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Anathema - Alternative 4

8.8 | 1010 votes |
Release date: 11 August 1998
Style: Doom metal, Atmospheric rock


1214 have it
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01. Shroud Of False
02. Fragile Dreams
03. Empty
04. Lost Control
05. Re-Connect
06. Inner Silence
07. Alternative 4
08. Regret
09. Feel
10. Destiny
11. The Silent Enigma [bonus]
12. Your Possible Pasts [Pink Floyd cover] [2004 re-release bonus]
13. One Of The Few [Pink Floyd cover] [2004 re-release bonus]
14. Better Off Dead [Bad Religion cover] [2004 re-release bonus]
15. Goodbye Cruel World [Pink Floyd cover] [2004 re-release bonus]

Top 20 albums of 1998: 3
Top 200 albums of all time: 100

Vincent Cavanagh - vocals, guitars
Daniel "Danny" Cavanagh - guitars, piano, keyboards
Duncan Patterson - bass, piano, keyboards
John Douglas - drums

Session musicians
George Ricci - violin
Andy Duncan - drum loops programming on "Empty"

Additional info
Recorded at the Windings in January/February '98.
Produced by Kit Woolven.
Assistant engineer - Simon Dawson.
Mixed at Parkgate by Kit Woolven.
Assisted by Doug Cook.

Front cover artwork by Tim Spear.
Cover concept by Duncan Patterson.
Band photography by Lili Wilde.

Mastered at Transfermation by Noel Summerville.
All tracks published by Vile Music.
Piano and keyboards played by D. Cavanagh & D. Patterson.
Charming violin played by George Rucci.
Drum loops on "Empty" programmed by Andy Duncan.

* Japanese and German versions have an orchestral version of "The Silent Enigma" as a bonus track.

Japanese release date was August 25th.

Re-released by Peaceville in 2003 with the following bonus tracks:
11. Your Possible Pasts (Pink Floyd cover) (4:28)
12. One of the Few (Pink Floyd cover) (1:50)
13. Better Off Dead (Bad Religion cover) (4:21)
14. Goodbye Cruel World (Pink Floyd cover) (1:39)

These 3 last tracks are sometimes mistaken for the ones on a supposed My Dying Bride / Anathema split that does NOT exist. In fact, they are taken from the 1998 Peaceville compilation titled "Peaceville X" and are, respectively, track 1, 5 and 14.

Staff review by
Dream Taster
After the release of 1996's Eternity, Alternative 4 is clearly its logical successor. Far from the doom-death metal of their first albums , these talented English musicians reinforce their already high position in the doom metal sphere.

The first track - called 'Shroud of False' - is a wonderful piano intro with one of the clearest sound I've ever heard. Simply a great overture for the rest of the album. Then, 'Fragile Dreams' is an amazing doom song. This track is one of my all time Anathema's favorites. With any doubt, one of the best doom songs ever written. 'Empty' brings a supernatural melancholy to the album but incredible as it may seem, it's also one of the fastest song on Alternative 4. 'Lost Control' has a weird effect on me: I'm starting to calm down. And then, I'm thinking about life and death. This song has an incredible doom-power. Terrible sadness... Let's have a look at my favorite lyrics of the whole album:

published 26.08.2003 | Comments (9)

Guest review by
Gothic Metalhead
I keep track of former Anathema bassist Duncan Patterson's Facebook page and have learned a few things from his own perspective. He has dismissed Eternity and Alternative 4 as being part of metal despite mentioning influences of Dead Can Dance and Paradise Lost. I honestly don't expect even Patterson would be comfortable with that era being metal, let alone gothic or doom metal. Regardless, Patterson would take part in another phenomenal album with one of my favorite bands.

published 24.10.2020 | Comments (8)

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Comments: 16   Visited by: 1562 users
28.11.2010 - 03:26
Rating: 10

Damn!This album never gets old!
21.12.2010 - 14:21
Rating: 9

Great album .lost control is my favorite anathema song
Giving my ears a rest from music.
01.05.2012 - 17:46
Rating: 8
Metal Addict
This album marks the band leaving behind their doom metal roots and moving into the direction they reached now. Duncan Patterson, who wrote some songs on "Eternity", this time wrote more than a half of the album and Vincent debuted as a songwriter with Re-Connect. The music itself is passionate and honest and some songs are brilliant, but... some aren't as memorable. That's what stops me from giving this album a higher rating.
"And we are not who we think we are
We are who we're afraid to be"
- Lux Occulta "The Opening of Eleventh Sephirah"
23.03.2013 - 19:57
Rating: 8

