Anathema A Fine Day To Exit

Perhaps in the most stunning case of musical maturity within the metal genre, England's Anathema, once a heavy doom metal outfit, are now strolling a stunning trip down a Radiohead-friendly path. "We're not scared to do anything. Nowadays the evolution of the band is speeding up more, so we're getting closer to what we want to do," comments vocalist/guitarist Vincent Cavanagh. Combining beautiful acoustics, powerful ballads and relaxing ethereal production effects, A Fine Day To Exit is already confounding metalheads and begging to be unleashed to a wider audience. Fans of Pink Floyd and Radiohead will love this album, so the question stands: could this be the album to break Anathema through to a mainstream crowd? "It would be, were things in a normal situation, but they're not. With us coming from the independent metal market, you just always get stuck in that. We could be doing bloody happy pop and we'd still be getting reviews in metal magazines," laments a frustrated yet amiable Cavanagh. One hopes that Anathema's record label will market this album to various crowds, but, as Cavanagh explains, "Music For Nations has certain limitations also. They're known as a metal label, so certain magazines won't touch their stuff. How fucked is the music industry when a band is completely doing their own thing but are always getting pigeonholed?" With the band submerging themselves deeper into the calm, melancholy, Floyd-ian waters as each album passes, one wonders if they worry about a fan backlash. "No. Maybe some of our fans will drop off, but a lot more will jump on. We play what we want to hear," says Cavanagh. Also of note is the remarkable fact that the band is totally in charge of their own career. "We have a booking agent and a record company and that's it. Everything else is done by us." A Fine Day To Exit is easily one of the year's most powerful releases, an album that, if you let it, will take you away to a whole other reality. Cavanagh sums up the band perfectly, stating, "If I had to give ourselves a category, I'd probably invent one and call it 'freedom.'" (Music For Nations)