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Serenades + Extra Tracks Import

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 15 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Futurist Records
  • ASIN: B000005VHG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
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Format: Audio CD
I gotta say that this is one of my favorite doom metal albums. Slow and boring? Not at all. This is doom metal, folks, not speed metal, not pop rock, or pink floyd inspired rock (like later Anathema).
The first time I heard this many years ago, my knee-jerk reaction was that all songs sounded the same. But then again, I was coming from a Metallica background and didn't really understand what doom metal meant.
Each song on this album has a core doom riff as its core, which has a number of different elements, which may appear choppy to most. The whole song plays with the riff, building on it and with each progression smoothing out the riff until the whole song sounds more 'smooth' for lack of a better word. Of course the two guitars on each song play against each other sometimes offsetting sometimes complementing.
With each listen, you move beyond the superficial (some might call it the same boring riff), and dig deeper and discover different layers of the song.
Give this a try, you'll see what I mean. And do not try and compare this with their subsequent releases - its totally different - though the sound is still there.
Vocals are great with David Cavagn (sp?) leading. They nicely complement the music. I believe this is the only album which he sang on.
Defining Doom Metal.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Music is Good,but the EVIL Voice Sound Very Bad I Know Why they Change the Singer En Route
Hope they Never Hire I'm Back !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9da14318) out of 5 stars 18 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9da1ef84) out of 5 stars Masters of the misery Dec 6 2002
By laughing_giraffe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If you've discovered Anathema through recent releases such as 'Judgement' & 'A Fine Day to Exit' you may find 'Serenades' a tough listen. Unlike the Pink Floyd, Jeff Buckley & Radiohead tones of today 'Serenades' has its roots firmly set in the English death-doom metal scene that was so popular in the early 1990s. If you can recall 'Turn Loose the Swans' era My Dying Bride & 'Gothic' era Paradise Lost then you'll know what's in store: slow, bludgeoning & gothic riffs with Darren White's take it or leave it vocals that fall somewhere between Glenn Benton's grunts (Deicide) & the melodramatic wailing of Thomas Gabriel Warrior (Celtic Frost).
What made 'Serenades' superior to the competition at the time was the Cavanagh brothers' ability to come up with some ridiculous catchy riffs to give life to what could easily become a dirge. The chorus to 'Lovelorn Rhapsody' regally soars head & shoulders above everything else on the album, 'Je Fait...' is an indicator of the band's future direction, the verses to 'Sweet Tears' bounce along & 'Sleepless' is a tidy, if lyrically weak goth pop number. The only real moments of out & out introspective misery are 'Sleep in Sanity', a filler by anyone's measure, & the greatly superior 'Under a Veil'. If you want a real indicator of how miserable these guys can get then the extra tracks from The Crestfallen EP that are tagged onto the CD are even heavier, slower & more challenging.
If you can cope with doom-death stuff from the early 1990s then you will find no finer album of its genre, but if you prefer the more melodic direction taken by the band in recent years I'd advise you begin with 'Judgement'.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9da213a8) out of 5 stars Masterpiece Aug. 3 2004
By mrblack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Serenades is a masterpiece in doom metal. The music its really hard, I read the reviews of other customers who say this album sound a bit repetitive and I disagree. Maybe other albums like ¨Memorandum¨ from Lacrimas profundere are more accesible with variety on voices and instruments, but Serenades is Classic Death/Doom metal (death metal vocals over slow dense guitar riffs). In this case Anathema show a beautiful sense of melody in tracks like ¨Lovelorn rapsody¨ and ¨Sleepless¨ On the other side they have songs like ¨They die¨ that is heavy, slow and raw. A must have for any metal enthusiast.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9da21420) out of 5 stars Defining Doom Metal May 30 2004
By HallofGods - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I gotta say that this is one of my favorite doom metal albums. Slow and boring? Not at all. This is doom metal, folks, not speed metal, not pop rock, or pink floyd inspired rock (like later Anathema).

The first time I heard this many years ago, my knee-jerk reaction was that all songs sounded the same. But then again, I was coming from a Metallica background and didn't really understand what doom metal meant.

Each song on this album has a core doom riff as its core, which has a number of different elements, which may appear choppy to most. The whole song plays with the riff, building on it and with each progression smoothing out the riff until the whole song sounds more 'smooth' for lack of a better word. Of course the two guitars on each song play against each other sometimes offsetting sometimes complementing.