Quite a downbeat record, but the atmosphere and instrumentation is excellent. It's the first proper album I've listened to by Anathema (The only other release I've heard were the 'Pentecost III' and 'The crestfallen EP's, which were early on in the band's career) and thus the first release that didn't have their Death/Doom sound on. 'Lost control', 'Feel' and 'Destiny' are my particular highlights.
15.04.2013 - 19:41
Account deleted
I never thought that i would like any band of this genre. But i like this band and especially this album. "Empty" and "Fragile Dreams" are great.
15.04.2013 - 20:19

My favorite album from Anathema. This is what happens when you have good set of skills, emotions and daring to try new things.
03.03.2014 - 17:11
Account deleted
Better than Judgement in my opinion. 'Regret' is one of the most 'complete' anathema songs, and Lost Control is great too.. my aunt loved Fragile dreams even though she doesn't listen to metal.
23.04.2017 - 23:43
Rating: 9

Damn consistent album, all tracks are very good (with final track and title track somewhat behind the rest). It is not their best for me, this will always be TSE. Eternity is pretty much at par. Songs like Lost control and Regret belong to my all-time favourites by them.
26.08.2017 - 19:47

Musically, I enjoy this album quite a lot. In concept and lyrics, its too damn whiny.
03.01.2020 - 12:31
Rating: 9

Great cover of Better Off Dead.
03.01.2020 - 22:08
Rating: 9

Written by DeathMetal on 03.01.2020 at 12:31

Great cover of Better Off Dead.

Yes, indeed. I love that one.
12.04.2020 - 13:27
Rating: 7

I've tried so many times to appreciate this band but I just find them to be a dull yawnfest.

Not a bad album, but not a great one either. A 7/10 for me is generous. I can name at least 1,800 other albums I think are better than this.
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21.05.2020 - 22:07
Rating: 8
JC Steele
Now this album has some real good songs. Songs from #2 to #4 are all great, then there starts a decline until it gets great again at "Regret" and "Feel". Not a super good masterpiece, I think, but I'll say it's one of their best for now, and definitely has some of the best individual Anathema songs.

The band should leave Pink Floyd alone as the covers are very close to copies, but the "Better Off Dead" cover is interesting.
My vision is augmented
A Call for New 'Revolutionaries'
A Call for Parallel Institutions]Vw3tUXdLu2Y
30.07.2021 - 20:56
Rating: 7
A Nice Guy
I finally managed to listen to this album all the way through! I actually quite like the concept of it, for some reason it reminds me of Pink Floyd, The Wall, I think because of the deep, dark, and meaningful lyrics, and vocal style, and the soft instrumehtal parts, but musically I much prefer Pink Floyd tho.

Unfortunately this didn't capture my emotions the way it does with others, I think it was because I found the music a bit too dull at times, during some songs I thought it was really going to get going, but it didn't. I would of prefered the more upbeat sections to last a bit longer, that's probably why I've never been much of a modern doom metal fan.
31.08.2022 - 19:45
Rating: 7
Nocturnal Bro
Written by AndyMetalFreak on 30.07.2021 at 20:56

some reason it reminds me of Pink Floyd, The Wall,

I haven't looked at the lyrics, but the vocals do remind me of Pink Floyd. It was a pleasant surprise for me as most modern doom I've listened to feature growls. Nice instrumentation - piano, violin, bass - I like it
31.08.2022 - 20:09
Rating: 7
A Nice Guy
Written by F3ynman2000 on 31.08.2022 at 19:45

I haven't looked at the lyrics, but the vocals do remind me of Pink Floyd. It was a pleasant surprise for me as most modern doom I've listened to feature growls. Nice instrumentation - piano, violin, bass - I like it

I will probably go back through Anathema again at some point, there's still alot of stuff from them I haven't heard. This isn't a bad album, Judgement is also a good one, they are usually rated their best two but I've also heard many people say The Silent Enigma is their best, but I haven't yet listened to that one. maybe I will appreciate them more in time.

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