything
07. A Simple Mistake
08. The Beginning And The End
09. Universal
10. Closer
11. A Natural Disaster
12. Flying


Vincent Cavanagh – vocals, guitar
Daniel Cavanagh – guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals
John Douglas – percussion, keyboards, guitars
Jamie Cavanagh – bass
Lee Douglas – vocals
Daniel Cardoso – keyboards

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Cover Picture

anathema universal


Music: 9
Sound: 8
Total: 8.5 / 10

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