at John Dee, Oslo, Norway, November 4, 2014

Photo by Patrick Larsen Holseth

All photos by Patrick Larsen Holseth

Anathema are celebrating their 25th anniversary next year. Right now they’re touring in support of their tenth studio album Distant Satellites (2014). The group, hailing from Liverpool, UK, have experimented with various subgenres of Rock and Metal since the very beginning. They started out as a Death/Doom Metal band defining the British Doom scene alongside My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost. Then they went via Gothic Metal to more Alternative and Progressive Rock to flirting with Symphonic Rock. Now they only play music from the later part of their career, or old songs reconstructed to fit their new format.

Photo by Patrick Larsen Holseth

Distant Satellites is their second album recorded in Oslo, Norway. Needless to say the band now has a special kind of relationship. As vocalist/guitarist Vincent Cavanagh said towards the end of the show, they don’t get any publicity at all for their shows in Norway but the people show up every time no matter what. The band continued to express their gratitude towards the crowd throughout the show.

Photo by Patrick Larsen Holseth

The line-up consists of singers and guitarists Vincent and Daniel Cavanagh, their brother Jamie Cavanagh at bass, siblings John and Lee Douglas, respectively keyboardist (and drums for the last two songs of the original set) and singer, drummer Daniel Cardoso since November 2012.

Of course they put most weight on their new album but the setlist contained a lot of gems from previous albums as well. As their back catalog is as varied as it is, so was the setlist. You got songs like the symphonic “Dreaming Light” via the emotional “Are You There,” played solely with an acoustic guitar, to songs like the title track from the new album, which is heavily laden with electronic beats. The highlights were many; They played all three parts of “The Lost Song” and the beautiful song entitled “Anathema,” all from their latest album, “Thin Air” and “Dreaming Light”, as well as “A Natural Disaster” and an upbeat version of “Fragile Dreams” with their Norwegian friend and “the biggest talent” they’ve ever seen Petter Carlsen on guest vocals.

Photo by Patrick Larsen Holseth

The band performed with such precision and the Cavanagh brothers’ steady voices along with Lee Douglas’ beautiful soprano vocal makes the vocal performances of Anathema stunning. Their best decision the latter years is arguably that they made her a full time member of the band. The only thing to criticize about this show would be the sound. The bass fell out at one point, though accidents do happen, and it seemed like the sound engineer struggled with the vocals during the first few songs. It wasn’t a severe flaw though and the crowd seemed more than satisfied with the show. As well they should be; an Anathema show is always a good show!

Setlist: The Lost Song, Part 1 / The Lost Song, Part 2 / Untouchable, Part 1 / Untouchable, Part 2 / Thin Air / Dreaming Light / The Lost Song, Part 3 / Anathema / The Beginning and the End / Universal
Encore: Are You There? / Firelight / Distant Satellites / Take Shelter / A Natural Disaster / Fragile Dreams


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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