Played at Graspop Metal Meeting
1999 / 2000 / 2002 / 2004 / 2010 / 2017






Soon after forming as Pagan Angel in 1990 Anathema found themselves at the forefront of the English doom/death metal scene together with fellow progenitors My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost. The backbone of the band has been the same for three decades: Vincent (vocals/guitar) and Daniel Cavanagh (lead guitar) and drummer John Douglas. Their brand of doom/death metal is heavily inspired by atmospheric goth metal, with clean vocals gradually seeping in as from the mid-90s. Nowadays their music is better characterised as progressive rock/metal, but the one thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the consistent quality of their output, with ’Distant Satellites’ (2014) and ‘The Optimist’ (2017) as their most recent offspring. The latter is sort of a sequel to 2001’s ‘A Fine Day to Exit’ and chronicles what that album’s main characters have been up to in the intervening 16 years. While the trend in progressive rock is towards mourning and a depressed vibe, Anathema’s message is surprisingly uplifting and hopeful. ‘Distant Satellites’ delivers that message in a format stripped of all adornments and with the repeated use of keyboards and drum computers. (#GMM20)