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4.10 | 34 ratings | 6 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Non-Metal


1. Untouchable Part 1 (6.14)
2. Untouchable Part 2 (5.33)
3. The Gathering Of The Clouds (3.27)
4. Lightning Song (5.25)
5. Sunlight (4.55)
6. The Storm Before The Calm (9.24)
7. The Beginning And The End (4.53)
8. The Lost Child (7.02)
9. Internal Landscapes (8.52)

Total Time 55:45


Vincent Cavanagh / vocals, keys, programming, guitars, bass, synths
- Daniel Cavanagh / guitars, keys, piano, bass; vocals on tracks 5 & 8
- Lee Douglas / vocals
- John Douglas / drums; synths and programming on track 6

Guest musicians:
- Christer-André Cederberg / bass; outro piano on track 7
- Wetle Holte / drums on tracks 1 & 3
- Jamie Cavanagh / bass on track 6
- Petter Carlsen / backing vocals on tracks 1 & 2

About this release

Released by Kscope Music, April 16th, 2012.

Thanks to arcane-beautiful for the addition and adg211288 for the updates


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The Crow
After their very welcomed comeback two years before, Anathema released an album just as good as We're Here Because We're Here. If not even better!

Steve Wilson was not involved in the mixing of the album this time, but the production is also splendid, with a bigger predominance of strings and an even more variaty of moods and ambiences. The direction in this album is a bit more melancholic of in the previous effort, especially in the second half of the album, but not so dramatic like in preterits times.

Untouchable, Pt. 1 opens the album brilliantly, with an obvious continuation in style and mood. I think that Weather Systems was composed through the years along with We're Here Because We're Here, because the two albums are rather similar and they share too many points in common. Great guitars, beautiful melodies and intimate lyrics.

Untouchable Pt. 2 is follows the same musical theme, but in a slower and very melodic way. Lee's voice is introduced in the second verse and in the second chorus Vincent and Lee offer a marvellous duet. Just marvellous! The Gathering of the Clouds opens in a very dramatic way, with fast guitars and ominous piano chords and overlapping vocals in the style of Savatage. This song is some kind of introduction to Lightning Song, the best Anathema's song in my opinion and a moment of pure magic. Lee's voice is just disarming in this one, and so are the touching lyrics. I chose this song for the end of my wedding... And the guests were really surprised.

Sunlight comes with the voice of Daniel Cavanagh, and his warmth help to create another great song for this album. The Storm Before the Calm is just life Get Off Get Out, the experimental moment of the album. But luckily much better this time! The cold robotic voices are perfect for the lyrics, and the second half of the song is a return to the style of A Natural Disaster.

The Beginning And the End is in my opinion another highlight of this album, with its marvellous piano keyboard, strong bass and the best Vincent's singing. Period. Just an almost perfect song! Sadly The Lost Child is a bit boring and repetitive, despite its classicism and fine orchestral arrangement. And Daniel's singing is also not so good in this one.

Internal Landscapes follow the path is like a mix between Presence and Hindsight from the previous album, but better than both and with an outstanding central section in the purest Anathema's style. Intense and strong guitars, alongside a bit of prog and charming melodies.

Conclusion: Weather System was not a big surprised compared to We're Here Because We're Here. Is like a second part of this album, but a bit better in my opinion. The 2010 released had an outstanding first half, but a weaker second one. Weather System is regular and therefore more enjoyable as a whole, making it the third better Anathema album after Alternative 4 and Judgement.

Sadly the band would not be able to achieve this great level on later releases... But that's another story.

Best tracks: all of the, except the weaker The Lost Child.

My rating: ****1/2

This review was originally written for
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.
"Weather Systems" is the 11th full-length studio album by UK progressive/alternative rock/metal act Anathema. The album was released through Kscope Music in April 2012.

The music on the album is atmospheric and semi-progressive rock with very few nods toward metal. The tracks are generally slow building, going from mellow beautiful sections into louder grand climaxes. A release effect that the band master to perfection. The atmosphere is melancholic but not in a dark depressive fashion. There is a rare uplifting spirit in the music despite it´s generally melancholic nature. Male and female vocals compliment each other throughout the album and as a consequence the vocal part of the music is nicely varied.

