Anathema are a British Atmospheric/Experimental Rock band from the city of Liverpool noted for emotional intensity of their music. They used to play Death/Doom Metal, and are often regarded as one of the big three of that genre (with Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride ). Progressively, after touching psychedelia and folk, they've changed their music, today playing Atmospheric Rock. Pink Floyd are always regarded to be their biggest influence.ANATHEMA GENRES
Anathema was formed in 1990 under the name of Pagan Angel and in November of that year, the band recorded their first demo, entitled An Iliad of Woes. The switching of names occurred at the beginning of 1991.
Their initial demo caught the attention of a couple of bands from the English metal scene and Anathema then began to play gigs with bands such as Bolt Thrower and Paradise Lost.
The band drew a lot of attention with the release of their second demo - entitled All Faith is Lost - and a 7inch vinyl release for the swiss label Witchhunt Rec. which got Anathema a four-album deal with Peaceville Records. Their first release under the label was The Crestfallen EP in November 1992. With the material from that album the band toured with Cannibal Corpse.
Serenades, their debut LP, attracted a lot of mainstream attention. A music video derived from it - Sweet Tears - even managed to reach MTV's parade.
1994 was the year of Anathema's first European tour, which was closely followed by gigs in the Independent Rock Festival in Brazil.
In May of 1995, vocalist Darren White quit the band. Rather than recruiting a new vocalist, the band decided that guitarist Vincent Cavanagh should assume the vocals. This new formation debuted by touring with Cathedral in the UK.
Later that year, the band released The Silent Enigma, which was a turning point in their careers. The album incorporated changes in the vocal style and introduced much heavier goth elements.
1996 saw the release of Eternity, which relied more on atmospheric sounds and started the transition to clean vocals, which would be consolidated later in Judgement. A European tour followed.
The second member to leave the band was drummer John Douglas in the summer of 1997. He was replaced by the ex-drummer of Solstice and My Dying Bride, Shaun Steels.
Alternative 4 was released in 1998. During this time the band underwent many line-up changes. Bassist Duncan Patterson quit due to musical differences and was replaced by Dave Pybus of Dreambreed, where Duncan had played bass for a short period. Martin Powell (who played violin and keyboards in My Dying Bride previously) also joined the band. Finally, John Douglas assumed (again) the drummer position.
In June of 1999, the album Judgement was released. This album marks Anathema's complete shift from the doom metal genre, focusing instead on slower and more experimental songs. However, the essence of the band was kept, as their songs continued to transpose a feeling of depression and more often than not desperation.
On the same year, Martin Powell switched positions with Cradle of Filth's, keyboard player Les Smith, who became 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 - ironically - Cradle of Filth. He was replaced by touring bassist George Roberts and then by Jamie Cavanagh.
In March of 2002, Danny Cavanagh announced his departure from the band, joining Duncan Patterson's band Antimatter. But he later came back to Anathema in 2003 for the bands release of A Natural Disaster and started their European Tour. Since then, Anathema's sound has acquired an atmospheric and progressive tone.
Due to the closing of their label Music for Nations, their next album release is scheduled for 2007, and will be entitled 'Everything'.
Doom/Death Metal, Atmospheric Rock
ANATHEMA LYRICAL THEMES
Doom, Internal Struggles, Love, Despair
United Kingdom (Liverpool), formed in 1990
ANATHEMA CURRENT RECORD LABEL
ANATHEMA CURRENT LINE-UP
Vincent Cavanagh - Vocals, Guitar (1990-)
Daniel Cavanagh - Guitar, Vocals, Keyboards (1990-2002, 2003-) (Lid, Antimatter, Leafblade)
Les Smith - Keyboards (2000-) (ex-Cradle of Filth, Antimatter, Ship of Fools)
Jamie Cavanagh - Bass (1990-1991, 2001-)
John Douglas - Drums (1990-1997, 1998-)
Lee Douglas - Additional Vocals (2000-)
ANATHEMA PREVIOUS LINE-UP
Darren White - Vocals (ex-Cradle of Filth, The Blood Divine, Dead Men Dream, Serotonal) (1990-1995)
Duncan Patterson - Bass (1991-1998) (Antimatter, Dreambreed, Íon)
Dave Pybus - Bass (1998-2001) (Dreambreed, Angtoria, Cradle of Filth, Darkened (UK))
George Roberts - Bass (live session member)
Shaun Steels - Drums (1997-1998) (ex-Solstice (UK), ex-My Dying Bride)
Martin Powell - Keyboards, Violin (1998-2000) (ex-My Dying Bride, ex-Cradle of Filth, ex-Cryptal Darkness)