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Biebob, Vosselaar, Belgium
May 2nd 2005

After a tour of 30 days with Porcupine Tree, Anathema was finally doing a 2-hour headliner show again. I went to see them in Biebob, a little venue in Vosselaar, Belgium. It’s amazing how a band like Anathema is able to change a truly lousy day into something beautiful.
The trip to the Biebob was all but pleasant thanks to the Dutch railroads, and when on top of that your name is kicked off the guest list by a cranky venue employee the evening doesn’t really start as planned. Luckily there are always people you can count on for help (big thanks to Jamie)


The band was formed in summer 1990 in Liverpool by Daniel Cavanagh. They started as ‘Pagan Angel’ in the following line-up: Darren White - vocals, Daniel Cavanagh - guitar, Vincent Cavanagh - guitar, Jamie Cavanagh - bass, John Douglas – drums. After many line up changes the band is almost in the same line up again, except for Vinnie who has also taken over the vocal part and ex-keyboard player Les Smith who joined Anathema in 2000. Their music has developed from dark metal to melodic metal, with big Pink Floyd influences.
This summer the band will hit the studio again to record their new album.

Because of its long history (first album was released in 1993) Anathema has a lot of material that tonight was pieced together into a stunning set. The band started off really convincing with the first two pieces on ‘Alternative 4’; Shroud of False’ and ‘Fragile Dreams’. During ‘Fragile Dreams’ there even were some never before heard guitar melodies to be discovered. What came next was a great mix between ‘Judgment’ and ‘Panic’ and after being treated to ‘Temporary Peace’ and ‘Flying’ we all of course wanted more. The way Anathema played tonight deserves a lot of respect I have seen the band live for some considerable time now and I believe this was one of their best shows so far. The band, the sound…almost everything was perfect.

They played a lot of their latest album ‘A Natural Disaster’ like ‘Balance’ and ‘Closer’. It has to be said that although Anathema has left the metal scene for some time now they still perform with the same intensity, especially with songs like  ‘Judgement’. The crowd really was great tonight and after ‘Lost Control’ and ‘Inner silence’ they created “a moment to remember” according to Vincent (vocals) when they sang most of ‘One last goodbye’. It didn’t take all that much to get the band, who were in a great mood, back on stage where they served a dessert for the older Anathema fans by playing ‘Angelica’ and ‘A Dying Wish’. That they were in a good mood was visible and could be heard when the birthday boy in audience appeared and  the band sang him ‘Happy Birthday’. They left us with two covers: ‘Albatross’ (Fleedwood Mac) and the all time favourite cover ‘Comfortably Numb’ (Pink Floyd).

Almost all band members were badly lit, which makes it a big horror for photographers to take some decent pictures. The band knew that the light wasn’t that good and Vincent (vocals) even made fun of it: ‘This is a no budget tour with no light.’

It’s time for a new album and I hope another few great shows next year!

01. Shroud Of False
02. Fragile Dreams
03. Balance
04. Closer
05. Release
06. Pitiless
07. Forgotten hopes
08. Destiny Is Dead
09. Lost Control
10. Inner Silence
11. One Last Goodbye
12. Judgment / Panic
13. Temporary Peace
14. Flying
15. Angelica
16. A Dying Wish
17. Albatross (Fleedwood Mac)
18. Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)

Music 9
Performance 9
Sound 7
Light 5
Total 8

A really big thanks to Teun van Irsel by helping me out with the review!

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