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Anathema - 'A Sort Of Homecoming' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/da/c3/b4/anathema-a-sort-of-homecoming-34-1455570159.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     February 15, 2016    
 
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An excellent 2CD/DVD representation of the band thriving in the stripped down format.

Recorded on the home leg of Anathema's acoustic tour at the impressive Liverpool Cathedral earlier this year, 'A Sort Of Homecoming' is an excellent 2CD/DVD representation of the band thriving in the stripped down format. The group have had a fluid line-up since their formation as the Doom Metal band Pagan Angel in 1990 and are currently a five-piece from just two families that includes bassist Jamie Cavanagh, drummer John Douglas and his singing sister Lee, but singer/guitarist Vincent Cavanagh and his other brother Daniel (guitars/keys/vocals) are the only ever presents in this performance, with others joining in when required.

On this kind of occasion there is nowhere for the musicians to hide, the natural acoustics of the cathedral and the reverent silence of their home crowd would show up any mistakes, if there were any. Mastermind Daniel Cavanagh is an accomplished acoustic guitarist and keyboard player (their additional keyboardist/drummer Daniel Cardoso was strangely not involved in this show) and adds layers of guitar and makeshift percussion to the sparser songs by using loops, but it's main singers Vincent Cavanagh and especially Lee Douglas who bless this performance with their note perfect voices. Personally, I think Lee Douglas is an immense talent who adds a rare beauty to ethereal songs like opener 'The Lost Song (Part 2)', 'Untouchable' (Parts 1 & 2) and the wonderful 'A Natural Disaster', but even though she doesn't sing on everything, Vincent Cavanagh also does a great job on closer 'Fragile Dreams', 'Anathema' and many others.

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The band hit their stride when they're joined by drums, bass and guest cellist David Wesling, while violinist Anne Phoebe is simply spellbinding during her sole guest spot on 'Anathema', adding a real sense of drama to the occasion. A hefty portion of their recent 'Distant Satellites' album and its predecessor 'Weather Systems' makes for a suitable set-list for the acoustic format, and even though it's a long and mostly sedate listen, if you play both discs back to back, the performance and crystal-clear sound more than make up for that.

If you buy the version with the DVD (or the stand-alone Blu-Ray) I would suggest that you'll probably watch the footage more than you listen to the CD's, and while it's well shot with lots of sharp close-ups, the lack of lighting in the cathedral means that, apart from the long shots from the back, it could have been recorded at any venue and the results would have been basically the same. There's an impressive bit in 'A Natural Disaster' where the crowd are asked to illuminate their mobile phones, along with the band's own swirling lights, but on the whole the lights weren't bright enough to make for a spectacle worthy of the surroundings. However, the 5.1 mix by the Pineapple Thief's Bruce Soord is simply stunning and makes the package a must for any fan.

Phil Ashcroft

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
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  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
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  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
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  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
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  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.

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