Add to that a warm and organic sound production and tracks that have emotional impact and "Weather Systems" comes off as a well written, consistent and entertaining release. Tracks like the opening duo of "Untouchable Part 1" and "Untouchable Part 2", the darker edged "The Storm Before The Calm" and "The Lost Child" are simply breath takingly beautiful.

To be honest I wasn´t too impressed by "Weather Systems" upon my initial listen. I felt the music was a bit too sugar coated and lacked bite. After a couple of spins I´ve changed my perspective on the music though. I´ve been captivated by the emotional depth of the delivery, the simple yet intriguing compositions and the beautiful melodies. This is a matter of getting much out of little. You don´t always need to compose music with a million riffs and sections to entertain, and "Weather Systems" is a perfect example of that. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.
Conor Fynes
'Weather Systems' - Anathema (9/10)

Going back around this time two years ago, I remember first listening to ANATHEMA's 'We're Here Because We're Here' and finding myself surprised. It wasn't that it was some great leap of quality that startled me- in fact, I had loved their previous album 'A Natural Disaster'. Where ANATHEMA caught me off guard was the tone, or 'mood' of the music. In the several year cooldown period between their seventh and eighth records, Anathema had inverted their trademark dreariness for something that sounded much more fresh than it admittedly should have; a sense of optimism. This more harmonious, hope-filled approach is continued on 'Weather Systems'. Like all great sequels, this one builds upon the previous work's strengths in every way, solving many of the last record's problems as a result. In the end, 'Weather Systems' does not stand only as a successful maturation of the style cultivated on 'We're Here Because We're Here', but one of the brightest moments this band has ever experienced.

Like 'We're Here Because We're Here', the resurrected ANATHEMA's sound is accessible, but in more of an ambient, rather than a 'pop' sense. To elaborate on this, the music enjoys rich orchestrations and ambitious structure, yet ultimately demands little from the listener, save for an openness to emotional suggestion. In truth, by progressive rock standards, the compositions are straightforward, but complexity has never been an aim for ANATHEMA. 'Weather Systems' is an album that would be nothing without its melody and vast atmosphere, and both are supplied in overwhelming quality.

Christer-André Cederberg gives ANATHEMA their greatest production job yet, correcting the somewhat treble-centric Steven Wilson mix of the last. The instrumentation benefits the most from the production quality, with many subtleties in the mix that won't get noticed by the average earphone or computer speaker set. Although ANATHEMA have all but absolved themselves of their metal leanings at this point, the music is far from mellow, often with many things going on at once. Somehow though, ANATHEMA never demand anything of the listener, and no matter how lush the string section or vocal harmonies get, 'Weather Systems' remains an album that instantly lets the listener fly.

It takes barely a minute into the gorgeous first segment of 'Untouchable' to know what 'Weather Systems' is all about. The album takes no time to get going, quickly pulling in a listener with a slick acoustic fingerpicking idea, courtesy of guitarist Danny Cavanagh. Vincent Cavanagh's vocals are soft at first, but as the rest of the band comes into play, a cinematic intensity is built until the point where it's damned near impossible to resist the emotional power of it. Although the orchestration is at times mindboggling, the true highlight of ANATHEMA remains the beautiful vocal work and accompanying melodies. In a nearly hyperbolic contrast from the doom-n-gloom 'Alternative 4' and earlier, there is nary a dreary word sung by any of the band's three vocalists. More than ever before, ANATHEMA focus in on harmonies in the vocals, and it works perfectly with the equally vast instrumentation. On a less positive note, the lyrics are not particularly engaging, generally falling upon credos of optimistic imagery and the recurring motif of nature, as reflected by the album's title. For what it's worth, the lyrics do work for the soaring sound of the band, and when they don't, it's not enough to detract from the rich atmosphere the rest of the music has created.

