Sound: Heavily acclaimed Rock band Anathema have been keeping their fans on hold for seven years before finally, a new album has been released. We're Here Because We're here is full of eeriely drawn psychedellic progressions and lucious melodies that have been flip-flopping between styles for so long. The music will be loved by the listeners who let the music take over and engulf them, rather than just listening to music for entertainment. Every progression was planned carefully, and every note is heard clearly, whether it is the low eerie bass to the passionate flow of guitars. The synthesizers used in this album are influenced from many post-rock bands, such as radiohead and various others. The music itself seems to be able to fill a score in a movie, more likely one involving clouds and the essence of nature, with very precise movements and seemingly unmatched creativty. A lot of effort was put into the sound and style that Anathema has to offer, and that should be noted. The effort is so much, it has its own emotion to coincide with the feelings you already feel naturally. Angels Walk Among Us has a more hopeful vibe while Thin Air has a more relaxing and sad feel to it. This is an impact that is not felt by many other bands. The guitar work does get applause here for the exceptiuon blend of chords and individual picking patterns, along with the great mix of solos that are never overdone.
Anathema has never developed one new style perfectly, and this album follows that. Although pyschedellic at certain points, with beautiful choir's voices and a plethora of instruments, it also gives off a different vibe of say progressive rock. This adds to the effect of the album rather than take away from it, and even if people who used to like Anathema for their doom metal do not like the album, this album should still be regarded highly. // 8
Lyrics: The vocals provided on the album by the trio of singers are exceptionally done, and in fact are my favorite part of the album. The Cavanagh brothers, Vincent (Lead Vocals) and Daniel mix well with other vocalist Lee Douglas. The vocals provide their own feel and mix to the album, and even begin movements different that that of the music in the songs. The reverb and echo on the vocals is used to perfection, and the choir feel is absolutely stunning. Very rarely do you hear just one voice pushing the vocals, and the emotional blow behind the beauty of this is quite a strong one. The lyrics seem to talk about the stresses of life and living in general. Thin air screams this out perfectly, "You know how it feels but is it all in your mind? When you know how it feels to be pushed and pulled through your life." The lyrics also have a Trent Reznor feel, simple, effective, and shortly created. Suddenly captures this the best, with short stanzas that have a great impact in the meaning of the lyrics. "Suddenly, life has a new meaning, suddenly, feeling is being. And you shine inside, and love stills my mind, like the sunrise, dreaming light of the sunrise." // 9
Overall Impression: Anathema's highly anticipated album may not be all is was hyped to be, but for a new listener, it can provide a sense of beauty in the world. We're Here Because We're Here is an album of pure craftsmanship. Every note was hit to perfection, and every recording was taken perfectly. The mixing is great, the instruments work together. Never are you overwhelmed like other progressive/pyschedellic bands would do. The vocals are a work of beauty, and are my favorite thing of the entire album. A progressive rock listener wanting to try something completely new should give this album a listen, it may have the emotional blow to become their new favorite album. I would compare this album to John Frusciante's Shadows Collide With People. Although Frusciate has more of a rock sense behind his music, the synthesizers and progressions throughout some of the songs are comparble. A great album. // 8
- Sean Michael Gonzalez (c) 2010