You know those excellent albums that are very hard to describe and to a certain point, they're barely possible to? Those albums that no matter how much you put your head into thinking about what turns to take and no matter how much attention you pay to the details, so you can have a notion for a description, there's still not enough to show what the songs actually present? Those albums that are better to just let the music speak for itself? Fine
then, this "Weather Systems" just like "We're Here Because We're Here" or another bunch of Anathema
albums are good examples of those type of albums.
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...