Anathema - Judgement
Music For Nations
Atmospheric Rock
13 songs (56'56)
Release year: 1999
Anathema, Music For Nations
Reviewed by Milan
Archive review

Alternative 4 was the album that exposed me to the gorgeous, yet depressing world of Anathema. Yet, despite featuring some of the best songs of their entire career (Inner Silence could make me cry on the happiest day of my life), I'd pick its sequel, Judgement, as the perfect introduction to their sound. Released one year after Alternative 4, it's remarkable how their songwriting had matured in such a short amount of time; the songs evoking a wider variety of emotions and beauty than ever before.

As was the case on Alternative 4 anything even remotely close to their early doom metal sound isn't to be found. One could argue whether or not this is even still metal but that person would be missing the point. Heaviness isn't the goal here. Melodic hooks and Vincent Cavanagh's fantastic lyrics -whether they're creating a feeling of depression, sadness, anger or fear- sung with his lush voice, are the centerpoint of this album.

I could mention nearly every single song as a highlight since they all have something different to offer. One constant though is the pure emotional power with which every single song hits you. Deep deserves a special mention as a terrific opener, setting the mood for the emotional rollercoaster that is to come afterwards. Make It Right (F.F.S.), with another haunting vocal performance by Cavanagh and synths that remind of Dream Theater's Lifting Shadows Off a Dream, is another standout track. Finally, the title track's gradual buildup can't go unmentioned, reaching a fantastic climax that will absolutely rock your socks off.

On this album and Alternative 4 Anathema truly came into their own and became a band with a sound unlike any other. A sound they'd evolve gradually with every album that followed. But no matter how good those may be, in my opinion this is where Anathema completely nailed it. I dare anyone not be moved when listening to this. Absolutely tremendous.

Killing Songs :
Deep, Make It Right (F.F.S.), Judgement, Emotional Winter
Milan quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Anathema that we have reviewed:
Anathema - Weather Systems reviewed by Leah and quoted 90 / 100
Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here reviewed by Goat and quoted 91 / 100
Anathema - A Natural Disaster reviewed by Jack and quoted 65 / 100
Anathema - A Fine Day To Exit reviewed by Alex and quoted 52 / 100
Anathema - Resonance reviewed by Sin and quoted no quote
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