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Anathema - Weather Systems CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.03 | 866 ratings

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5 stars I bought this before I went to Budapest in October 2012 and seeing Anathema live on the A38 ship, moored on the Danube (prog concert on a boat, hmmmm!), knowing that the shipment (pun!) would arrive in my hands only upon my return. The concert was a serious mind blast, even my 72 year old mom attended and she loved it (bad seating though!), the band was spot on and the Hungarian crowd loved them!

"Weather Systems" shows the ongoing evolution of a once pessimistic band of doom metallists who slowly open up to the sunlight and the power of hope, above all. They are influenced now by the colossal power of nature, the enduring strength of the universe where beauty and compromise rule supreme, among the raindrops, the gales, the warm rays and thunderbolts married to lightning.

The epic "The Untouchable "Part1 and 2" are some of the most achingly gorgeous songs that one is likely to hear in a lifetime. Pleasantly accessible yet absolutely not at all pop, the whopping beauty of the symphonic delivery, the exalted and inspired vocals both male (Vince Cavanagh) and female (Lee Douglas) and the breathlessness of the dense arrangement are beyond any attempt at description, a transcendent piece of music, period, combining to extirpate a perverse plethora of emotions. One could listen to THIS all day!

"The Gathering of Clouds" is another typical arrangement of the new style Anathema, dense atmospherics of a mostly choir and vocal definition, hypnotic and pervasive. The orchestral strings add an immeasurable depth to the arrangement, intensely emotional and yet utterly brittle and divine.

"The Lightning Song" sets the spotlight on Lee's soaring voice, transcending all the usual progressive parameters and entering a new zone of influence, combining classical, folk, hard, alternative and progressive into a blissful exaltation of life's unending compromises! Imagine Joni Mitchell with a barrage of synths, a full orchestra and heavy rhythm section, guitar up front and center and sudden gentle expanses! Bloody wow!

"Sunlight" offers a reflection on the other side of the night, the unending glow of renewal and refreshment, the blood that pervades our daily routine. Bulldozing vocals and guitars combine to hammer through the pale.

"The Storm Before The Calm" is progressively experimental, far-reaching, a smidgen grimy (in a good sense) and an extraordinarily impenetrable barrage of sound effects with the clear intent to disturb. Its starts off rampant as the title would want it and after the initial paroxysm, the tranquil enters the fray, showing off a pastoral/ambient that rivals any Floydian opus out there, an immense vocal rainbow draws you into the quasi-operatic scenery, blindingly solid and yet emotionally supercharged. John Douglas does damage to his drum kit as if inspired by the ghost of the late (and great) John Bonham! A tremendous success and a total keeper.

"The Beginning and the End" keeps the accent on the sublime, a desperate piano-fueled melody anchored in obvious reality ("Inside this cold heart is a dream"), clanging guitars infusing profundity and elevation, Vince Cavanagh showing why he may be the top vocalist in prog today, emotionally charged and technically glorious.

"The Lost Child" has a gentle fragility that transcends any kind of obviousness, deeply honest and pure, no tedious bullshit formula on display. Only an artistic vision that complements their musical craft, offering to submission to expected norms or pre- conceived notions. The music is grandiose, celestial and impressionable.

"Internal Landscapes" stretches out even fuller the new musical direction, merging folk ? rock with symphonic power, all within an original veneer of tempestuous experimentation, vocally they are extremely confident in their more measured approach, creating intensely profound music that stirs the soul .

Anathema is perhaps just a few steps away from claiming the Prog mantle, especially as Steve Wilson has the Porcupine away from the Tree on some vocational sabbatical. The concert was a complete surprise and their recent albums (the sublime "We Are Here Because we Are Here" remains a true classic) ) prove beyond any doubt, the true merits of this remarkable clan.

5 climate schemes

tszirmay | 5/5 |


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