Anathema (band)

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Anathema
Anathema (Festimad 2007).jpg
Live at Festimad 2007, 8 June 2007
Background information
Also known asPagan Angel (1990)
Origin Liverpool, Merseyside, England
Genres
Years active1990–present
Labels Peaceville, Music for Nations, Kscope
Associated acts Cradle of Filth, Antimatter, Porcupine Tree, Steven Wilson, HIM, Anneke van Giersbergen
Website www.anathema.ws
Members Vincent Cavanagh
Daniel Cavanagh
John Douglas
Lee Douglas
Daniel Cardoso
Past members Darren White
Jamie Cavanagh
Duncan Patterson
Shaun Steels
Martin Powell
Dave Pybus
Les Smith

Anathema are a British rock band from Liverpool. [10] The line-up consists of singers and guitarists Vincent and Daniel Cavanagh, their brother Jamie Cavanagh on bass, drummer John Douglas, singer Lee Douglas, and keyboardist/drummer Daniel Cardoso since November 2012.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Liverpool City and metropolitan borough in England

Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in North West England, with an estimated population of 491,500. Its metropolitan area is the fifth-largest in the UK, with a population of 2.24 million in 2011. The local authority is Liverpool City Council, the most populous local government district in the metropolitan county of Merseyside and the largest in the Liverpool City Region.

Contents

The band was founded as Pagan Angel in 1990 by the three Cavanagh brothers, drummer John Douglas, and singer Darren White, as a death/doom band. At the time White was the only singer of the band. The following year, Jamie left and was replaced by Duncan Patterson. Under this line-up, Anathema released their first EP, The Crestfallen (1992), and their first album, Serenades (1993). However, White left in 1995; Vincent decided to act as Anathema's vocalist in addition to his guitarist function in the albums The Silent Enigma (1995) and Eternity (1996), which were going into a more gothic metal direction.

Darren "Daz" White English musician

Darren White is an English musician raised in Liverpool and best known as the original vocalist for the band Anathema. His low death grunts on the band's early recordings pinpointed the group's early identification with the death/doom genre.

Duncan Patterson British musician

Duncan Patterson is an English musician, best known for his work as a member of Anathema (1991–1998) and Antimatter (1998–2005).

<i>The Crestfallen</i> 1992 EP by Anathema

The Crestfallen is a demo EP by the British doom metal band Anathema. It was the first official release in Anathema's discography.

In 1997, John left the band, and was replaced by Shaun Steels for the album Alternative 4 (1998). Both Patterson and Steels left the same year, replaced by Dave Pybus and a returning John Douglas, while former My Dying Bride keyboardist and violinist Martin Powell also joined the band (Daniel Cavanagh was also acting as the band's only keyboardist, and shared this position since). The only album released with this line-up was Judgement (1999): the same year Powell switched positions with Cradle of Filth's keyboardist Les Smith who joined Anathema, and Lee Douglas, John's sister, was added to the line-up as a backing and occasional lead vocalist.

Shaun 'Winter' Taylor- Steels is a British heavy metal drummer and bassist. Shaun is of Scottish and Norwegian descent on his mother's side of the family.

<i>Alternative 4</i> (album) 1998 studio album by Anathema

Alternative 4 is the fourth album by the British rock band Anathema. It was released on 22 June 1998 through Peaceville Records. Like Eternity, Alternative 4 is sung with clean vocals. Various reviews categorised this album as experimental, depressing and atmospheric.

Dave Pybus British musician

Dave Pybus is an extreme metal musician, best known as the former bass player of Cradle of Filth.

The band released their sixth album A Fine Day to Exit in 2001, turning to an alternative sound. Shortly after the release, Pybus announced his departure and was replaced by the band's original bassist, Jamie Cavanagh, reuniting the three brothers in the band for the first time since 1991. There were no new members for the next ten years, with the albums A Natural Disaster (2003) and We're Here Because We're Here (2010) all being recorded and released by the same line-up, with the sound turning even more towards progressive rock; however, Daniel Cavanagh left Anathema in 2002 to join Antimatter, returning in 2003. Smith left Anathema in 2011, and Vincent and Daniel both assumed the function of keyboardist for the band's ninth album, Weather Systems , in 2012. The same year, Cardoso, the band's live keyboardist since 2011, joined as a full-time member.

<i>A Fine Day to Exit</i> 2001 studio album by Anathema

A Fine Day to Exit is the sixth album by the British rock band Anathema. It was released on 9 October 2001 through Music for Nations.

Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1980s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music. At times, "alternative" has been used as a catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receives mainstream recognition, or for any music, whether rock or not, that is seen to be descended from punk rock. Although the genre evolved in the late 1970s and 1980s, music anticipating the sound of the genre can be found as early as the 1960s, with bands such as The Velvet Underground and artists such as Syd Barrett.

