Being the major songwriter for Anathema doesn't automatically mean you are getting all the attention on stage. And with your brother as a visual focus for Anathema, I can imagine it's pretty nice to lay low in the shade of the limelight and quietly play your amazingly thought of parts. Just to shine on your occasional lead for the night.. But once in a few years Daniel Cavanagh steps out of the shades of his brother Vincent and puts himself right in the spotlights where he truly belongs.
After several albums, where Daniel has been participating, like Leafblade or In Parallel; together with Anneke van Giersbergen, 2017 sees the proud release of this debut album as a solo artist. Monochrome basically takes you back in time a bit, references to older Anathema albums like A Natural Disaster, We're Here Because We're Here (2010, see review) and Falling Deeper (2011, see review) can be found on the very emotional train ride that Monochrome is. The presence of the aforementioned Anneke van Giersbergen should not be a big surprise, for she has participated on several Anathema albums and on the On Parallel album. The real power of the album comes from the delicate piano parts and intense vocal of Daniel Cavanagh himself, whether or not accompanied by the amazing female voice. During the short track Dawn, the second guest musician gets her moment to shine, Anna Phoebe's fragile violin playing adds a smooth folky instrument. The longest track; The Silent Flight Of The Raven Winged Hours represses the heavy emotions and almost shows a form of electric acoustic post rock with a psychedelic keyboard solo. Some Dreams Come True closes the album. How can such a minimalistic track become so intriguing. Sometimes you don't need much to create something very beautiful. What a great way to end an album.
After listening to the album over and over again, Monochrome turns out to become an album you never get tired of. Daniel's minimalistic approach slithers in your head and so does his amiable voice. A lot of times, smoother album's do not work for me, but Daniel has found a way to dig into my brain and planted something called Monochrome.
***** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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