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Anathema Biography


Anathema is an English band based in the city of Liverpool, associated with "atmospheric" rock, as well as death/doom metal from their debut days. Current Members Vincent Cavanagh - Lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar (1990-present) Daniel Cavanagh - Lead guitar, vocals (1990-2002, 2003-present) (Lid, Antimatter, Leafblade) Jamie Cavanagh - Bass (1990-1991, 2001-present) Les Smith - Keyboards (2000-present) (ex-Cradle of Filth, Antimatter, Ship of Fools) John Douglas - Drums (1990-1997, 1998-present) Lee Douglas - Vocals (2000-present) Anathema formed in 1990 as a doom metal band, initially under the name 'Pagan Angel'. In November of that year, the band recorded their first demo, entitled An Iliad of Woes. This demo caught the attention of several bands from the English metal scene, allowing Anathema to play gigs with bands like Bolt Thrower and Paradise Lost. At the beginning of 1991, the band adopted its current name, and 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. 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. Rather than recruiting a new vocalist, the band decided that guitarist Vincent Cavanagh should assume White's role. This new formation debuted by touring with Cathedral in the United Kingdom. The release of Eternity came in 1996, relying more on atmospheric sounds, and starting the transition to clean vocals; the album Judgement would later consolidate this style. A European tour followed the album's release. The second member to leave the band was drummer John Douglas, who departed in the summer of 1997. He was replaced by Shaun Taylor-Steels, formerly of Solstice, who would also later play drums for My Dying Bride. 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, where Duncan had played bass for a short period. Martin Powell (who had played keyboards and violin for My Dying Bride previously) also joined the band. Finally, John Douglas returned to the drums. 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. However, the essence of the band remained the same. Their songs continued to express a feeling of depression and, more often than not, desperation. During the same year 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. The band's newest album was originally to be titled Everything. Its release date has been pushed back several times, sparking much controversy and speculation amongst fans. In August 2007, Danny Cavanagh responded by posting a blog to the bands MySpace page, announcing that the new material would be played on a full European tour prior to it being recorded, and that the new album, now tentatively titled Paradigm Shift, would consist of perhaps fourteen songs broken up over two discs.[3] During a concert in London he said that Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree would produce the new album. In May it was announced that recording for the new album, undergoing yet another name change to be titled Horizons, was well under way. They are playing alongside Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride on 19 September 2008 at London Forum, they will then do a headline tour at various venues around the UK starting in Manchester on 4 November 2008 and going on to play the Islington Academy, London on 7 November. According to Metal Hammer magazine (Feb. 09), the band is considering record label offers for the release of their forthcoming album. Former members Darren White - Vocals (1990-1995) (The Blood Divine, Dead Men Dream, Serotonal) Duncan Patterson - Bass, keyboards (1991-1998) (ex-Antimatter, Dreambreed, √ćon) Shaun Taylor-Steels - Drums (1997-1998) (ex-Solstice, ex-My Dying Bride) Martin Powell - Keyboards, violin (1998-2000) (ex-My Dying Bride, ex-Cradle of Filth, ex-Cryptal Darkness) Dave Pybus - Bass (1998-2001) (Dreambreed, Angtoria, Cradle of Filth, Darkened)

Anathema Metal Albums

Hindsight Thumbnail Image

Chimaira are back! Beyond their demons. Beyond any limitations. Their new album, Resurrection features 11 tracks of obliterating metal produced by Jason Suecof (Trivium, God Forbid) [...]

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