anathema universal

Anathema have been mesmerizing people for years with their transformation from doom metal group to artsy prog rock. I found their latest album Weather Systems to be incredibly moving, and often describe it as being the essence of manly tears. I’ve always wanted to see how the band’s epic sound holds up in a live context, but they don’t make it Stateside too often. They’re coming over soon with Alcest, but unfortunately, the dates are sparse.

Luckily, the band and their label KScope Records are releasing a 4-disc (Blu-Ray, DVD, and 2CD) set called Universal, which documents a one-off show at the ancient Roman Theater of Philippopolis with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in September of 2012. A trailer for the release can be viewed below.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGBg5rZb58s&w=560]

The concert looks absolutely magical; Anathema’s later material begs to be performed with a full orchestra, and judging by the samples from the trailer, the band’s performance is spot-on. I didn’t expect a band like Anathema to have such a high quality concert film, but the production value is remarkable as well. You can likely thank director Lasse Hoile for that, who has worked with the likes of Porcupine Tree, Opeth, and Dream Theater.

Alongside the main performance, the release includes bonus content, including an acoustic set recorded at Union Chapel in London. Below, you can watch ‘Thin Air’ from the set as it will appear on Universal.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oo8vU2D67So&w=560]

Here’s the tracklist:

CHAPTERS:
Untouchable, Part 1
Untouchable, Part 2
Thin Air
Dreaming Light
Lightning Song
The Storm Before the Calm
Everything
A Simple Mistake
The Beginning and the End
Universal
Closer
A Natural Disaster
Deep
One Last Goodbye
Flying
Fragile Dreams

EXTRAS:
ENCORE

Panic
Emotional Winter / Wings of God
Internal Landscapes
Fragile Dreams

A NIGHT AT THE UNION CHAPEL
Kingdom
Thin Air *below
Angels Walk Among Us
A Natural Disaster
Fragile Dreams

Universal will be out September 23rd and is available for pre-order at this location for £24.99, or roughly $38.20 USD. It’s a bit steep, but it looks like it’ll be worth it. Though, presumably cheaper standard and retail editions will be available closer to release. For more info, check in at KScope Records.

– JR

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