The opening track, Jesus Alone, is eerily prophetic in parts of the lyrics, that were written before Nick's 15-year old son fell from cliffs in Brighton. "You fell from the sky/Crash landed in a field/Near the river Adur". The vocals are still strong and the music dark, as can be expected from the doom singer.
The vocals become more raw and vulnerable as the album progresses, while the music by the Bad Seeds carry the emotions forwards into a sensitive narrative. Girl in Amber continues in a more raw and unedited way, in waves streaming on from a kind of hopelessness.
These wave like melodies continue stronger in the following song Magneto, while anxious background sounds contrast the quiet and calmness. Coiling around themes of love during the chorus, "In love, in love, in love you laugh/In love you move, I move/and one more time with feeling". While the lyrics in the verses express the emotional reality of mundane events that still carry on while grief takes over personal lives.
This angsty background stays and becomes a main theme in Anthroscene, during which waves of noise come and return to tranquility, as if there is some room to catch a breath again in between preparing for bigger forces coming.
A more vulnerable calmness returns during the heart aching song I Need you, voice breaking and full of pain, Nick Cave manages to grasp the pure and painful neediness that comes with love.
The album gains a more solemn, hopeful tone during the last two songs, even though the almost hymnic ballad with Else Torp, Distant Skies, speaks of the gods not outliving us.
"And it's alright now", as the final title song Skeleton Tree tells us.