Chuck Schuldiner Project

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I think we can safely say that you know you've made it when your band plays with an orchestra. And honestly, few groups deserve to have 'made it' more than Liverpool quintet Anathema. Their new record Universal is a recording of a most triumphant evening playing through a set with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra. This record achieves something the other Anathema studio recordings could never even imagine touching, the sort of sheer musical dominance presented here is not made from sonic force, but a sort of never ending glory for band who worked incredibly hard to get to where they are today.

The thing is, Anathema's music is so symphonic it takes a minute to locate the orchestra in the soundscape. And then you realize how much more full and powerful Anathema has suddenly become. While their live experience must be amazing, this evening in particular seems like it could have made even the most hardened fan cry. The progressive nature that much of Anathema's music has is also played upon and really lets the band bring their all. For some reason, the sheer virtuosity of Anathema never fully hit me until I heard this record, and then I realized how simply excellent these guys are. The soundscapes that they craft are intricate and beautiful, and Universal is worth many, many a spin.

To top it off, what I'm trying to say (other than you need to buy this record) is that Anathema have found something more, something greater on Universal. They have fulfilled their potential and then some, showcasing both the live experience and the incredible skill of the musicians. The future has never been brighter for these guys and seeing that they have a live video (of this very night) coming out today things should only get better. Universal leaves me with only one thing to say, long live Anathema, may your glorious sounds forever shine on!

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