Title: Weather Systems
Genre: Progressive Rock/ New Prog
Release Date: 16th April 2012
ANATHEMA started out in 1990 with a doom/death metal sound from which they steered into the waters of progressive alternative rock... So in their post-metal New Prog era what is important is that they’re one of the bands that will always have uniqueness so that you know them apart from the flood of others. Their ninth album ‘Weather System’ is no exception to it. There’s a lot of dreaminess (especially in the first part of the album) that will relax you even though it’ll still keep you emotionally engaged with it more or less throughout the length of the album. It’s also one of those albums that will have you listening to it again, it’s kaleidoscopic and absorbing.
The opening ‘Untouchable’ with its Part 1 and 2 showcases the beautiful and intricate build-ups that have delicacy and grace to them, conveying a sense of loss but also of affirmation at the same time. A lot of the space has been given to Lee Douglas’s vocal, which brings a sense of clarity in juxtaposition to Cavanagh’s troubled intensity at times. Though her vocal is nearly as expressive, it just feels calmer and more straightforward; both of these approaches fit the music perfectly well. ‘The Storm before the Calm’ is superbly complex, feels experimental and even suitable for a theatrical play of the more arty type. It certainly describes an emotional state and its development with deep subtlety and brevity. The ending spreads in epic majesty to punctuate the way it sneaks inside you and draws whatever you’ve folded in there out. It has a slightly disorientating effect that fits the theme all the more.
‘The Lost Child’ is another of the kind of songs that really hits you deep, and you won’t be able to avoid that and there will be a great deal of surprise of how emotively engaging this one is - a definite best moment of the album. Beautiful piano arrangements with evocative strings, Cavanagh’s voice and the impact of lyrics in that special way ANATHEMA is renowned for just form such beautiful sorrowfulness that will resound and drop, irrevocably, a hook into your inner world, take you with it so much so that it will leave an unshakeable mark there and it will be you who will become lost and you who will join in with the last words of ‘save me’, sincerely wishing you could be. The ending song ‘Internal Landscapes’ is permeated with a voice sample recounting a near death experience and comes to bring not only the album to a closure but to get a closure of your own on the journey of overcoming grief and loss. A journey that makes the album personal, intimate and yet ultimately profoundly relatable.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s the best album of their career, though one of the best of the genre this year (one should always expect the best from the best though), but it’s certainly an excellent album to delve into, giving a listener a very rewarding experience.
01. Untouchable, Part 1 - 6:14
02. Untouchable, Part 2 - 5:33
03. The Gathering of the Clouds - 3:27
04. Lightning Song - 5:25
05. Sunlight - 4:55
06. The Storm Before the Calm - 9:24
07. The Beginning and the End - 4:53
08. The Lost Child - 7:02
09. Internal Landscapes - 8:52
Vincent Cavanagh – vocals, guitar
Daniel Cavanagh – guitar, piano, keyboards, vocals
John Douglas – percussion, keyboards, guitars
Jamie Cavanagh – bass
Lee Douglas - vocals
http://www.anathema.ws/ / http://www.myspace.com/weareanathema
Total: 8.75 / 10
Buy the album here!