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Anathema - A Natural Disaster CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.87 | 509 ratings

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Any Colour You Like
Prog Reviewer
2 stars When Anathema released A Natural Disaster in 2004, few traces of the original Anathema remained. Gone are the true Doom riffs and vocals, replaced with merely hints of that former sound. A Natural Disaster owes much of its sound to atmospheric rock, and an increasing dose of electronic experimentation. One thing remains constant however, and that is the typical melancholic and reflective mood and songwriting flair of the band.

A Natural Disaster is much more restrained than any previous Anathema release, even by Judgement's standard. This does not mean the magic has gone, but it does force the listener to focus on other aspects of the overall sound. The album heavily focuses around themes of trust, and the relations between people. Again, Anathema is lyrically strong, neither falling into cliches, not abstract nonsensical dribble. Vocally, this is one of the most diverse band efforts yet, Vincent Cavanagh carries the album well, including a lovely distorted electronic section on "Closer". There are obvious hints to Pink Floyd in the album, borrowing themes and concepts throughout, but still maintaining a characteristic Anathema sound. Several tracks including "Flying" and "Violence" are highly commendable efforts that ultimately drag the album towards an interesting climax. Amid a melee of guitar and percussion thrash, "Violence" builds up to what would normally end in a violent thump of mid tempo metal, instead it quietly subsides into ambient minimalism. I was initially underwhelmed by the restraint shown by the band, however, such restraint comes across as a much more mature effort.

A Natural Disaster lacks the impact and power of Alternative 4 or Judgement, but gains somewhat in sonic diversity. While the concepts and instrumentation developed throughout the album seem like an apathetic move for the band; it simply lacks a certain punch and power that would push it beyond an underwhelming final summation.

Edit: In hindsight, I am far more underwhelmed with this release than I was initially. Approach with caution.

Any Colour You Like | 2/5 |


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