Anathema: Falling Deeper

Ambient reworkings from acclaimed Scouse proggers.

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Those expecting a genuine follow-up to last year’s very handy We’re Here Because We’re Here may feel short-changed at this point. Falling Deeper instead offers an orchestral face-lift to Anathema’s earliest songs from the 90s, a time when they were busy chiselling a reputation as a doom metal band.

They’ve messed about with the length of some of these tunes too – We The Gods, for instance, has been clipped from its original 10 minutes to a relatively succinct three.

Yet, despite what longtime fans may assume, it’s ultimately a charm offensive that proves they were always partial to a rich melody. Dave Stewart’s string arrangements are both subtle and spectral, allowing delicate shadings of piano and guitar to transform their original counterparts into a tranquil kind of prog chill-out.

Vocals are kept at a discreet length, though Anneke van Giersbergen (late of Dutch rockers The Gathering) is a star turn on Everwake. Closer Sunset Of Age is a suitably epic send-off, robust guitars suddenly enlivening all the symphonic pomp.

Not as successful as 2008’s similarly inclined Hindsight maybe, but good value all the same.

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.