Danny Cavanagh (born 6.10.1972) - guitars
Vincent Cavanagh (born 29.8.1973) - vocals, guitars
John Douglas (born 11.7.1973) - drums
Les Smith - keyboards
George Roberts - session (live) bassist
ANATHEMA hail from the central region of Liverpool, forming as a Heavy Metal Five piece in the summer of 1990. Originally under the name of 'PAGAN ANGEL' their strong sound soon formed into the heavy vein of classic Doom Metal, with a huge background of influences. In November 1990, they entered a local studio to lay down their first demo, mystically titled 'AN ILIAD OF WOES'.
With the release of the demo in January of 1991, they decided to make the name change to ANATHEMA, which originates from a quotation in the bible, meaning a curse by God or the church, excommunication, damnation.
Gig supports were played with bands like Bolt Thrower and Paradise Lost, and a serious fan base was now forming in their home town, growing slowly to make its way all over Europe. With a few more months of gigging and serious rehearsing, they decided to re enter the same local studio to record their now legendary 'ALL FAITH IS LOST' demo. Released in July 1991, it received rave reviews in magazines, fanzines and the underground, gaining the band their first 7" release. Titled 'THEY DIE' and released on Switzerland based WITCHUNT RECORDS, it gained the band even more exposure, and quickly sold out its first pressing.
PEACEVILLE RECORDS then contacted the band, and the track 'LOVELORN RHAPSODY' was recorded at Academy Studios for the PEACEVILLE compilation 'VOLUME 4' ( released in October 1992). ANATHEMA were offered a deal, and soon signed to PEACEVILLE for four albums, which began with the release of 'THE CRESTFALLEN EP' in November 1992. CRESTFALLEN was recorded at Academy Studios, produced by Hammy and the band. A UK tour support of US band Cannibal Corpse proved very uccessful, showing ANATHEMA to be a very strong live act.
Their debut LP 'SERENADES' was completed at Academy with Hammy at the production desk and was released in February 1993. Gaining huge critical acclaim, ANATHEMA entered the Kerrang! indie metal charts at number two, and got METAL HAMMER album of the month. The 'SWEET TEARS' video got big air play on MTV, also being voted album of the month on MTV text. A large UK tour with some European festival dates were played before the bands' appearance on a special MTV HEADBANGERS BALL/PEACEVILLE showcase with label mates My Dying Bride and At The Gates. They then went on to play dates with At The Gates in England before completing another 15 date tour jaunt and another short Euro Fest appearance.
ANATHEMA completed their first full European tour in January 1994 and following festival appearances in Romania, Holland and Belgium, headed straight into Academy Studios to begin recording their long awaited Mini Album, PENTECOST III. The band then jetted off again in August to play the INDEPENDANT ROCK FESTIVAL in Brazil and more European dates.
Delays meant that 'PENTECOST 3' didn't see the light of day until May 1995, by which time the band were recording their full length second album and changes were afoot - vocalist Darren White left the band and it was decided that rather than recruite a new frontman, vocal duties would be handled by guitarist Vinnie Cavanagh. Prior to the album's release, the band undertook a UK tour supporting Cathedral, giving people their first chance to see the new line-up in action.
The new album 'THE SILENT ENIGMA', released in October 1995 was hailed a great success, especially in light of the recent personnel changes and saw a maturing band incorporating orchestral arrangements, dark melodies and a greater range of vocals styles than previously, all of which only hinted at the progression to come.
Following opening for Paradise Lost on their UK tour, the band undertook a full European trek, including a successful appearance at the Dynamo Festival in Holland.
The band's next album 'ETERNITY' released in November 1996, witnessed a greater musical progression and more mature approach than seen before. Receiving much praise (and some criticism) from the media, the mix of atmospheric instrumentals, melody (leading to numerous comparisons with Pink Floyd) cleaner vocals blended perfectly with the band's heavier side to create a truely stunning album. Backed up again by another full European tour and further festival appearances, the band continue to go from strength to strength, with an ever-widening fan base.
