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Anathema - We’re Here Because We’re Here

We’re Here Because We’re Here
by Dimitris Karametros, Panos Pagonopoulos at 09 June 2010, 8:06 AM

***Dimitris: 5/10***
Liverpool gave us the three bands that changed the face of the Death/Doom and Gothic scene: PARADISE LOST, MY DYING BRIDE and ANATHEMA. It’s never easy to write about legends, and especially when their new, long awaited work (it’s been seven years since “A Natural Disaster”) is nothing like the honorable past but even worse.

I won’t go too long in introducing you ANATHEMA, if you are not a fan you probably don’t care so I am going directly to what the new album really matters. Listening to “We’re Here Because We’re Here”…well, trying to listen to the album I never quite managed to finish it, I reached song number 7 with great difficulty, making me think of a big great “WHY?”. Why throw such a legacy away to do what? This lousy new album? Of all the Metal Temple editors I must be the most streamlined one and still I found it ugly, actually “We’re Here Because We’re Here” does not belong HERE, in a Metal e-zine and you probably do not care but please change your name because you are insulting your legend and albums such as “Serenades”, “Eternity” and “Judgment”.

Do I write angry, hell I haven’t even begun, your new album is worse than a mediocre Rock album, its uninspired and filled with emotional simplicity that appeals to teeny girls that fall in love for the first time, maybe in your next album you could invite Miley Cyrus to do backing vocals and write a song for you. You abuse emotions to create something reminiscent of the past but fail, and that is evident to all the songs up to number seven but I bet my Hustler collection (to impress you, I have issue#4) they are not far from the rest songs.

There isn’t much to write about the musical abilities because their abilities are proven so there is not much to say about it. The production is great and that covers the good parts; there is nothing in this album that will remind you of the ANATHEMA you might think you knew. I don’t even know if fans will like it, I know that it will appeal mostly to non Metal fans or to those that listen to Metal as an flavor genre to everyday mainstream Rock monotony.

Avoid at all costs, or use it to get that Metal memorabilia you always wanted from your worst enemy by making him listen to it. There something useful to do with the album; use it as a weapon.

***Panos: 6/10***
After a huge 7-year absence ANATHEMA are officially back with the long anticipated new record. The release past through a thousand of waves. Since 2007 the album's name changed three times and the release date was postponed several times as well but now we can have their 8th studio album “We're Here Because We're Here” in our hands and the expectations from the fans are justifiably higher than ever. The question is: will it come up to scratch?

First, let's describe the album in general and mention its positive aspects. “We're Here Because We're Here” is a pure atmospheric Rock record. ANATHEMA combine again alternative and progressive Rock elements as in their two previous studio recordings but here they take a more slow & mid tempo, melodic and melancholic approach than ever. Their sound is blended with many PINK FLOYD influences that can be easily detected in most of the songs. Also the role of the keyboards of Les Smith in their music is more important than ever in this album. Honestly the keyboard and piano melodies are the main and only basis in each and every song of the album with a few exceptions. Forget about drums, bass, guitar….Keyboards rule here. Even the guitar outbursts in the middle of the songs that the ANATHEMA fans love so much are reduced much, they are here but still into the limits of atmospheric/alternative Rock. Last but not least, Lee Douglas is considered a full member of the band now and her role is more important than ever. It is one of the positive things in the album cause Lee Douglas has a really good voice, she sings in many of the songs along with Vincent Cavanagh and the result is really good. We also have some really good melodies in the keyboards, and a couple of interesting guitar riffs, ANATHEMA managed in every song to combine well the mentioned above elements and the result is good for an atmospheric Rock album. Last, the presence of mastermind Steven Wilson in the mixing is always a guarantee and it is obvious that he putted his personal touch doing an excellent work.

The album starts impressively with 3 really good songs. “Thin Air” starts with a really good slow guitar melody and as time passes gradually the tempo rises and the guitars become heavier with great riffs putting in total an impressive result. “Summernight Horizon” is the heavier song of the album with a magnificent keyboard melody and guitar outbursts that remind us of the glorious past of the band. The melancholic and atmospheric “Dreaming Light” really got my attention from the first moment and so did the 8-minute “A Simple Mistake” with many changes in the tempo and various great keyboard and guitar melodies.

Now, let's go to the negative aspects. Except the above mentioned songs the others are not something special and after some time the album becomes very predictable and tires the listener. The record is good enough in its entity but it cannot at all reach the level and quality of their studio recordings up until “Judgement”. ANATHEMA are not doing anything new or revolutionary; they are following safe paths in their music and we have seen many times equally good material and of course better and more interesting from other alternative Rock bands and by them in the past. After 7 years of absence unfortunately they still can't reach their magnificent past releases and meet the expectations of their fans.

Summing it up, “We're Here Because We're Here” is good for an atmospheric-alternative album but still not something special in this genre, it follows safe music paths and tires the listener in some points. The album certainly cannot satisfy the expectations of the ANATHEMA fan base. Personally I will continue to listen to some songs of the album but it will never manage to reach the same position in my heart as their records until “Judgement”.

2 Star Rating

  1. Thin Air
  2. Summernight Horizon
  3. Dreaming Light
  4. Everything
  5. Angels Walk Among Us
  6. Presence
  7. A Simple Mistake
  8. Get Off, Get Out
  9. Universal
  10. Hindsight
Vincent Cavanagh – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
Daniel Cavanagh – Lead Guitar, Vocals, Keys
Les Smith – Keys
Jamie Cavanagh – Bass
John Douglas – Drums
Lee Douglas – Vocals
Record Label: Kscope


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Edited 29 January 2023

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