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Anathema - Weather Systems CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.03 | 955 ratings

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4 stars 4.1 Stars. Mostly 1 Weather System

Weather Systems is the 10th studio album by Anathema and it picks up where WHBWH left off. In other words, this album is packed with high energy, upbeat and emotional songs. Looking at the other reviews on PA it is clear to see that this album has split opinions into clear lovers and haters. This is not surprising at all as tracks 1,2,4,5, half of 6 and 9 are effectively the same song. What I mean is that they all start fairly quiet, build up in noise and drama and then explode with energy and raw-emotion before settling down. If you love track 1 then you will love most of this album, if you don't then there is little else to enjoy.

"Untouchable Part 1" starts with a catchy guitar tune and positive and upbeat vocals. More layers of instruments are added and the emotional lyrics are sung with added emphasis. The song then switches to upbeat post-rock which builds and builds until you are swamped with noise. When I first heard this song I was blown away by the raw emotion and power. An absolutely wonderful start!

"Untouchable Part 2" starts as a piano driven ballad with Vincent Cavanagh and Lee Douglas performing a duet. Its very pleasant, although a bit like Coldplay. The song gains energy (but not as much as before) and it finishes with a reprise of part 1. Again its a really nice song, but it doesn't contain as much Prog as the last song.

"The Gathering Of The Clouds " begins with the sound of rain and thunderstorms. This song moves at a reasonably fast pace, but unlike the other 2 it is more downbeat and depressive in tone making it similar to the old Anathema. Its a well written and compact song, but easy to forget.

"Lightning Song" follows the exact template of Untouchable part 1 (slow and pretty, followed by a build up and noisy + emotional finish) except Lee is singing this time. Personally I prefer this song compared to tracks 1,2,4,5 etc. but to be honest its just another variation of the same song.

"Sunlight" is IMO the weakest of the happy post-rock songs and at this point I'm getting bored. To be fair its a bit harder and rougher then the other copy-cat songs and the vocal arrangement at the start is different (in a good way), but the its all just too similar.

"The Storm Before The Calm" is a well needed change of pace. Its a dark and tense song with icy vocals (unlike the warmth of before). The tension builds and is unleashed in a blast of noise. This is easily the most original part of the album and is hard to describe. There is a repetitive tune with grating steel and a snowstorm going on in the background, its very cool. The song calms down and then turns into yet another emotional epic! All well, at least it is not happy this time...

"The Beginning And The End" is the best rock song on the album. Its mainly moody Alternative Rock, but there is a awesome instrumental at the end that pack a huge punch. Good stuff!

"The Lost Child" is by far the best song on the album and also the most depressing. It tells the story of a lost child in the winter wilderness who falls through the ice and drowns. For the most part the song is slow and full of melancholy, but as the child begins to drown and panic the song builds and a climax is reached with Lee and Vincent screaming "save me!" over and over. Its absolutely heart-breaking and nothing short of a masterpiece.

"Internal Landscapes" is the perfect follow-up and closer as its all about the afterlife and eternal joy. It begins with a 2 minute talk from a man who has had a near death experience. The song itself follows the same structure as those I've already mentioned, although it does perfectly fit the lyrics. The end continues the talk from the same man followed by gentle ambience.

It has to be said that I am a fan of the song that they keep on repeating. If I was not then only The Lost Child would maintain my interest and this would be a 2.5 star album. With this in mind there is no way I could give this 5 stars so 4 will have to do. Try one of those repetitive songs before you buy!

LakeGlade12 | 4/5 |


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