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Anathema: "The more we’re made to suffer, the more we’re made to care"

Their latest album may be called The Optimist, but as Anathema explain, their 11th release was borne from very dark times. Brothers Vincent and Daniel Cavanagh discuss its creation…

It begins with the sound of a man staggering out of the sea and getting into a car. ‘The Optimist’ – ie our surrogate protagonist, and the title of Anathema’s 11th album – then leads us through a powerful story of human experience, told with incendiary progressive rock, ending with a single guitar, a small child and… erm, a budgie. Is this the final stages of a drowned man’s life, played out in reverse? Or a figment of his imagination? Or something else? Laden with gut-wrenching keys, driving guitars and drums and intriguing electronics, The Optimist doesn’t provide answers but it keeps you guessing in the best way possible.


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From the archive

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