Since 1990, Anathema have, with solemnity, inescapably tugged on listeners’ heartstrings through deafening, ear shattering riffage and creating ethereal swooning reverie-like states. This assiduous and well preserved balance between the dark and soothing has resulted in Anathema being one of the most esteemed at their melancholic craft.
Earlier, more crushing material like that of The Silent Enigma has found itself over the years altered and experimented with. It all came to somewhat of a peak with 1998’s Alternative 4, a more laconic but still uncompromising record delving into progressive realms but retaining a slight salute to their sounds of yore. With a mass acclaimed follow up in Judgement the transfer to pastures new has seemed to pay off, considerably.
The venture into the 21st century then saw Anathema heed even more ambient musical landscapes, making the band in 2010 seem the day and the early-mid 90s the night, different yet still the same twenty four hour period. That transition has been an enthralling one to witness from the start and with seven years since a new studio output, the notions of new Anathema material is an excitable one, to say the least.
Opening We’re Here Because We’re Here is ‘Thin Air’, a gorgeous, heavily layered and multi faceted lesson in scaling atmospherics, which shifts dramatically into the frantic and entrancing ‘Summer Night Horizon’, an otherworldly highlight of the record.
More saintly balladry beckons with ‘Dreaming Light’ and ‘Everything’, the latter being a shimmering emotively inspirational trek across elegant vocal harmonies and piano led beauty. Meanwhile, the captivatingly evocative ‘Angels Walk Among Us’ marks somewhat of a change for the record, giving way to slow burning verses which flow gently like a crystalline river into ‘A Simple Mistake’.
‘Get Off, Get Out’ ups the tempo, seething with angular riffs and staccato vocals, all of which are unavoidably reminiscent of Porcupine Tree. Closing two tracks, ‘Universal’ and the expected instrumental ‘Hindsight’, plunge the mood into some post rock territory utilising several orchestral synths. ‘Hindsight’ itself pulls the curtain down in miraculous fashion.
We’re Here Because We’re Here can only be described as a beautiful record, nothing less. It’s a breathtaking opus of wraithlike ambience and abstrusely emotive passages and pinnacles. Utterly engrossing.