|1. Untouchable Part. 1||06:14|
|2. Untouchable Part. 2||05:33|
|3. The Gathering of the Clouds||03:27|
|4. Lightning Song||05:25|
|6. The Storm Before the Calm||09:24|
|7. The Beginning and the End||04:53|
|8. The Lost Child||07:02|
|9. Internal Landscape||08:52|
|Total playing time||55:45|
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Review @ Nastasia
Anathema created a masterpiece again.
Yes, apparently Anathema is changing, and for many fans it is too hard to swallow, but honestly, hasn’t every of the previous albums brought quite a change into the band’s creation? Going back to history, it is obvious that Anathema is rather developing than losing its style. Weren’t the band’s first albums rather full of rage and sorrow compared to for example Judgement or Alternative 4? Yes, and many of Anathema fans whined back then as well. Nevertheless I can’t think of anyone who would deny that those were masterpieces. So why blame a band that the new album is not as heartrending as those before?
Those were few words as a defence and an introduction. Weather Systems is an album which is originally the most balanced, light and atmospheric from all created by Anathema by far. The weather parallel here is sincerely poetically fitting as all the instruments and lyrics portray the atmosphere with a lightweight elegance. Lightning Song and Sunlight are tinged with as much ethereality as The Storm Before the Calm with fluidity so you feel completely carried away while listening. The last thing you can say though is that the album is missing any of its past striking energy because The Beginning and the End and The Lost Child overwhelm you with it.
What also works for Anathema more than well is the presence of the heavenly voice of Lee Douglas which appears on the album more often that previously. Evidently Anathema also fell for a magic of spoken passages which was used also in We’re Here Because We’re Here. Personally I am not a big fond of those, but in the overall context they seem to work very well. Internal Landscapes kind of continue the thoughts of Presence from the last album about the life after death and maybe in a way show a source of the equilibrium which appears in the band’s creation from the past few years.
The complexity of the whole album is more than perfect. Unlike many other bands, who work only with the ability to create the atmosphere, the technical side of Weather Systems is also very precise and flawless. The coherence and the instruments are all brought to a master level, no matter if in heavy or minimalistic way.
The biggest problem and the most amazing feature of Anathema’s music is that something that digs so Deep into emotions is almost impossible to judge objectively. The fact remains though that it is safe to say that the band created a masterpiece again and liking it or not is now all about tastes and preferences and not about the quality.
Edit: Thanks to DivineLiquor for pointing out a mistake (replaced)
Kommentar @ ChristopherJRM
It is another living proof that Anathema are one of the most efficient bands nowadays...
What we could expect was a direct connection to "We're Here, Because We're Here" from 2010 that was fascinating enough to make us want more with the same sound. It stays like that, far gone are the rough Doom Metal days, and the raw heaviness that was felt in their early days was definitely replaced by the "screaming" softness and by the complexity of the beautiful melancholic and melodic compositions.
Prog Rock is the main inhabitant in Anathema's composition and it is the one that pulls the other ambient influences, the emotional rhythms and lyrics, the background heaviness that supports the songs and makes them more beautiful and even the fascinating market touch that allows them to take the best there is in accessible mainstream music and create fantastic melodies that comfortably fit in the songs. There is also a certain Post-Rock feeling even if always "hugging" a melodic factor.
The record opens immediately with "Untouchable", a song divided in two split parts, whose acoustic entrance and orchestrated exit, with a lot of emotion in between already leaves us with the ear stuck to the speakers and forces us to keep attention to what comes next. We're already stuck and ready for the next track "The Gathering of the Clouds" that follows once again the scheme that appears to be the main formula for this album: acoustic interlaced with electric, without losing its function as a cheaper sedative than the medication itself. And all of this involved in a seductive composition that grows until it culminates in a beautifully orchestrated hymn. Gorgeous for a complete record, and it already amazes us in just one track.
I should also point out the female vocal work by Lee Douglas that adds a sweeter pinch to the already sweet compositions. It's a song that, along with others like "The Beginning and the End" and other examples, it can either have all the instruments whispering to us or yelling at us, depending on the way we are listening to it, the situation we're in when listening to it, what we want to listen and the mood or feeling with which we want to listen to it. That bizarre essence is exposed again in "Lightning Song", led by Lee Douglas's voice, whose roundabout emotion makes it one of the highlighted tracks and one of the personal favorites.
The shorter simple structure of "Sunlight" gives it more of a splitting job and works almost as an interlude and precedes the one that really is my personal favorite track, "The Storm Before the Calm" that makes its statement in two parts, the very catchy first one, with a fantastic noisy industrial experience that can be considered approved and the conclusive second one, traveling back to the starting point and more directly connecting to the formula of the other tracks.
The record ends with three beautiful tracks that, once again, utilize good taste and good mixtures, taking the acoustic, the melodic, the colorful and the dark, the warm and the cold, the orchestrations, the dark lyrics and the ambient part. Not much to point out that highlights them from the other ones but neither does it contain any fault to point out and they're just as memorable as any other. Besides, they help concluding, completing and favoring the making of a brilliant record.
It's not just musicality that is impressive here and on the previous albums, and just like it has been a habit on the Liverpool band's music, there is a notable dedication to the ambient factor and to the moods and sensations that can be associated to. It's not perchance that the record is called "Weather Systems", there are actually climatic factors in this album, with songs that take us to cold places, songs that make the sun awake from behind a cloudier part of the song; they use the rainy and we even go through short storms without forgetting a beautiful sunny Spring day. All the seasons and different weathers are around here and there are even songs with very different variations within itself that can be associated to the out of control weather that's currently above several countries, specially European and very specially in Portugal, my country.
Nevertheless, it's a record to be heard at any moment, and in different occasions, it can be heard and felt in a different way. And it is another living proof that Anathema are one of the most efficient bands nowadays and that when they reunite for the creation of a brand new work, they're not concerned only with making another collection of tracks that work fine and can survive the time test. Much more than that, Anathema worry about creating material that after concluded and arranged will become musical gold and will inevitably be a part of countless subjective lists of "albums of the year". It's understandable. It's perfection in music's shape...