riginally named Pagan Angel in the summer of 1990, Anathema started out producing a kind of rough death metal, but after their demo releases An IIliad Of Woes and All Faith Is Lost (the latter getting the attention of Swiss label 'Witchunt') and their debut release Serenades in 1992 featuring founder, and nephew of Cilla Black, Darren White (vocals), along with Danny Cavanagh (guitar) and his brothers Vincent (guitar) and Jamie (bass/vocals), plus John Douglas (drums) they changed to a more neo-gothic metal sound, similar in style to fellow style purveyors Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride. Jamie would then leave to be replaced by Duncan Patterson, while female vocalist Ruth came in with guest visits to enhance their punk rock sound. But Darren himself would soon after leave for Blood Devine, nonetheless the act pressed on with Pentecost III (1995; a mini album), The Silent Enigma (1995) and Eternity (1996) all with Vincent taking over vocals and making their sound drift more into an atmospheric sound utilizing psychedelic traits and orchestration, each album exploring man's darker psyche much in the style of classic Pink Floyd.
Just prior to the release of Alternative 4 (1998) Douglas was replaced by ex-Solstice drummer Shaun Steels but within a year, Douglas was back with Dave Pybus replacing Patterson for the 1999 Judgement album.
After the Resonance "best of..." compilation album in 2001 Cradle of Filth man Les Smith would join on to contribute his keyboard efforts on A Fine Day To Exit later that same year turning to a more 'alternative' style sound, with A Natural Disaster following. John's sister, was added to the line-up as a backing and occasional lead vocalist. Daniel Cavanagh left in 2002 to join Antimatter.
The line-up held stable by the time We're Here Because We're Here (2010) the sound was drifting to even more progressive rock style. Smith left in 2011; Vincent and Daniel both assumed the function of keyboardist for Weather Systems, in 2012. The same year, Cardoso, the band's live keyboardist since 2011, joined as a full-time member.Distant Satellites (2014) and The Optimist (2017) followed.
Footnote: Martin Powel (keyboards/violin) was present only for a selected period for live shows.
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Live Festimad 8 June 2007.
Photo by: Mario
CC BY 2.0
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