Published on Saturday, 05 May 2012 21:22
Album title: Weather Systems
Release date: 16 April 2012
There is no need to make any introductions about this musical icon. Anathema ninth studio album testifys in a big way about the greatness of this liverpoolians, the greatness of creating emotional powerful ablazeing sounds that can bring shivers also to the most apathetic sort of humankind that listens to metal, alternative or any kind of rock music. Anathema have the special power to seduce, to amaze, to bring tears in your eyes, but also to bring you to the state when you have to crush the hardest rock you can find with your bare hands. They showed this with all records they ever produced and Weather Systems is the ultimate proof of that. I know that there are people who will never try it, or just for an instant and never touch it again, but it doesn't matter now and happily it never did for Anathema, as they have explored musical soundscapes throughout all this years, searching the ultimate combination of emotion, despair, hope and anger transfered into music. With skills that are seldom to find they reached almost perfect balance between progression, atmosphere, melody and power. Anathema, let's say are very close to that what Pink Floyd were doing in late 70's and 80's and it's no coincidence that they are often called as Pink Floyd of a new millenium.
Weather Systems starts where We Are Here Because We Are Here took off. Fans of Judgement, released back in 1999 will rejoice the opener "Untouchable, Part 1" with it's subtle acoustic opening which develops into an atmospheric guitar driven epic climax, showing Vincents vocal interpretation in top notch form, somehow similar development of events to "One Last Goodbye" from before mentioned Judgement with strong connection to "Thin Air" from previous album. Yes, we are witnessing to an absolutely flawless fusion of all instruments and vocals. This one reaches it's opposite form in calm use of piano and gentle Vincents and Lee voice on "Untouchable, Part 2". On Weather Systems are many changes of mood, once you feel like being in the middle of meadow with warm sun up in the sky, later you are witnessing how the stormy clouds are gathering and the search of shelter is indispensable, and finally the storm comes down in its full force, yet, after all that the sun on horizon shows up again with everything being calm. Those who enjoyed Lees gentle and at the same time alternative kind of vocals on their previous albums will find plenty of her singing up here, but I must admit that on "Lightning Song" for example she's a little bit loose and this song could sound much better with a different vocal approach, but on the other hand on all other occasions she adds that something special when replenishing Vincent, just listen to "The Gathering Of The Clouds" or the second half of "The Storm Before The Calm" and the beauty of "Internal Landscapes". The use of piano, some orchestrations and synths here and there shows musical versatility of the main composer Daniel. Every note, every verse, each drum hit is put so well together that when listening to Weather Systems the time flys so quickly and those 55 minutes finishes in one breath.
It's difficult to say what kind of genre are Anathema playing, let's call it atmospheric prog rock, although played with metal form and attitude. I can only imagine how these songs would sound played live, as there are many refrains which could put the listener into the state of catharsis or even emotional breakdown. I'm so glad seeing this band in this kind of creative peak and I can only hope that it will continue... Album that will certainly compete for the album of the year.
Review written by: T.V.