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Anathema - Weather Systems CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.04 | 968 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Booba Kastorsky
2 stars I belong to the minority here that can't dig all of that hype about Anathema. And we are minority indeed, if you take into consideration that it was voted Band of the Year by UK's Classic Rock's Prog Magazine a few years ago. My experience with prog tells me that if you don't like it after first listening, it doesn't mean it's not good. So I swear I tried hard to figure out what's behind the hype. I listened a few times WE'RE HERE BECAUSE WE'RE HERE, Weather System, Distant Satellites, and Falling Deeper. But alas I failed to hear what other fellow prog fans hear in those Anathema's most hyped opuses. In my humble opinion, Anathema is not a prog band at all. They are very good, but rather shallow pop band, both musically and lyrically. The band members have good voices and capable of writing very simple (usually consisting no more than 3-4 simple cords or even notes) but nice melodies. The vast majority of their songs are slow to mid-tempo, and they are lushly, although simply, arranged with strings played by session musicians. The majority of their songs are built according to the following simple but showy formula. Most songs begin quietly with male or female voice along with piano or acoustic guitar. It introduces the song's theme that, as mentioned above, quite simple and straightforward. Then drums start, slowly and simply: no tricky time signatures, etc. . Then another instrument (guitar or piano) and probably an extra vocalist pick up the theme, and they started playing and singing it in unison for a while. Then strings stars. The volume goes up gradually until the song reaches its very loud climax, stays there for a couple of minutes, and then the song either starts gradually goes down in volume and drops, then goes quietly and then ends. During that sound roller-coaster, the main simple theme remains the same, it's just played louder or quieter, it may stop unexpectedly and starts again. But you won't find other changes: no improvisations, no time signature shifts, etc. Solos are simple and straightforward. That's why the majority of songs are pretty monotonous. What I like: 1) The album is professionally arranged and produced, sound quality is really good. Big plus to me. 2) Performers have good voices and pop-song composing skills, and they use both very well: most songs are nice and melodic. What I don't like: 1) The music is quite boring, and usually you need to listen to it just ones to get full impression. Unlike most good prog albums, you may listen to it 100 times, but you wouldn't find anything new, because their music and arrangement are very simple, although often effective. 2) The almost obligatory "Climaxes" of their songs are quite loud and annoying. They often simply ruin potentially good song. 3) Sound and structure of their last few albums are very similar, so if you hear one of them, you shouldn't bother too much obtaining the others. It's similar to Ozric Tentacles phenomena :), although in my opinion Ozric albums have much more variety, energy and life and less predictable than Anathema's. So, why so many prog fans like them? I guess because even prog fans like moody but showy melodic pop music with nice boy/girl voices. And if you add to the mix "epic" ( 3 cords) songs with "part 1" and "part 2", the prog fans are sold! :) Well, most of them....
Booba Kastorsky | 2/5 |


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