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Anathema - A Natural Disaster CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.92 | 568 ratings

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4 stars This is definitely a more consistently melodic album than its predecessors, with large swathes of the album being focussed on keyboards and synthesisers. Effective use is made of vocal synths as well, adding an extra dimension of sound to the album, with tracks like 'Closer'. There is, however, one strikingly contrasting track dedicated to their aggressive metal sound, as the band are 'pulled under at 2000 metres a second'.

The lyrics, as always, play a central role in the album's depressingly bleak beauty, delivered, as ever, by Cavanagh's angelically sweet voice. Songs like "are you there?" seem to allude strongly to the brothers' feelings over their mother's passing, whilst 'flying' seems to ruminate on the sensations at one's own death. In the tracks featuring the voice synths, however, the words are rather harder to discern. Instead, one is left with the impression that the voice has been used more in an instrumental capacity, adding it's own mood and tone. For yet further variation, the title track makes use of gorgeous female vocals, seducing the ears of the listener with their melody.

The final track of the album, at over 10 minutes long, even manages to dabble a toe into 'prog epic' territory, with its foreboding-rich piano intro, leading into several minutes of prog-metal instrumental, presumably the violence of the track's title. This in turn giving way to more piano evocative of scenes of grief and mourning. We are, perhaps, to believe that the victim of the attack is passing on from this life, and idea reinforced by the way the track seems to rest in peace at its conclusion.

This is a good album, even by anathema's standards. It falls slightly short of the impact of Judgement, but remains a very worthwhile purchase, and one of the band's best.


stranded_starfish | 4/5 |


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