With each listen, you move beyond the superficial (some might call it the same boring riff), and dig deeper and discover different layers of the song.

Give this a try, you'll see what I mean. And do not try and compare this with their subsequent releases - its totally different - though the sound is still there.

Vocals are great with Darren White leading. They nicely complement the music. I believe this is the only album which he sang on.

Defining Doom Metal.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9da217b0) out of 5 stars (((ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE OF DOOM METAL))) Aug. 13 2004
By mrblack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Serenades is a masterpiece in doom metal. The music its really hard, I read the reviews of other customers who say this album sound a bit repetitive and I disagree. Maybe other albums like ¨Memorandum¨ from Lacrimas profundere are more accesible with variety on voices and instruments, but Serenades is Classic Death/Doom metal (death metal vocals over slow dense guitar riffs). In this case Anathema show a beautiful sense of melody in tracks like ¨Lovelorn rapsody¨ and ¨Sleepless¨ On the other side they have songs like ¨They die¨ that is heavy, slow and raw. A must have for any metal enthusiast.
HASH(0x9da218e8) out of 5 stars Anathema - Serenades + Extra Tracks (1993, Peaceville) Sept. 30 2015
By Xavier De La Trascendencia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Prologue

Anathema formed in 1990 in Liverpool, England. The quintet first went by the name of Pagan Angel before changing it to their current name. Anathema then self-produced a series of demos including "An Iliad Of Woes" (1990), "All Faith Is Lost" (1991), and "The Crestfallen" EP (1992). In 1993 Anathema finally released their first full-length album, "Serenades". This album features the original members of Anathema (except for bassist Jamie Cavanagh who was replaced with Duncan Patterson) including Darren White, whose emotional but powerful vocals and eloquent poetry greatly contribute to the music. This is one of the few albums to feature Darren as he was removed soon after the 1994 "Pentecost III" EP (his departure would change the musical direction of Anathema). On "Serenades" Anathema performs Doom Metal/ Death Metal that has a caress of Goth Metal. The style of Anathema can be compared to that of Paradise Lost (another fine group from Britain who were also on the same record label of Peaceville). The music of "Serenades" is torpid and heavy but at times is also beautiful and harmonious. Anathema expresses the matters of sorrow, misery, death, and the evanescence of romance in a very sentimental fashion. However, this album is not for everyone as many will find it to be tedious and depressing.

Sound Quality

"Serenades + Extra Tracks" has a decent production. The instruments are well played and the vocals sound clear but the audio quality is low. This is not a serious problem as it can be resolved by just turning up the volume slightly more.

Artwork

The cover is draped in a yellow-tan color and features David Penprase's unique photograph of a mysterious woman dressed as a mummy holding the skull of a decayed animal.

Content

"Serenades + Extra Tracks" contains fourteen tracks with over seventy-five minutes of the melancholia of Anathema. The Futurist version of "Serenades" features a bonus track and most of "The Crestfallen" EP (which is very difficult to find). The booklet includes the lyrics to the songs of "Serenades" but not for the extra material. Photography of Anathema is also not featured.

Music

"Lovelorn Rhapsody" commences with an eerie synthesizer that leads into torpid, chugging riffs and striking percussion including Darren White's deep growls. The chorus section features a graceful touch of harmonious keyboards that is accompanied by a noble melody ["...In fields where grass grows tall/ Golden carpets swell and whisper/ Autumn trees will weep..."]. Near the finale the tempo accelerates a little with quasi double-bass drums and faster, crushing rhythms. "Sweet Tears" drowns one in a lachrymal ocean of misery. The lead guitar melody presents a feeling of loneliness and the anguish-toned vocals and sad lyrics make for a pitiful ambient. "J'ai Fait Une Promesse" is an ephemeral ballad with a beautiful nature. It features guest member Ruth Wilson and her sweet vocalizations, complemented by soft acoustic guitar. Anathema continues their depressive heaviness on the morose threnody of "They (Will Always) Die". This track crawls at a languid tempo and includes the Cavanagh brothers' gloomy, Doom-laden guitars, crumbling drum-work, and the mournful growls of Darren ["All tears restrained for years/ Their grief is confined, which destroys my mind/ An ode to their plight is this dirge..."]. Upon the end majestic keyboards flourish in the atmosphere like a spirit that departs from its carnal vessel to travel for eternity.

