Anathema have been at the forefront of the UK rock/metal movement for many years. They began their journey as pioneers of melodic heavy music, influencing a myriad of bands to follow them, before outgrowing all genres and limitations as they fearlessly explored new territory and new ways to express feeling through sound.
Formed in Liverpool in 1990, the band’s sound, and musical vision has continually evolved over the ensuing years while always remaining true to their original goal of creating forward thinking, meaningful, passionate and honest music.
The line-up is really a collective of two families who were quite simply born to do it. Anathema consists of brothers Vincent and Daniel, alongside childhood friends John Douglas and his sister Lee, who is an incredible singer in her own right. Live they are joined by the third Cavanagh brother, Jamie and Daniel Cardosa.
There is a deeper bond in the group that transcends usual band politics, ego, and self-interest. They have a shared vision: to make the most incredible music they possibly can, and it seems, despite the lavish praise heaped on the band for their past work, that they are now taking their work to a whole new level.
The band’s first four albums, Serenades (1993), The Silent Enigma (1995), Eternity (1996) and Alternative 4 (1998) were released on Peaceville Records. Following these four albums the band moved to the now defunct Music For Nations where they released a further three albums, Judgement (1999) , A Fine Day To Exit (2001) and A Natural Disaster (2003) which was hailed as ‘darned near essential’ by Metal Hammer.
With each release they moved beyond the boundaries of limited scenes and pigeon holes, creating a complex and emotive atmospheric sound.
In August 2008 the band released Hindsight a semi-acoustic album featuring old and new favourites from the band’s career, with new arrangements utilising acoustic, electrical and orchestral instruments. The album was released on Kscope, a sister label of Peaceville.
This proved the start of a successful partnership with Kscope which continued with 2010 studio album We're Here Because We're Here, which was awarded Classic Rock’s Prog Album of the Year as well as a host of other accolades. The producer of WHBWH, Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), has described it as “definitely among the best albums I’ve ever had the pleasure to work on.”
In late 2011 Kscope also released the Falling Deeper album, which continued where Hindsight left off, featuring brand new arrangements of songs and haunting melodies from the band’s earliest days as pioneers and co-creators of an entire genre of heavy music.
This was followed in April 2012 with Weather Systems, the band's new studio album. Weather Systems was equally well received as its predecessor, receiving rave reviews around the world and charting across Europe.
It debuted at #14 in the German top 40 chart and it also reached the top 20 of the national charts in Poland (#9), Holland (#18), Finland (#15) and the top 40 in Norway (#29) and France (#31). In the UK it reached number #10 in the indie chart and #50 in the national chart. The album once again took the #1 place in the Prog magazine Critics choice awards and Anathema were voted the number one in the band of the year category in the readers' poll.
The band also won the award for best live event at the inaugural Progressive awards, rightly recognising the band's incredible live experience. Honed over years of performing together the band now display a rare understanding and confidence, which wowed fans across the world during the lengthy world tour that followed the release of Weather Systems.
The European part of this tour opened with a special one-off gig at the ancient Roman theatre of Philippopolis with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra. This special evening was filmed by the respected director Lasse Hoile and a concert film of the evening will be released in September. Titled Universal, the film is released as a 4 disc audio-visual set, capturing the magic of the evening on Blu-ray, DVD and 2CD. This limited edition set features bonus audio content and footage of the band recorded at the Union Chapel in London. A 2disc (CD & DVD) set and a Blu-ray edition will also be available.
The gig is also available on Untouchable, a double heavyweight vinyl set packaged in a gatefold sleeve with printed inners. Untouchable shall be shipping from the Kscope store from mid-July.