Wednesday, 18 June 2008


I bet you thought this post was going to be about the San Jose goregrind band didn't you? No, I mean Exhumed in the sense that this is an old release that I've kinda dug back up and been listening to loads, kicked off by listening to Warning's Watching From A Distance; the guitars on "Faces" in particular remind me of those on this demo's version of "Crestfallen", which later resurfaced on the band's first release for Peaceville Records, The Crestfallen EP (complete with piano intro and cleaner vocals in the back of the mix, but the less said about that the better).
During 1991, this demo was very rarely out of the tape deck in my bedroom, or on my Walkman. I still have my (signed) copy of the demo tape hidden away in my parent's somewhere, as well as a second hand (from 1991, not bought off eBay) "Falling Deeper...Into Fear" shirt.

Before this tape came out, Anathema had released one demo, An Iliad of Woes (which contained the track "Momento Mori", later re-recorded on the Pentecost III EP) and had spent a few years under the name Pagan Angel. On this tape , we were presented with four tracks, starting with an odd intro leading into the slow, mournful "Crestfallen", this being my favourite recording of the song. Track two, "At One With The Earth" starts off with a fast riff, and is the only "fast" song on the demo. The fact that this is the only track that the band never re-recorded in some form later on speaks volumes, although it's not a bad track by any means.
Kicking off side 2 is the title track, a crawling, funereal song with properly tortured vocals, the whole band speeding up towards the end of the track. The tape finishes with what was once a live favourite, "They Die", which resurfaced on the debut LP Serenades as "They (Will Always) Die" with a lush keyboard outro, but this version is raw and grim as fuck.
It always went down a treat in the Royal Court Basement or in Planet X.
Before this, they were laughed at and called "Pagan Afro" by local metal jokers.
After this, they recorded a few 7"s (track them down on eBay!) and did a few EPs and one album that were passable to these ears, but then they got obsessed with Roy Harper and drifted out of the range of Thee Claw...
...if you can get your sweaty hands on a copy of this demo you'll probably be pleasantly surprised, especially if you only know Anathema through their current prog-rock noodlings.

On a related note, I used to be mates with lads who were in a band that rehearsed in MA Studios in Liverpool where this demo was recorded, and we once copied a load of cassettes that were lying around in the control room, with early mixes of this demo, and a load of other stuff that Anathema never released.
That would have fetched a fortune on eBay, but I probably taped over that with a fucking Morgoth album or something.

1 comment:

jonas said...

danny cavanough and the chick from the gathering played an acoustic gig in a small shit town outside of stockholm (it's not even a suburb) last week. a rather odd scenery for the whole thing, but it was a really good gig!