Sunday, December 29, 2013

Anathema: "Dreaming Light" and "Thin Air"

By Michael J.W. Stickings

While I've been an Anathema fan for a long time, dating back to 2001's A Fine Day to Exit (if not to their metal days before that), my fandom deepened profoundly in 2013, to the point where I now put them in Porcupine Tree territory. I attribute this in part to the release in 2012 of Weather Systems, an incredible album that is, I think their best to date. It prompted me to go back through their awesome catalogue, and I came to appreciate them like I hadn't before.

It helped, too, that 2013 saw the release of Universal, a four-disc set (2 CD, DVD, Blu-ray) of the band's stunning September 2012 show at the ancient Roman theater in Plovdiv, Bulgaria (also known by its Greek name, Philippopolis), with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra. It was filmed by Lasse Hoile, best known for his work with Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson's solo projects. It's an incredible film of an incredible performance by an incredible band. Wilson's third solo album, The Raven That Refused to Sing (and Other Stories), is my favorite new album of 2013, but Universal is certainly an impressive achievement, and it's my favorite live album of the year.

(Last month, I posted "Untouchable (Part Two)," my favorite Anathema song, from Universal.)

Here are two of Anathema's best songs, both from 2010's We're Here Because We're Here (mixed by Steven Wilson, no less): "Dreaming Light" (video) and "Thin Air" (live at London's Union Chapel, also on the Universal release).

Enjoy!


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