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Anathema - A Natural Disaster CD (album) cover

A NATURAL DISASTER

Anathema

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.90 | 512 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SoundsofSeasons
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Updated review - August 2017

I've owned this album for a few years now, and I've decided that i can finally put into words succinctly how i feel about it.

Something to note, and i promise it is relevant, I am a musician. Originally i got into listening to progressive rock in order to study and self teach. As a teenager i was blown away by bands like Dream Theater, and Rush, for the technical skill their drummers showed in their music which i then emulated myself. At some point, late in my teen years, i found that technical skill didn't make for classic music. It was more that the classics that are well known to this day, just happened to also be technically impressive. An example of this would be Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Queen. These are house-hold names that both those that have no musical background enjoy because at a surface the music is enjoyable, and also at a deeper level musically there is quite a lot to grasp. But after the novelty of the mechanic skill involved in playing those instruments, what you have left is just this: Forget how impressive it is, is it enjoyable to listen to.

And when you remove any and all impressive mechanical skill, you have minimalism on the opposite spectrum. I used to shutter at just the thought of that word, in any art form, but especially music. You mean i can't go into long winded jams that show off my skills?! You mean i have to be subdued? I myself couldn't stop myself from playing too much when i slammed my drum set in my teen years. But with maturity came the realization that LESS REALLY IS MORE. Sometimes. If done with a laser like focus. And it is in this case, anyway.

Is this album technically impressive? Not at all. But as a form of art, this is one of the most consistent pieces of modern 'progressive' music i own. Remember what i said about household names? Radiohead is pretty well known right? What if i said this album stands at the same level as Okay Computer when it comes to this style of musical artistic expression (which incidentally was voted, i believe, to be the most influential album of the 90's in the UK).

Absolutely perfect pacing, not one bit of excess fat on the album. That is so difficult for progressive artists to get right, and other than Steven Wilson i don't find many modern progressive bands can subdue themselves enough to only put on the album what is needed to get their artistic expression to come across and NOTHING ELSE.

I call this a Masterpiece. I enjoy it now more than ever, because i appreciate it for what it is. An artistic musical expression more akin to a gorgeous painting, it doesn't need to impress you, it just needs you to feel it in your soul.

SoundsofSeasons | 5/5 |

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