"Sleepless" is a song of lamentation with a gothic essence. It has sorrowful, acoustic strings and the solemn bass of Duncan Patterson. Darren's British-accented vocals echoe throughout as he makes mention of his pain caused by the death of beloved ones ["And I often sigh/ I often wonder why/ I'm still here and I still cry/ And I often cry, I often spill a tear/ Over those not here, but still they are so near..."]. This is also the only track on the entire album that has a guitar solo, although it lies in brevity. Awakening the dormant senses is "Sleep In Sanity", which is heavier and has a lethargic disposition. Somber melodies and stinging bass notes unravel while the ferocious roaring of Darren persists with powerful emotion. "Scars Of The Old Stream" is a short interlude that contains symphonic keyboards and melodic guitar along with Darren reciting a few poetic verses in his deep, saddened voice. Proceeding next is "Under A Veil (Of Black Lace), an elegy that manages to be both funereal and romantic ["With loving passion, oh your radiance/ A serenade I cry/ Your silk-lined coffin, the lachrymatory/ To hold a mourner's tears..."]. This dirge has a gradual movement featuring melancholic guitar melodies that alternate with sections of thick, crunching riffs. This version of "Serenades" finishes with the short-length track of "Where Shadows Dance" and its grooving rhythm.

The Futurist version of "Serenades" omits the last track of "Dreaming: The Romance" (which is a twenty-three minute instrumental made up entirely of atmospheric keyboards). In its place is a re-recording of the 1991 demo track "All Faith Is Lost" and "The Crestfallen" EP. "All Faith Is Lost" is torpid and heavy with a more complex song structure. Massive, crushing riffs overwhelm while John Douglas devastates with his smashing percussion. The low, gutteral growls and tormented screeches of Darren give this track its Death Metal quality ["As the dawn emerges I cry in grief/ Sorrow flows, the sadness of another day tortures my heart..."]. "...And I Lust" starts by the means of clashing percussion and oppressive chords along with Darren reciting some cryptic poetry ["Stately columns standing in solemn rows/ Such empty honours are suitable for those/ Whose death erases all renown and fame/ And vanquishes their glory with their name..."]. The composition then proceeds in a cycle of broken rhythms. "The Sweet Suffering" contains a haunting melody that roams throughout the solitary landscape. Moans of woe and crunching guitar are also to be found in its hopeless presence. "Everwake" is a gorgeous yet somber song that has classical acoustic guitar and light symphonic keyboards featuring the lovely voice of Ruth ["Somniferous whisperings of scarlet fields/ Sleep calling me and my dreams are wondrous/ My reality is abandoned (I traverse afar)/ Not a care if I never wake"]. At last arrives "Crestfallen", which peaks at over ten minutes in length, making it the longest song on this album. This final composition is gracefully introduced by sophisticated piano. Daniel and Vincent then take the lead with sweeping, twin guitar harmonies. The song gets heavier as it progresses throughout its ten minute duration. Darren sounds miserable and weak as he lets forth his sorrow ["...All emotion is consumed by an inner silence/ All grief is unassuaged by disconsolate tears/ I want for nothing, I live for nothing/ I am waiting to die, afraid of dying..."]. The Futurist version of "The Crestfallen" EP does not include the original demo version of "They (Will Always) Die".

Epitome

"Serenades" and "The Crestfallen" EP are without a doubt the heaviest material from Anathema. This music is also some of the best in the style of Doom Metal/ Death Metal along with Paradise Lost's first two albums, "Lost Paradise" (1990) and "Gothic" (1991).

Classification

9/10X

Track Listing And Time Length

1. Lovelorn Rhapsody (6:24) 2. Sweet Tears (4:14) 3. J'ai Fait Une Promesse (2:40) 4. They (Will Always) Die (7:15) 5. Sleepless (4:12) 6. Sleep In Sanity (6:52) 7. Scars Of The Old Stream (1:10) 8. Under A Veil (Of Black Lace) (7:34) 9. Where Shadows Dance (1:57) 10. All Faith Is Lost* (8:02) 11. ...And I Lust* (5:46) 12. The Sweet Suffering* (6:41) 13. Everwake* (2:41) 14. Crestfallen* (10:17)

Member Line-Up

Darren White (Vocals) - Daniel Cavanagh (Guitar/ Keyboards) - Vincent Cavanagh (Guitar) - Duncan Patterson (Bass) - John Douglas (Drums) - Ruth Wilson (Female vocals)


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