Anathema return with their eleventh studio album titled The Optimist and if you have never heard music from this band, now is your chance. A little darker than their past albums, the Cavanaugh brothers, Daniel and Vincent, have made another fantastic progressive album worthy of their name. Vocalist Lee Douglas is simply angelic. Listen to “Ghosts” and tell me her voice doesn’t send shivers through you.
Once a doom metal group, Anathema did a complete 180-degree turnaround and changed their sound years ago. “Endless Ways” is very soft in the beginning and then picks up momentum as Douglas shines here once again. It is my favorite track on this album hands down. Now Anathema are known for their long songs and each song on here is over five minutes. The title track “The Optimist,” sung by Douglas and Cavanaugh is incredible. They duet on more than one occasion on the album and as usual, it always works as both feed off of each other. It still amazes me this band was once a doom metal band as you hear none of that anymore. “San Francisco” is a fast-paced instrumental, but still has that classic sound of theirs, starting off slowly and building momentum until it all comes together.
Anathema are an acquired taste and I can understand if people don’t like them, but if you give them a chance by listening to their new release, you just might discover a new band for your collection. Look for them coming to tour the US starting next month, as they rarely come over to perform here.