Anathema are a British modern Progressive Rock band, who started their career as a Death-Doom band in the early nineties. Their 2012 album Weather Systems was my entry point to the band, and since its release I have constantly listened to it, over and over, absorbing more and more of its obvious entertainment factor and its hidden depths. It got me hooked on the band and started me off getting more of their albums.
The record starts off with the fantastic ‘Untouchable’ which is an incredibly powerful and interesting track that constantly builds up, its got brilliant evocative lyrics and an emotionally charged mixture of male and female vocals. This is followed by the bittersweet piano driven ‘Untouchable Prt 2.’ From then on the album goes through a range of different moods and atmospheres, from light to dark, happy to sad. There’s strings, spoken word sections, acoustic sounds, electronicy glitching and more, and its all topped off with deep intriguing lyrics and a crystal clear production job.
Highlights include the aforementioned Untouchables as well as the ‘Sunlight’ and ‘The Beginning And The End’ although to be fair there is absolutely no filler, the record is a strong journey from beginning to end. There are some naysayers to the album out there, most of whom are either caught out by an album they expected to be heavy but wasn’t, or are fans of the band’s early days and don’t like the new direction. I can see how very different this is to anything the band did at the start of their career, and if you came in expecting something that sounds like early My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost then it may be disappointing, as there is nothing in the way of Death or Doom on offer here at all, but this is an extremely enjoyable, masterfully crafted modern Progressive Rock album, full of interesting, inventive tracks that flows really well as an album and that just grows and grows with every listen.
If you are a fan of bands like Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Tool, Rishloo, Amplifier or even The Mars Volta, Coheed & Cambria or Dream Theater, you may at least want to check this album out. Overall; Since I first heard it, I’ve grown extremely fond of this record, its got some of my favourite ever songs on it and I highly, highly recommend it, if you think you might like it.