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Anathema: Internal Landscapes 2008-2018

Apologies to Anathema aficionados out there, but believe it or not, this compilation is my first encounter with the band. In all honesty, why I’ve never taken the plunge on an outfit that clearly links in with a style of music and genre scene that I adore, is open to question. But it was actually the stunning solo album from Anathema-man Daniel Cavanagh that made me dive headlong into a collection which cherry picks the (arguably) best moments from the band’s Kscope era, from 2008 to 2018. Talk about doing things backwards!

What is served up is three songs from Weather Systems, a further three from Distant Satellites and The Optimist, respectively, while two come from We’re Here Because We’re Here. Also included is an orchestral reworking of “J’Ai Fait Une Promesse” and an acoustic reinterpretation of the Hindsight track “Are You There?”. To a newbie like me there’s an impressive cohesion about the deeply melodic, deeply personal fare on offer. If I hadn’t known better, I’d have presumed that this was one body of work recorded as a single album. Something which can’t be said for many compilation releases spanning a decade.

Interestingly, an observation made by my significant other when I brought this album on a car journey thinking she might quite like it, was the repetition within the songs, licks, motifs, lyrics and background sounds often introduced at the track’s beginning and remaining pretty much in place right through to its conclusion. It’s an aspect that personally I really enjoyed, giving each track a real grounding as it ebbed and flowed. Being honest, the very same feature drove my partner mad to the extent that she asked me to turn it off… Each to their own and all that I suppose.

To me the beauty and fragility of a piece like “Ariel”, or the understated grandeur of “Untouchable Pt.1” and “...Pt.2” swells in the heart, hitting as music that has almost been ripped from the emotions of the band delivering it. A real sense of candid honesty coming across not just in the words, but also each and every note, whether it be piano, strings or guitar providing it. The transposition into the orchestral flow of “J’Ai Fait Une Promesse” is seamless and illustrates the breadth and scope of what this collective are capable of and how it could begin to truly grow into completely different settings entirely. Whereas “Are You There?” shines a light on the amazing arranging skills also at the band’s disposal; the stripping back of a song to this acoustic setting not lessening the impact compared to the other selections included.

More likely than not I’m preaching to the converted here, the Anathema faithful already fully committed to this band’s cause. If, however, you are one of the few, like me, who still needs a little nudge to get under the skin of Anathema, it really has to be said that Internal Landscape 2008-2018 does a quite magnificent job of confirming that you, and I, have been missing out.

Track Listing
1. Anathema
2. Untouchable - Part 1
3. Untouchable - Part 2
4. Thin Air
5. Ariel
6. Can't Let Go
7. Dreaming Light
8. Are You There?
9. J'ai Fait Une Promesse
10. Leaving It Behind
11. Springfield
12. Distant Satellites
13. Internal Landscapes

Added: November 16th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Anathema at Kscope
Hits: 1832
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Anathema: Internal Landscapes 2008-2018
Posted by Juan Carvajal on 2018-11-21 19:46:03
My Score:

Hello, and you are missing better songs like: Angels Walk Among Us, A Simple Mistake, Sunset of Age (from falling deeper album), The Lost Child, The Lost Song p. 2, Endless Ways, Back to the Start, etc..

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