This is some of the best Doom Metal ANATHEMA has come out with over the course of their careers. Here, we have an imperfect, but beautiful blend of heaviness and grim melody. To anyone that has listened to much Doom Metal in the past, it shouldn't be hard to estimate what sort of material is going to be heard here. Despite being one of the best Doom records I've heard, “Pentecost III” seems to be lacking a few things, and suffering from a few shortfalls. The high points and most inspired sections are Doom Metal at its best, but some lackluster vocal work and some less impressive sections rob ANATHEMA of what could have been a real classic.
Each composition is full of really beautiful and melodic moments which could make even a heart of ice thaw out and burst into tears. The two songs that seem to have the most cohesion to them are the first and third tracks; “Kingdom” and “We, The Gods.” The other songs shown here are also good, but suffer from flow problems which make them feel less organized. With such a drawn out style of music like Doom Metal, it's easy to steer the course away from a composition and throw in a lot of ideas in the hopes of spicing things up, but it ends up making the songs that much less memorable. However, “Kingdom” for example takes its sweet time to build up from a clean and melancholy ambience up to the level of full heaviness. “We, The Gods” on the other hand is speckled with nice sections up until the finale, where an IRON MAIDEN-style gallop ensues and brings everything to a wonderful climax.
The vocals of Darren White aren't as bad as people say they are; but they definitely aren't more than mediocre. The spoken word dialogues give the music a gothic flair, and there are parts where White's growl really compliments the rest of the mix. It should be clear to even a seasoned Metalhead though, that he isn't one of the better growlers out there, and does not have a lot of versatility to his voice.
Unfortunately, the main issue here is with the cohesion of song writing. If all of the songs here were as grimfully perfect as “Kingdom,” there would be a real masterpiece on our hands. As it stands however, “Pentecost III” is a solid doom metal record and a fitting way to end ANATHEMA 's heavier era.
(Online February 16, 2012)