Anathema Announce “Indefinite Hiatus”

Anathema hit 30 years of existence in 2020, and apparently they’ve seen enough. And while there’s a part of me that definitely began the first draft of this post by asking “what’s the point of anything anymore?,” I get it. Over the course of their decades together after being founded in 1990 by brothers Vincent and Danny Cavanagh, the band evolved from death-doom to moody post-goth dark heaviness and came out the other side with an increasingly progressive and melodic reach. They never put out the same record twice — all the more of a feat because their last album, 2017’s The Optimist (review here), was a sequel to 2001’s A Fine Day to Exit — and they never lost their commitment to genuine expression of where they were at the time.

I can only speak as a fan. They were among the first truly underground bands that resonated with me. First exposure was 1998’s Alternative 4 (discussed here), and that, along with 1999’s Judgement, A Fine Day to Exit and 2003’s A Natural Disaster (reissues reviewed here), remain essential works to which I return with fair regularity. Long years between A Fine Day to Exit and 2010’s We’re Here Because We’re Here (discussed here) brought stark changes in perspective — they “got happy,” to put it as simply as possible — but their identity as a group was still intact.

And the decade that followed with releases on Peaceville Records imprint Kscope, whether it was 2012’s Weather Systems (review here), 2014’s Distant SatellitesThe Optimist or various live outings, compilations and redux works like 2011’s Falling Deeper (review here) — a follow-up to 2008’s Hindsight — offered riches of its own for those with minds willing to make the journey with the band. Fans had their favorite eras. I know a few who swear by their first three records — 1993’s Serenades, 1995’s The Silent Enigma and 1996’s Eternity — and nothing else. As one looks back on the arc of their now-apparently-ended career, I’m not sure it matters.

For what it’s worth, Vincent Cavanagh appears on the new Crippled Black Phoenix record, and this is an “indefinite hiatus,” so if they’re able to tour again, they might pick up a few years down the line, but if they’re taking the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the creative world as a whole and on them as people as a cue to make their own exit, well, they do so with no less grace than one would have to expect.

Their announcement follows:

anathema done

Anathema, “A Natural Disaster” from A Sort of Homecoming

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2 Responses to “Anathema Announce “Indefinite Hiatus””

  1. Mark says:

    Was very sad to see the announcement. Glad I saw them in London on their last tour and just hoping they manage to come back somewhere down the line.

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