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Review: Anathema - Judgement

Label: Music For Nations
Year released: 1999
Duration: 56:16
Tracks: 13
Genre: Doom Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: May 18, 2011
Reviewed by: Adam McAuley
Readers Rating

Rated 4.05/5 (81%) (20 Votes)

Anathema achieved a certain magic on this album that I feel they have never come close to touching before and especially since. The last of the truly passionate riffs that the band had in store can be found on Judgement. It's obvious that the band needed to progress from doom roots to arrive here, however. Their next album, A Fine Day to Exit, was reasonably solid and the previous one, Alternative 4, is their second best, but the peak of the emotional energy album is found here. The music is often touching and leaves a poignant impression upon the listener. Looking for a metal album that complements some of your more angry metal recordings with a beautiful style? This is the recording for you.

The music ebbs and flows with several ups and downs, but always displays a heartfelt style that is simply gripping. Really, the only issue I have with the album is that it's a bit top-heavy. Some of the best tracks like "Deep" and "Pitiless" are stacked towards the beginning of the disc. Granted the track "One Last Goodbye", which is one of the most moving musical pieces you'll ever hear, is more towards the middle of the disc. Still, the track placement could have been better. Everything from the guitar work to the truly sorrowful vocal of Vincent Cavanagh is outstanding.

This is truly an album that won't be loved by everyone though. It may be thought of as too pedestrian or light, even though I believe these are actually criticisms that could be more placed upon their more recent work. The ones that are overtaken by the true emotional value that shines through will appreciate it for what it is, however: a true masterpiece.

Other related information on the site
Review: A Fine Day To Exit (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Eternity (reviewed by 4th Horseman)
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