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Anathema - Weather Systems CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.02 | 907 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars Not remotely what I expected from a Prog album with such favorable reviews

Before I start writing, I must say that I'm not a fan of Experimental Post Metal and even when I have some weakness for two related bands like FANTOMAS and MR BUNGLE, would had never dreamed on buying an ANATHEMA, but a friend recommended Weather Systems in the forum as a very good melodic/experimental Prog album, so I took the risk and bought the MP3 version.

When the nice guitar intro of Untouchable Part 1 started, I believed this album promised a lot, but as the song advanced, the music turned more watered and oriented towards Pop/Alternative. If I buy a Post Metal related album I expect some experimental and innovative sounds, but this song is melodical adult oriented Pop. I can't deny that Vincent Cavanagh has an excellent voice and that the female vocalist (Lee Douglas) is also good, but together sound like a festival ballad duo. Except for a few guitar moments, the song was disappointing.

When I believed that things couldn't go worst, came Untouchable Part 2, which is an even more syrupy and watered version of the previous track, the 5:33 minutes of the song seemed endless and absolutely boring despite the nice piano...To be sincere, I don't have a clue how can anybody call this Experimental, when it's the most boring example of alternative poppy ballad that you can expect from COLDPLAY in a bad day, but never from ANATHEMA.

At least this was the end of two tracks with the same name, maybe a Pop/Alternative experiment, so i believed that The Gathering of the Clouds and Lightning Song would be stronger and more interesting, but I was wrong, both songs are more of the same, not even the good orchestration and vocal work can totally save this tracks from oblivion, simply nice but some of the most un-transcendental musical pieces I heard since More Fool Me.

When Sunlight started I was falling asleep, at least until the mark of the 2:30 minutes when it starts to increase in power and interest, at last they give signs of life, sadly when the song keeps going "in crescendo" I expected a climatic explosion that never occurred, despite this problems, is the best song I heard in the album at this point.

When I read The Storm Before the Calm, sounded as the name of a powerful song, but except for a couple interesting an explosive passages, the basic atmosphere and mood doesn't change, I find absolutely no experimentation at all , but must admit it's slightly better than Sunlight so it's an advance.

But when things were starting to get interesting The Beginning and the End returns the album to the boring "balladesque" Pop mood in which started, maybe a bit louder but not better. But when all my expectations are lost again, listened The Lost Child, by far the best song from the whole album, simple but deep and mysterious, a last some interesting material that saves the album from a lonely star. Specially because the closer Internal Landscapes is another disappointing alternative/Indie song that brings no interest.

Before I rate Weather Systems, must say that it's not a bad album, the music is nice and the musicians are pretty good, but it's not remotely what I expected from an Experimental /Post Metal band,I found no experimentation nor any Post Metal, just many cute ballads with some good moments.

Now, the big question is...which is the most appropriate rating for ANATHEMA'S latest release?

I believe we are talking about a cute album with a few outstanding moments, but not unique or even remotely transcendental, so an average rating of 2.5 would be perfect, but as we know, Prog Archives system doesn't admit half stars so I have to go with 2 or 3.

Being that I gave 3 stars to albums like ELP's debut, Seconds Out and GLASS HAMMER's On to Evermore, which are superior and much more representative of Prog, I have no other option than rating Weather Systems with 2 stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |


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