<i>A Natural Disaster</i> 2003 studio album by Anathema

A Natural Disaster is the seventh album by the British rock band Anathema. It was released on 3 November 2003 in the United Kingdom and on 24 February 2004 in the United States through Music for Nations.

The band's tenth studio album, Distant Satellites , was released on 9 June 2014 via Kscope. Their eleventh album, The Optimist , won "Album of the Year" at the 2017 Progressive Music Awards. [11]

<i>Distant Satellites</i> 2014 studio album by Anathema

Distant Satellites is the tenth studio album by the British rock band Anathema. It was released in June 2014 via Kscope and reached #33 in the UK album charts.

Kscope is an independent record label that is part of Snapper Music, and a sister-label of Peaceville. It is dedicated to artists in the progressive rock genre. The label has released albums by Steven Wilson and his projects Porcupine Tree, No-Man and Blackfield. In 2008 it branched out and has since signed the post-progressive artists Anathema, Lunatic Soul and Ulver, and progressive rock stalwart Ian Anderson to their roster. In 2013, the Steven Wilson release The Raven That Refused To Sing received the Album of the Year award at the Progressive Music Awards.

<i>The Optimist</i> (Anathema album) 2017 studio album by Anathema

The Optimist is the eleventh album by rock band Anathema. The album was released on 9 June 2017, through Kscope, three years after their last release, Distant Satellites. The idea for The Optimist originated from the cover artwork of the album A Fine Day to Exit (2001). The coordinates from the first track are pointing to Silver Strand beach in San Diego County, the location that is shown on the cover of A Fine Day to Exit. The Optimist won "Album of the Year" at the 2017 Progressive Music Awards. It is the final album featuring bassist Jamie Cavanagh before he left the band a second time in 2018. It was the band’s second UK Top 40 success, peaking at #34.

History

Early years:"Serenades" and "The Silent Enigma"

Anathema formed in 1990 as a doom metal band, initially going by the name Pagan Angel. [12] In November of that year, the band recorded their first demo, entitled An Iliad of Woes. [12] This demo caught the attention of several bands and labels from the English metal scene.

Doom metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other heavy metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. The genre is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, who formed a prototype for doom metal. During the first half of the 1980s, a number of bands from England, the United States and Sweden defined doom metal as a distinct genre.

Anathema - Daniel Cavanagh.jpg
Anathema 2004 - Vincent Cavanagh.jpg
Brothers Daniel Cavanagh (above) and Vincent Cavanagh (below), both of them vocalists, guitarists and composers for the band.

At the beginning of 1991, the band gained a lot of attention with the release of their second demo entitled All Faith Is Lost, resulting in a four-album deal with Peaceville Records. [12] Their first release under the label was The Crestfallen EP in November 1992. They took the material from that album on the road, touring with Cannibal Corpse.

Serenades , Anathema's debut LP, attracted a lot of mainstream attention, propelling their "Sweet Tears" music video onto the MTV playlist. Anathema's first European tour was in 1994, and was closely followed by gigs at the Independent Rock Festival in Brazil.

In May 1995, vocalist Darren White parted with the band, eventually forming The Blood Divine. [12] Rather than recruiting a new vocalist, the band decided that guitarist Vincent Cavanagh should assume White's role. [13] This new formation debuted by touring with Cathedral in the United Kingdom, and released The Silent Enigma soon after to rave reviews. It also showed the band starting to take a direction akin to Gothic metal.

Mid 1990s:"Eternity", "Alternative 4" and "Judgement"

The next member to leave the band was drummer John Douglas, who departed in the summer of 1997. He was replaced by Shaun Steels, formerly of Solstice, who would also later play drums for My Dying Bride. [13] The release of Eternity came in 1996, relying more on atmospheric sounds, and starting the transition to clean vocals; [13] the album Judgement would later consolidate this style. A European tour followed the album's release.

Alternative 4 was released in 1998. During this time the band underwent many line-up changes. Bassist/songwriter Duncan Patterson quit due to musical differences and was replaced by Dave Pybus of Dreambreed, a band which Duncan had played bass for during a short period, [13] and not long after this Martin Powell (who had played keyboards and violin for My Dying Bride previously) joined the band for live performances. Finally, founding drummer John Douglas returned to the drums in place of Steels. [13]

In June 1999, the album Judgement was released, marking Anathema's complete shift from the doom metal genre, focusing instead on slower and more experimental songs. This new sound has been likened to artists such as Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, and to a lesser extent, Radiohead. Their songs continued to express a feeling of depression and, more often than not, desperation.

