Anathema – We’re Here Because We’re Here

The Anathema fan base had to wait an awfully long time for it, but the band have finally released a successor to 2003’s A Natural Disaster. The new album is called We’re Here Because We’re Here. Let’s see whether it’s all worth the wait.

The new album isn’t a return to Anathema’s doom metal roots, so people who were hoping for The Silent Enigma or Eternity part deux will be disappointed again. Instead the band opted for continuing their experimental Radio Head/Pink Floyd influenced direction, which they’ve been doing since the Judgement and A Fine Day To Exit albums. That is just fine with me, because I couldn’t care less about their early doom/death albums.

The latter albums do have their flaws as well. Especially the material on A Fine Day To Exit has a tendency to get tedious after five songs, due to a massive overkill of melancholy and self-pity. A Natural Disaster suffers from the same defect, albeit a lot less. The band finally managed to get over that on We’re Here Because We’re Here.

The material presented on the new album is arguably the strongest the band has written since Judgement, which is still the ultimate Anathema record in my book. They have finally managed to find the perfect balance between melancholic fragility and really interesting compositions. They range from your typical Anathema midtempo songs (Dreaming Light, Everything, A Simple Mistake) to more upbeat, dare I say optimistic material (Thin Air, Summernight Horizon, Get Off Get Out). A very fine collection of songs indeed.

Another interesting aspect are the vocal patterns and the occasional psychedelic touch, which add a lot of atmosphere to We’re Here Because We’re Here. The production is expertly handled by Steve Wilson (Porcupine Tree, Blackfield) and the band themselves.

This is actually the first Anathema record since Judgement that I’m able to sit out in one single run. We’re Here Because We’re Here managed to captivate me to the very last fading note. Clearly one of the band’s finest moments.

written by Raymond Westland

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