Anathema - Eternity
Rating - 4/5
By Greg Northrup
The first time I heard this album I'll admit I was a little bit blinded by the enormous amount of hype it received. Had I reviewed based on my first impressions, I would have given it a five, for Eternity is a superb recording. However, after a few months of listening and a more sobered impression, I realized that it doesn't quite have the enduring impact that would befit a 5/5 rating.
Eternity is a huge departure from the doom/death sound so prevalent in their previous albums. While Antahema used to feature rock-solid, depressing walls of electric guitar and growling vocals, Eternity shows a massive expansion of the band's musical vocabulary. Acoustic guitars, clean vocals, and keyboards are all among the added elements used in this album. The album has a mournful, yet somehow hopeful, atmosphere and it seems as if this type of ambience is something the band was really shooting for. Vincent Cavanaugh's adoption of vocals from the departed Darren White seemed like an ominous move, but his pipes are surprisingly pleasant and fit the album well.
The best tracks are stacked towards the front of the album. "Angelica" has some excellent sustaining guitar melodies, while "The Beloved" is a faster track with some excellent, pained vocals. "Eternity Pt. I" is probably the highlight track, and really sums up the conceptual themes of the album. "Hope", another great track, is a cover song originally written by David Gilmour, which gives a clue as to where the inspiration for this album might lie.