Title: We're Here Because We're Here
Genre: Alternative / Progressive / Rock
Release Date: 4th June 2010
Label: K Scope Records
Weaving shadows into music and adding dashes of purest melancholia are things; ANATHEMA achieved a grand mastership in over the course of their career, with it providing a soundtrack for the lost and those experiencing the darkest days of their lives. But there’s something different about the successor of 2003’s ‘A Natural Disaster’. At various points while listening to the new album ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’, I couldn’t shake off the persistent feeling that a cathartic event, somewhere along the path of creation, had significant impact.
It starts already with the opening cut ‘Thin Air’ that with its kind of contemplative, uplifting indie rock riff makes an untypical backdrop. Contrary to a word used in the title, the song gains more and more substance as the strength is pouring out of it. ‘Summernight Horizon’ does a daring dance on the invisible verge between day and night. The erratic piano gives a sense of menace and dramatic. The soon emerging drums adapt exactly to the piano’s tempo and make an interesting rhythm fraction by doing this, while Vincent’s immersive vocals drag us right into the centre of things with the guitars suddenly adding harshness to the track’s spheres. The next one ‘Dreaming Light’, and top of my list of the album tracks, just as well begins with a piano, its play shining with serenity and melancholy. Then there’s Vincent singing “Suddenly…life has new meaning.” And you realize that even though there’s still a latent sadness within this song somehow, the predominant feeling here is hope and redemption. “And love stills my mind like the sunrise.”
It’s a song, crawling deep beneath your skin with the ability to make emotional souls cry in an instant. The irregular timing both on the rhythm and the melodies of ‘Everything’ brings back the Progressive Rock that carved out a niche existence as of yet. ANATHEMA however know exactly how to make it even sound appealing for different than the usual audiences, embellishing and gracing the excellently executed sections with memorable melodies. Also there’s a kind of a mystical light floating through the track. “Everything is energy.” ‘Angels Walk Among Us’ is one having been extensively presented long before the album actually had a known release date, and could be downloaded already couple of years ago. The song connects to the very own, already mentioned, virtues of the band. The yearning, the riff melodies emit is overwhelming and the curbed vocals underpin and multiply the toll the song eventually will take on the listeners.
The spine-tingling emotionality contained within the tune is second to none and when its “Mother can you hear me?” you can hardly hold back tears as the desperation in these words goes right through to your soul, but then again it’s not all dark within the song’s boundaries. ‘Presence’ is entwined with the aforementioned and a sampled discourse about life and death, gently accompanied musically and with a wonderful string section attached. ‘A Simple Mistake’ is an opus magnum of sorts with its wings stretching out beyond the 8 minutes mark, never getting boring a single second when wandering from highlight to highlight, demonstrating the enormous instrumental and emotional bandwidth the band has to offer. A mournful string arrangement leads into ‘Universal’, wrapped in grey clouds and a movie-score like atmosphere through the dominant strings. The clouds however rip open at some point and let light slip through, marking the end of the storm that’s been lasting so long.
How to sum up the things experienced with ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’ and how to bring the emotions felt straight to a point? In one word: Impossible! Experiences and emotions coming up with listening to the album are so diverse and overwhelming; one will be lost for words. Just one thing’s set: The long wait for this album has been worthwhile. Some grand musical pieces are on here and balance completely some of the weaknesses I feel in tunes such as ‘Thin Air’ or ‘Get Off, Get Out’. Don’t you overestimate them, but in my eyes they make them fall short of reaching the majesty and magical atmosphere of later efforts on the album. Now I’m eager getting to hear some of these tunes live.
01. Thin Air
02. Summernight Horizon
03. Dreaming Light
05. Angels Walk Among Us
07. A Simple Mistake
08. Get Off, Get Out
Vincent Cavanagh - Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Daniel Cavanagh - Lead ´Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards
Lee Douglas - Vocals
Les Smith - Keyboards
Jamie Cavanagh - Bass
John Douglas - Drums
http://www.anathema.ws/ / http://www.myspace.com/weareanathema
Total: 9 / 10