What is the instrument we hear in the background of "Electricity" by Anathema (Natural Disaster)? It is heard in places throughout, but becomes louder and more prominent at 2m04 into the song.

It somehow conjures up images of Venice in my mind. And I think it is hammered, but I am not sure. It sounds hammered.

I looked up videos of hammered dulcimers, but nothing I found sounds like the instrument I hear in this song, so I think it may be something else entirely.


I don't hear anything percussive and/or hammered at that point in the song. The prominent instrument in the background sounds --to me --like an electric guitar with heavy chorus effect added.

It also reminds me a bit of a glass armonica but that's an unusual instrument. There's a piano-harp being directly strummed at the end of the song, but that doesn't seem to be the same sound we've heard earlier.

Of course, it could just be a synthesizer, although it does have a very organic sound. The album notes only list guitars and keyboards, so it's likely to be one of the two.

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  • I do hear the "beating" at 2:04, but agree it's too heavily altered to identify. My first impression was steel drums, but later hearings bring to mind mandolin, which would explain the OP's images of Venice. It also reminds me of balalaika. However, allowing it's one instrument throughout, none of those suggestions explain the "bowed" sounds toward the beginning. Ultimately, I agree "electric guitar with heavy chorus effect" -- and maybe some additional manipulation -- provides the best explanation. – Aaron Jul 28 at 18:41
  • @Aaron - Perhaps this? youtu.be/wBiJ-K0IpDA?t=46 – Chris Sunami supports Monica Jul 28 at 18:55
  • Outstanding. :-) Your response goes all the way to eleven! But I don't hear the "beating", so back atcha: youtube.com/watch?v=r9kteu6R7TI&t=6m29s – Aaron Jul 28 at 19:19

It could be a "prepared piano" like the way john cage did it. Put some steel objects into the piano in the strings to alter the sounds.

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