CD Reviews

Anathema - 'The Optimist' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     August 28, 2017    
0.0 (0)
3067   0   1   0   0   0







A fine example of Anathema at their best.

For the uninitiated (and there can't be many of you left) Anathema produce moving, soul-baring, genre-spanning music of the highest order. Since 2010's 'We're Here Because We're Here' they have been at the absolute top of their game, with 2012's 'Weather Systems' and 2014's 'Distant Satellites' driving them in new directions and consolidating their reputation.

'The Optimist' continues their fine run of form and the subtle evolution of their sound. Pre-release chatter promised an album of dark, challenging and unexpected music, and the band has duly delivered. Conceptually, the new album blends fiction with the deeply personal, taking as its initial inspiration the cover art and conclusion of 2001's 'A Fine Day To Exit'. The title of the opening track '32.63N 117.14W' provides the exact co-ordinates of the protagonist's mysterious disappearance (the Silver Strand State Beach in San Diego). What happened to him has never been explained... until now, with Daniel Cavanagh noting "we put sound, feelings and, crucially, our own hopes and fears into another person and made him the subject of the songs".

Musically, '...Optimist' is introspective and emotionally stirring, unerringly hitting the mark as the narrative unfolds. The power and darkness of 'Leaving It Behind', for example, contrasts strikingly with Lee Douglas' gorgeous, yearning vocal on 'Endless Ways'. Douglas' contributions are superb throughout, notably on the "Jazz Noir" of 'Close Your Eyes' and the brilliant 'Springfield', which builds wonderfully from a simple keyboard motif with all the intensity and ethereal beauty one has come to expect from Anathema.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site

From the hypnotic Electronica of 'San Francisco' to the strings of 'Ghosts' and the Alt Rock pathos of 'Can't Let Go', there are twists and turns throughout. That said, it's such a consistently good album that it's hard to pick out highlights. Album closer 'Back To The Start' is uplifting in the extreme, building to a rousing crescendo that puts responsibility for the story's end (and our own life choices) back with the listener. It's emotionally-charged stuff that poignantly expresses our common struggles with life, love and mortality. Is there a band anywhere that does this more effectively?

'The Optimist' is an album of elegance and depth. It is simultaneously reflective, challenging and life-affirming. It'll get under your skin and become part of your DNA. It's a fine example of Anathema at their best and I'm not sure we could have asked for more.

Michael Anthony

Share this on the web.

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


Member Login


<<  April 2020  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
    1  2  3  4  5
  6  7  8  9101112

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 6 days, 17 hours ago
  • Johns Band : Royal Hunt new concept album in the works to be released in 2020.
  • Berny : @WardyS1: I will contact you by e - mail.
  • WardyS1 : Hi. Also purchased 90 couple days back but not in my orders have receipt. Cannot find an email to contact instead link sorry
  • Rocktopia Te : @tomandpam: Hope this is now sorted and you were able to download the magazine
  • tomandpam : I ordered a download of #90 and it's not in my orders and I have the PayPal receipt. Can you help with this? Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Apologies for my late reply. Could you please contact me directly at «email» ? Many thanks in advance!
  • zom414 : Trying to change my password but the security question won't accept my answer, can you help?
  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
  • Berny : Apologies! Magazine can now be accessed from your download section. Best wishes, B.
  • Berny : @Martykelly: We're sorry
  • Martykelly : Just purchased issue 89 hoping its going to be in my download soon.
  • Johns Band : Will "Watch & Listen" music videos make a comeback. Just order H.E.A.T. "Live In London" CD.
  • Berny : @the trapps: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. The magazine is now available in your downloads section.
  • the trapps : waiting for the issue 89 which we purchased to be in our downloads section ???
  • Berny : @tomandpam: Many thanks for your purchase. The download instructions were sent yesterday, please contact me at «email» should you haven't received the email.
  • tomandpam : I paid for a download on issue 89 and didn't receive the download. Please let me know when I can get it. Thanks
  • Berny : @zom414: Fireworks Magazine #89 will be available at selected UK based newsagents on December 16th. The digital version can already be purchased in our Download Store.
  • zom414 : When's the next mag due for release?
  • Berny : @el nowy: Apologies for the delay in processing your order. Pls. check your mail!
  • el nowy : Hi, how long does it take for my download license to be available? I purchased it 3 days ago. Thanks!
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us


This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site