2000s:"A Fine Day to Exit" and "A Natural Disaster"

Anathema in concert at Istanbul Cemil Topuzlu Harbiye Amphitheatre in 2005. Anathema 2005.JPG
Anathema in concert at Istanbul Cemil Topuzlu Harbiye Amphitheatre in 2005.

In 2000 Martin Powell switched positions with Cradle of Filth's keyboardist Les Smith, who came to be an integral member of Anathema.

Shortly before the release of A Fine Day to Exit , Dave Pybus announced his departure from the band and later joined Cradle of Filth. He was replaced by touring bassist George Roberts, and later by Jamie Cavanagh.

In March 2002, Daniel Cavanagh announced his departure from the band, joining Duncan Patterson's band Antimatter. However, he later rejoined Anathema in 2003 for the release of A Natural Disaster , and started their European tour. This accelerated the changes in Anathema's tone, towards the atmospheric and progressive, as exhibited in album tracks "Flying" and "Violence".

Upon the closing of their label Music for Nations after its purchase by Sony BMG, Anathema found itself without a record label, despite having completed an extensive tour of the UK with popular Finnish rock band HIM in April 2006. During their search for a new label, the band have adopted a more 'DIY' approach to music release, embracing the internet and releasing songs via their own website, for which fans may donate a monetary sum of their own choice. Despite the obvious lack of label-based tour support, the band continues to play dates across Europe, guitarist Danny Cavanagh also playing the odd low-key acoustic concert.

2010s:"We're Here Because We're Here" and "Weather Systems"

Lee Douglas, John Douglas' sister, formally joined the band as a singer after some guest appearances. Lee Douglas 01.JPG
Lee Douglas, John Douglas' sister, formally joined the band as a singer after some guest appearances.

On 20 March 2010, Anathema announced on their website [14] and Facebook page [15] the release date of their next album. We're Here Because We're Here was released on 31 May 2010 on the Kscope label. John Douglas' sister Lee Douglas joined the band in the capacity of a vocalist during the recording of this album. She had previously performed on the two previous albums as a guest vocalist.

On 6 July 2011, it was announced on the band's official page that their album of re-interpretations, Falling Deeper , would be released on 5 September 2011. The album was a follow-up to Hindsight and contained new orchestral versions of songs from the past, as well as a version of "Everwake" featuring the vocals of Anneke van Giersbergen. [16] On 12 September 2011, Les Smith's departure due to "creative and musical differences" was announced on the band's website.

On 16 April 2012, the band's ninth studio album, Weather Systems , was released via Kscope. The album entered the UK album charts at No. 50 and the German album charts at No. 19.

On 8 November 2012, Daniel Cavanagh announced on Anathema's official website that Daniel Cardoso was joining in a full-time permanent basis, as a key element of the band. [17]

On 2 December 2012, Anathema announced their first concert in India. Anathema has performed at IIT Madras as part of the Saarang Rock Show on 12 January 2013.

The band's live album, named Universal, was released as a double vinyl album on 24 June 2013. The album is a recording of a special one-off gig at the ancient Roman theatre of Philippopolis in 2012, where the band were joined by the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra. The set was released on Blu-ray, DVD and CD under the name Universal, with an alternate track order, on 17 September 2013.

The band performing at the 2016 Starmus Festival alongside theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking. Stephen Hawking and Anathema (Keep Talking) (28215882481).jpg
The band performing at the 2016 Starmus Festival alongside theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

The band performed on drummer Mike Portnoy's Progression Nation at Sea tour aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line ship Pearl that sailed from the Port of Miami on 18 February 2014. Daniel Cardoso, initially keyboardist, has assumed the role of drummer taking over from John Douglas who now plays percussion and keyboards. [18]


"Distant Satellites" and "The Optimist"

On 28 March 2014, the band announced their upcoming studio album would be called Distant Satellites . The album came out on 9 June 2014 on the Kscope label, and was produced by Christer-André Cederberg in Oslo, Norway. Several tracks were mixed by Steven Wilson (of Porcupine Tree). Different from previous albums is the use of more electronica on this album. The album was released in four different versions: CD, vinyl, Media Book, and a Deluxe version. [19] The band toured the album starting 22 May in Istanbul, Turkey, continuing throughout Europe and travelling to Australia for the first time to perform three dates during August 2014.

Following the success of their short Australian tour, an acoustic tour was announced for New Zealand and Australia in 2015. Daniel, Vincent and Lee performed these show without the other band members. Later that year, the band released an acoustic live album and video entitled A Sort of Homecoming, consisting in the record of a concert at the band's hometown Liverpool Cathedral.

At the end of August 2019, it was announced that Anathema would be leaving the Kscope record label and had signed a new deal with Mascot Label Group. Anathema plans to release their 12th studio album in 2020. [20]

Members

Timeline

Anathema (band)

Discography

Studio albums

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References

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