Anathema - Weather Systems

(CD 2012, 55:48, Kscope)

The tracks:
  1- Untouchable Part 1(6:14)
  2- Untouchable Part 2(5:33)
  3- The Gathering Of The Clouds(3:38)
  4- Lightning Song(5:25)
  5- Sunlight(4:56)
  6- The Storm Before The Calm(9:23)
  7- The Beginning And The End(4:53)
  8- The Lost Child(7:04)
  9- Internal Landscapes(8:52)

Anathema Website        samples        Kscope Records

We're Here Because We're Here (see review) was a real masterpiece and one of my favourite records of 2010. Weather Systems is Anathema' s follow-up to that magical album. However, after listening to this new effort a couple of times, I had to admit that it's slightly less than the previous one. That particular album contained super songs like Dreaming Light and Hindsight, which I definitely missed on Weather Systems. Although this new album is again a great one, I sometimes get a bit bored during tracks like The Storm Before The Calm or Untouchable, part 1. Don't get me wrong! These are great songs, but I heard them before on their previous albums, but then better!

The musical synthesis between vocalist Vincent Cavanagh and female singer Lee Douglas almost reaches perfection on this album and this surely contributes to the emotional atmosphere of the songs. Slow songs starting with piano parts evolve into rock songs with fantastic hooks and melodies and the phenomenal orchestration does the rest. Just listen to songs like Untouchable, parts 1 and 2 or Lightning Song and you will be hooked on those dreamy, catchy, typical Anathema- melodies, which almost sound like anthems. The longest track on the album The Storm Before The Calm is also the best song as it has strong references to Pink Floyd, especially the amazing guitar at the end sounds kind of'comfortably numbish.' Another highlight is the rather complex Internal Landscapes which contains dreamy vocals and bombastic parts. Lyrically it deals with a near-death experience.

Weather Systems is not an easy album to listen to, but if you give it a try I'm sure you will love it and maybe even get addicted to one of the best British bands ever. But still I like We're Here Because We're Here a bit better...

****+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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