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A Sort of Homecoming
Release Date: October 30, 2015
When I first heard Anathema, I was completely enamored with their unique brand of heavy music and intellectually stimulating lyrics. That said, I would never, ever have guessed that in 2015 Anathema would be a part of the progressive music scene and offering up a mostly acoustic live album performed in a cathedral. Not in a million years. Yet, here we are and it’s all true. Fortunately, Anathema have proven to be one of the most interesting bands on the planet and A Sort of Homecoming cements them as a band that can’t be boxed.
While the band opens the show with the introspective “The Lost Song, Part 2,” it's “Untouchable, Part 1” that really launches this 15 song, one hour and forty-three minute long, set. The gentle but fluid fast picking of the acoustic guitar really causes pause almost immediately. By the time it picks up into its almost Mumford & Sons ramble midsong, it’s already stirring your soul. Unfortunately, “Untouchable, Part 2” gets a lot more ethereal and loses the raw guts that “Part 1” offers in this form.
Other highlights include the band’s eponymously named tune. The haunting piano drives it all but the longing, emotional vocal takes it round the bend by reminding us how thoughtful the lyrics are. By the time, the song nears its end and the strings kick in you are almost completely lost inside of it. “A Natural Disaster” is another stirring moment. The vocal duet is gorgeous as the voices almost dance with each other. It’s very vocally driven and very soulful in the best possible way.
This set is available in multiple formats. This review only covers the audio portion, but various boxed sets are available as well as a concert film from Lasse Hoilie (see band’s website). If you enjoy Puscifer, The Pineapple Thief, Opeth from this decade, or Porcupine Tree and you don’t know about Anathema then you need to own this. If you are looking for a great, reflective live album that will impress you musically or cause you to meditate then you also need to own this. Everyone would else should have it just so they can be cooler than their friends.
Reviewed by mark1340