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Music To Paddle With. 09/2017. Anathema - The Optimist

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Music To Paddle With. 09/2017

Our CD of the month is “The Optmist” 11th studio album released by the British Rock band Anathema. The band was founded, under the name Pagan Angel, in 1990 by Vincent, Jamie and Daniel Cavanagh. The initial lineup also included Daniel Cardoso, Darren White and John Douglas. With different lineups The band achieved recognition in the United Kingdom through their albums and appearances at festivals. Originally focused on Death/Doom Music the band shifted gears over the years to focus on Alternative and Prog Rock sound. The band’s evolution was evident in their sixth effort, released in 2001, “A Fine Day to Exit”, a concept album about a man's journey through mental breakdown to his suicide, that was acclaimed by critics and fared well commercially even though alienated a large portion of the band's more traditional metal fanbase. The album was followed by 5 more efforts, the last, the album that we’re briefly reviewing, this year. The album has been widely praised by critics and fans alike. Suffice it to say that it has been awarded “Album of the Year” at the Progressive Rock Awards.

Anathema - The Optimist

Not only “The Optimist” is a concept album like “A Fine Day to Exit” but it is the sequel to the latter both in terms of sound and story. So like its predecessor “The Optimist” is, simply put, a brilliant and inventive effort by a mature band at the top of their game. This link between the two albums is almost seamless, despite the 16 years wait. The opener track title, “32.63N 117.14W”, says it all, referring to the coordinates of the last known location (Silver Starnd Beach – San Diego) of the Optimist that was described in “A Fine Day to Exit”. As a matter of fact this track is a collection of sounds heard by the guy as he gets back into his car that prepare the stage for the first proper song the relentless, bursting “Leaving it Behind” followed, for the most part, by more downtempo lush melodies such as the three standout tracks of this beautiful album: “Springfield”, “Ghosts” and “Back to the Start”. Perfect tunes to paddle by!

Track Listing

   1. 32.63n 117.14w
   2. Leaving It Behind
   3. Endless Ways
   4. The Optimist
   5. San Francisco
   6. Springfield
   7. Ghosts
   8. Can't Let Go
   9. Close Your Eyes
 10. Wildfires
 11. Back to the Start

Genre: Prog, Alternative Rock


Order the CD on Amzon UK @


Visit the band's website @ http://www.anathemamusic.com/

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