Music / Anathema

Anathema is an English band who, along with Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride, rounded out the "Peaceville Three" and served as Trope Makers for both Death/Doom and Gothic Metal. Their later stuff moved away from both genres and towards a form of atmospheric rock, with influences from Goth Rock and Progressive Rock.

They formed in 1990 as Pagan Angel, releasing the demo An Iliad of Woes before changing to the current band name. In 1995, vocalist Darren White left the band; rather than find a replacement vocalist, the band appointed guitarist Vincent Cavanagh as vocalist, eventually leading to the Genre Shift.

Current lineup:
  • Vincent Cavanagh (lead vocals, guitar)
  • Daniel Cavanagh (guitar, vocals, keyboards)
  • Daniel Cardoso (keyboards, drums)
  • Jamie Cavanagh (bass)
  • John Douglas (drums, percussion, keyboards)
  • Lee Douglas (backing and lead vocals)

Former members:
  • Darren White (vocals)
  • Duncan Patterson (bass, keyboards)
  • Shaun Taylor-Steels (drums)
  • Martin Powell (keyboards, violin)
  • Dave Pybus (bass)
  • Les Smith (Keyboards)

Studio albums:
  • Serenades (1993)
  • The Silent Enigma (1995)
  • Eternity (1996)
  • Alternative 4 (1998)
  • Judgement (1999)
  • A Fine Day to Exit (2001)
  • A Natural Disaster (2003)
  • We're Here Because We're Here (2010)
  • Weather Systems (2012)
  • Distant Satellites (2014)
  • The Optimist (2017)

Anathema provides the following trope examples:

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Played with. The Optimist seems to deliver an alternate character interpretation of A Fine Day to Exit's protagonist - as an optimist who makes a decision against suicide.
  • Ascended Extra: Lee Douglas's first album appearances (A Fine Day to Exit, 2001, and A Natural Disaster, 2003) were as a guest performer. In 2010, she recorded her first album as an official band member.
    • Keyboardist Daniel Cardoso was a touring musician from 2011 until 2012, when he was made a permanent band member. He has since been Anathema's main drummer in concert performances, while original drummer John Douglas plays percussion.
  • Baby Planet: On the cover of Weather Systems.
  • Concept Album: A Fine Day to Exit is a mild case due to the concept hardly being noticeable if you don't know of it in the first place. More obvious with its late Sequel The Optimist.
  • Death Metal / Doom Metal: Early material.
  • Dumb and Drummer: Averted. John Douglas has written or co-written quite a few songs, and Daniel Cardoso is formally the band's keyboardist, while performing drums live.
  • Epic Rocking: A fair amount of their material, though they don't abuse this trope as much as other doom bands.
  • Genre Shift: Death/doom to atmospheric rock.
  • Gothic Metal: Some of the band's early material (particularly Serenades) served as a large influence on the gothic metal genre.
  • Lighter and Softer: Eternity and We're Here Because We're Here are much lighter than the albums that preceded them.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Early stuff is 7-9, later stuff is 2-6.
  • Mood Whiplash: Between the depressed A Natural Disaster and the optimistic We're Here Because We're Here.
  • New Sound Album: Twice, at least. First, Eternity dropped the growling and moved towards a more alternative/atmospheric rock sound (though it still retained a lot of the doom metal alements of the earlier two albums). Judgement and especially A Fine Day To Exit are often seen as the turning point where the metal was largely dropped from their sound. We're Here Because We're Here introduced a bunch of New Prog influences, and represented a Lighter and Softer Tone Shift to a more optimistic sound for the band. Distant Satellites is darker than the two albums preceding it, but not as bleak as the pre-2010 material. It also substantially increases the electronic elements with the title track being closer to electronica than any kind of rock music.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: After the departure of original vocalist Darren White, rhythm guitarist Vincent Cavanagh became the band's permanent lead vocalist. Daniel Cavanagh has also been singing occasional lead vocals since 2003.
  • Unplugged Version: Hindsight features quieter, acoustic guitar and piano driven arrangements of some of the band's older songs, as did the live video A Sort of Homecoming.
  • Uncommon Time: Frequently in each album since the release of We're Here Because We're Here and not unheard of before that.
  • Vocal Tag Team: While Vincent Cavanagh is the main lead vocalist, Lee Douglas and Daniel Cavanagh also pitch in.