May 1997 saw the release of the band's first full length video, 'A VISION OF A DYING EMBRACE', which included all of their promotional videos together with a live performance in Krakow, Poland, March 1996 when the band supported My Dying Bride.
However, success always has a price and June 1997 saw the departure of drummer John Douglas. His replacement was ex-Solstice drummer Shaun Steels. Whilst between drummers, the band recorded three cover songs for the Peaceville 10th anniversary album 'X' - chosen partly due to the lack of percussion, the songs were Pink Floyd's 'One of The Few' and 'Goodbye Cruel World' and Bad Religion's 'Better Off Dead'.
1998 saw the release of 'ALTERNATIVE 4' and further personnel changes at the start of and during the accompanying tour. Musical differences saw the departure of bassist Duncan Patterson. Ironically, his replacement was Dave Pybus from Duncan's other band Dreambreed. In addition, Martin Powell, the ex-My Dying Bride keyboardist was recruited (all be it not full-time) for both studio and keyboard duties. In yet another surprise move, original drummer John Douglas rejoined at the end of the year.
June 1999 saw the release of the new album 'JUDGEMENT', which received rave reviews. The band also made their return to the Dynamo Festival in the same year. Following Martin Powell's departure to join Cradle of Filth, ex-Cradle keyboard player Les Smith (who had previously played with Anathema on tour) returned to the fold as a full-time member of the band.
Shortly before the release of the lastest album 'A FINE DAY TO EXIT', Dave Pybus announced his departure from the band (ironically taking over bass duties in Cradle of Filth!!). No fulltime replacement has yet been announced, although a friend of the band, George Roberts, has stepped in for touring purposes. In addition to their own headlining tour, the band opened for Porcupine Tree.
In March 2002, Danny Cavanagh announced his departure from the band, having joined ex-bassist Duncan Patterson's current band Antimatter. No announcement has yet been made by the remaining members on the future of Anathema.
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rememeber | Reviewer: chris | 2/12/13
hi lads its 20 years sine we seen each other.those days at m.e.t.e.l seem distant glad your well seen darren & family at asda pity hes not rejoined wish all sucess with new album my eleven yearold son loves the sounds he cant believe i knew u all.keep smiling lads love chris jackie jenny &michelle xxx
anthema the esoteric band | Reviewer: rahul | 7/17/12
anathema is very mellow there music is so captivating.the vocals so powerful it will carry u away to different inner worlds, the best band with decent dark lyrics.they are like poetry when u read there lyrics every time new doors begin to open.the blend of the lyrics vocals and the instruments is so fantastic that the subject they are telling u has a soul which u can realize.
the best of all | Reviewer: Anonymous | 3/3/11
when you listen to their songs your mind your soul and every part of your body fall into a new world that you cant find such place at anywhere .you will be addicted to their songs i believe that they feel music in their hearts because they are the best of all ....
about anathema | Reviewer: nima | 2/25/08
about this band all I can say is that there is no band more balanced and strong in music. I really can not mention any week point, because there is no weakness! but I as a fan, feel pity that such a band did not continue after 'A fine day to exit' and although I feel pity that they do not pay much attention to their live shows and do not show up in medias. I just should add anathema with perfect vioce of danny boils my blood! their unique music perfectly cover their fantastic lyrics.
anathema reaches in your blood | Reviewer: OANATHEMA | 8/1/07
Anathema is one of the most extraurdinay bands that ever existed for many reasons. appart from theyr exeptional sound and inspyring lyrics, they pour theyr souls into their music. When you listen to any of their songs you are overwhelmed by their emotions reaching into you. and their music reaches deep into the darkest corners of your soul and there it resonates, filling you with dreams and instigating you to escape. escape your own barriers, escape the narrowness of our society, escape to a realm of intelligence, of sound and of pure feelings.
i do not exagerate when i say that ANATHEMA are addictive and once you are hoocked, you will have no other choise but to adore them. And after you listen to them long enough, you will discover that the music is no longer processed by your brain, but it virtually flows through your veins.
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