Anathema, Serotonal, and the Radical Change of Doom Metal
Later on, during the early 2000’s, musicians started incorporating atmospheric elements into the composition, as well as drone music. A good example of this last trend would be the band Serotonal, a band that started as a project by ex-Anathema’s vocalist Darren “Daz” White.
Anathema, one of the British “Peaceville Three” bands that left a mark in the 1990’s doom-metal scene, has become something completely unrecognizable from what it used to be. The dramatic change is not strange considering it has happened countless times before; artists look forward to defining their own unique sound by trying to add other styles to their line of work. Anathema was also changed by its constant inner and outer flow of members.
Going back to its first two albums in the early 1990’s, this band had a defined death/doom style with Darren White as vocalist; once White is out of the band, guitarist Vincent Cavanagh took over as lead singer and worked on clean vocals. Although Cavanagh’s notably sorrowful singing and an incursion into atmospheric instrumentation gave the music a very interesting feel, in their third album “Eternity”, this did not significantly change the sound. Their next albums would gradually transform music, taking it towards an alternative and/or progressive sound, with a number of experimental outcomes that remind us of Radiohead and Pink Floyd.
Darren White, nevertheless, did not jump far from the doom scene in Serotonal. Despite the music presenting certain distinguishable features of atmospheric metal and the vocals being clean, it stays doom as a whole to the joy of the most traditional old-school Anathema fans. At the same time, the incorporation of drone music in several music pieces gave Serotonal a different touch from other doom bands; while most doom songs are typically long, this band’s pieces tend to be shorter and relatively minimalist.