Anathema – A Fine Day To Exit (2001)

This is one of my favourite Anathema albums – if not my favourite out of them all (that I have heard). It was also the first “soft” Anathema record I got hold of after discovering the band didn’t play doom metal anymore. I spent a while worshipping the Serenades album, which was probably one of my first introductions to the ultra-slow and miserable side of doom metal. I was so excited to see the band play live at Download 2007, as they were one of the few decent acts on the line up. Having only heard Serenades, you could imagine the fucking shock I had when the band took to the stage (with Lee Douglas in tow, as I believe they were still touring A Natural Disaster at the time).

It took me a while to adjust to these fancy English-folk with their flowery shirts and uplifting music, and A Fine Day To Exit helped me greatly to appreciate the softer side of music! For somebody who through 2007/2008 was pretty much 100% living and breathing shitty grindcore, A Fine Day… was one of my more experimental purchases, but it has through time cemented itself as one of my favourites. I don’t really listen to it that much, but when I am in the mood for it, there really isn’t anything else that can be accepted as a substitute. 

Opener “Pressure” is epic as fuck, which a huge piano leading a stomping drum beat and soft vocals. Second track, “Release”, starts off all twinkly and acoustic but develops into something much more progressive and “rock-band” based. This song can really sum up what Anathema is all about! “Underworld” has one of the weirdest (and best) guitar riffs in the history of music and track seven, “Panic”, is one of my favourite songs of all time, sounding like an upbeat and slightly heavier (and a whole world less boring) Radiohead. I won’t go into every song here, but the four above are probably my favourites so I’ll just leave it at that.

If you’ve never heard Anathema I implore you to check out the link below and chillax to the fuckin’ max. If you’re a regular on the metal or rock festival circuit, keep your eyes out for these charming gentlemen as they still seem to play a rather large amount of heavier festivals. I guess that’s where their roots are, as are a lot of their fans despite their softer sound, and whilst they do seem out of place sandwiched between the likes of Candlemass and Turisas etc., I promise you it will be a refreshing and eye opening break.