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Anathema are an English band from the city of Liverpool, who — together with Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride — helped develop the death/doom sound, a subgenre of doom metal. Since their album Eternity, Anathema have strayed away from doom and eventually metal altogether, becoming an atmospheric rock band.


Anathema was formed in the year of 1990 under the name of Pagan Angel and in November of that year, the band recorded their first demo, entitled An Iliad of Woes. The switching of names occurred at the beginning of 1991.

Their initial demo caught the attention of a couple of bands from the English metal scene and Anathema then began to play gigs with bands like Bolt Thrower and Paradise Lost.

The band gained a lot of attention with the release of their second demo - entitled All Faith Is Lost - which landed Anathema a four-album deal with Peaceville Records. Their first release under the label was The Crestfallen EP in November 1992. With the material from that album, the band toured with Cannibal Corpse.

Serenades - Anathema's debut LP - attracted a lot of mainstream attention. A music video for the track "Sweet Tears" even received some airplay from MTV.

1994 was the year of Anathema's first European tour, which was closely followed by gigs in the Independent Rock Festival in Brazil.

In May of 1995, vocalist Darren White quit the band, eventually forming The Blood Divine. Rather than recruiting a new vocalist, the band decided that guitarist Vincent Cavanagh should assume the vocals. This new formation debuted by touring with Cathedral in the UK.

Later that year, the band released The Silent Enigma, which was a turning point in their career. The album incorporated changes in the vocal style and introduced much heavier goth elements. Most fans of the band's original style consider this album the beginning of Anathema's metaphorical downfall.

1996 saw the release of Eternity, which relied more on atmospheric sounds and started the transition to clean vocals, which would be consolidated later in Judgement. A European tour followed.

The second member to leave the band was drummer John Douglas in the summer of 1997. He was replaced by the ex-drummer of Solstice - Shaun Taylor-Steels - who would also later play drums for My Dying Bride.

Alternative 4 was released in 1998. During this time the band underwent many line-up changes. Bassist Duncan Patterson quit due to musical differences and was replaced by Dave Pybus of Dreambreed, where Duncan had played bass for a short period. Martin Powell (who had played keyboards and violin for My Dying Bride previously) also joined the band. Finally, John Douglas assumed the drummer position for the second time.

In June of 1999, the album Judgement was released. This album marks Anathema's complete shift from the doom metal genre, focusing instead on slower and more experimental songs. This new sound has been likened to artists such as Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley, and, to a lesser extent, Radiohead. However, the essence of the band was kept, as their songs continued to express a feeling of depression and more often than not desperation.

During the same year, Martin Powell switched positions with Cradle of Filth's keyboardist Les Smith, who became an integral member of Anathema.

Shortly before the release of A Fine Day to Exit, Dave Pybus announced his departure from the band and later joined - ironically - Cradle of Filth. He was replaced by touring bassist George Roberts, and later by Jamie Cavanagh.

In March of 2002, Daniel Cavanagh announced his departure from the band, joining Duncan Patterson's band Antimatter. However, he later rejoined Anathema in 2003 for the release of A Natural Disaster, and started their European Tour. Since then, Anathema's sound has acquired an atmospheric and progressive tone, as exhibited in album tracks 'Flying' and 'Violence'.

Due to the closing of their label Music for Nations after its purchase by media behemoth Sony BMG, Anathema's currently find themselves without a record label despite having completed an extensive tour of the UK with popular Finnish rock band HIM in April 2006. During their search for a new label, the band have adopted a more 'DIY' approach to music release, embracing the internet and releasing songs via their own website, for which fans donate a sum of their own choice. Despite the obvious lack of label-based tour support, the band continues to play dates across Europe, guitarist Danny Cavanagh also playing the odd low-key acoustic concert.

A new album, still untitled, is set to be recorded around August/September 2007.

Band members

Current members

  • Vincent Cavanagh - Vocals, rhythm guitar (1990-Present)
  • Daniel Cavanagh - Lead guitar (1990-2002, 2003-Present)
  • Jamie Cavanagh - Bass (1990-1991, 2001-Present)
  • Les Smith - Keyboards (2000-Present)
  • John Douglas - Drums (1990-1997, 1998-Present)
  • Lee Douglas - Vocals (2000-Present)

Former members

  • Darren White - Vocals (1990-1995)
  • Duncan Patterson - Bass, keyboards (1991-1998)
  • Shaun Taylor-Steels - Drums (1997-1998)
  • Martin Powell - Keyboards, violin (1998-2000)
  • Dave Pybus - Bass (1998-2001)


Full Length

Anathema Serenades.jpgSerenades
February, 1993
Peaceville Records
Anathema The Silent Enigma.jpgThe Silent Enigma
October 23, 1995
Peaceville Records
Anathema Judgement.jpgJudgement
June 21, 1999
Music For Nations
Anathema A Fine Day To Exit.jpgA Fine Day To Exit
October 9, 2001
Music For Nations
Anathema A Natural Disaster.jpgA Natural Disaster
November 3, 2003
Music For Nations


  • An Iliad of Woes (1990)
  • All Faith Is Lost (1991)


  • The Crestfallen (1992)
  • Pentecost III (1995)


  • They Die" (1992)
  • We Are The Bible" (1994)
  • Alternative Future (1998)
  • Split EP with My Dying Bride (1998)
  • Deep (1999)
  • Make It Right (F.F.S.) (1999)
  • Pressure (2001)
  • Everything (2006, internet download-only release)
  • A Simple Mistake (2006, internet download-only release)


  • Resonance (2001)
  • Resonance Vol. 2 (2002)


  • Peaceville 4 : Lovelorn Rhapsody (1992)
  • In The Name Of Satan (Venom tribute) : Welcome to Hell (1994)
  • Under The Sign Of The Sacred Star : A Dying Wish (1996)
  • Slaytanic Slaughter II (Slayer tribute) : Read Between the Lies (1996)
  • Peaceville X : Better Off Dead, Goodbye Cruel World, One of the Few (1997)
  • Super Summer Swinging Sounds (Kerrang! compilation) : Make It Right (F.F.S.) (1999)
  • Peaceville Classic Cuts : Empty (2001)
  • Monsters of Death Vol.1 (DVD) : Sweet Tears (2005)


Promo Video

  • Sweet Tears (1993, from album Serenades)
  • Mine Is Yours (1994, from album Pentecost III)
  • The Silent Enigma (1995, from album The Silent Enigma)
  • Hope (1996, from album Eternity)
  • Pressure (2001, from album A Fine Day to Exit)

Official Live

  • A Vision Of A Dying Embrace (30 min, VHS in 1997 and DVD in 2002, Peaceville)
  • Were You There? (DVD, 2004, Music for Nations)
  • A Moment in Time (DVD, 2006)


  • Live in London, U.K. (35 min., Bootleg, 07.11.1992)
  • Live In Istanbul/TURKEY
  • Live in Geneve (50 min, Bootleg, 23.01.1994)
  • Live in Czech (60 min, Bootleg, 13.11.1994)
  • Live in Bia³ystok, Poland (30 min, Bootleg, February,1994)