'The Gathering of the Clouds' continues where 'Untouchable' left off, without much of a noticeable gap between the two. Comparing natural imagery to a state of mind, ANATHEMA veer the album down a more melancholic route, all the while putting an even greater emphasis on vocal harmony and counterpoint. Within three minutes, ANATHEMA have worked enough orchestrations into the song that they could have fed a song twice its length. 'Lightening Song' plays on the momentum, but reins the intensity in a little, leaving it to Lee Douglas' gorgeous voice to reclaim the feeling of serenity. Lodged in the middle of the album, 'Sunlight' is arguably the least memorable track on the album, keeping the mood and orchestrations consistent and enjoyable, yet failing to add any new surprises to the already-magnificent string of songs so far.

Besides the five minute, 'single-worthy' tune 'The Beginning And The End', the second half of 'Weather Systems' is left up to longer-form compositions. Having found myself pretty damned disappointed by the so-called 'epics' on 'We're Here Because We're Here', I had my apprehensions when I got to this point in the album the first time around, and while 'The Storm Before The Calm' does not enjoy the same stirring melodies as those that came before, the atmosphere and sonic beauty are just as strong and beautiful. 'The Storm Before The Calm' does feel as if it could use a minute's shortening, but in fairness, the piece may have been best cut in two, with the first track comprising the trance-like rhythm built up over the course of five minutes, and the second devoted to the refreshing return-to- form ANATHEMA use to wrap up the piece.

'The Beginning and the End' sees 'Weather Systems' following an increasingly dark path, with one of the band's most memorable guitar ideas driving the song along. Although the song is surprisingly based around a single idea, it never feels tired, constantly building up in intensity until its climax. Finally, 'Weather Systems' arrives at my absolute favourite track off the album. Although at least one person I have talked to about the album has cited it as one of their least favourite tracks, 'The Lost Child' holds some of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard. The piano plays softly and simply, and the introspective melancholy is reminiscent of the same dreary atmosphere Radiohead often evokes. The string section that has been so far lodged in the background is thrust to the forefront, and by the piece's devastating zenith around the five minute mark, there's little to do but sit in emotional shock and awe. Admittedly, the climax's dramatic beauty is offset a bit by the vocals milking the repetition of the words 'save me' towards the end (when you listen, you'll understand), but it's an easy flaw to look past in light of the rest of 'The Lost Child's quivering beauty.

'Internal Landscapes' ends what I consider to be the album of the year thus far on a somewhat mixed note. Although the pleasant ambiance ultimately builds up into a song, it feels as if 'Weather Systems' may have been better with the same concise melodic brilliance that defined the early half of the album. Instead, the first few minutes plod softly along, with some spoken word sample concerning life-after-death and redemption playing overtop. Although the rock-centric meat of 'Internal Landscapes' offers 'Weather Systems' a just and powerful ending, the sparse moments of 'Internal Landscapes' where so little is happening is the only time I would daresay I feel bored when listening to the album. Normally, this less-than-climactic finale would rob an album of being called a masterpiece, and while 'Weather Systems' doesn't see ANATHEMA quite reaching an inhuman perfection with their music, the significant proportion where the music does become inhumanly perfect is reason enough to give it the highest recommendation. Although ANATHEMA do not challenge the listener with this music, they excel at doing what music is most meant to do; evoke emotion. It's easy to say that music is emotional, but when listening to an album can change someone's mood so profoundly, it's reason enough to call it something special.
ANATHEMA continue in the same style as their "We're Here Because We're Here" record but the emotion of that particular album is scaled way back here. This is still a good record but they are really close to slipping down a slope in my opinion. It will be interesting to hear how the next one sounds. I did find this one to be a grower. Dave Stewart is back arranging the string sections and Jamie Cavanagh plays bass on one track. "Internal Landscapes" is interesting with this guy talking about his near death experience. Lots of atmosphere and emotion later in this one. This is probably closer to 4 stars but on a Metal site 3.5 stars seems appropriate.
For the past 8 to 10 years...Anathema has been making music that has really been a unique statement of art and pure emotion. Now there past 2 albums (A Natural Disaster & We're Only Here Because We're Here) have been 2 very different albums, but still are 2 of my favourite albums, probably ever because they tap into 2 different psyches withing my musical and emotional palette. So in order to make me as interested again...this new album had to do something different in order to make me interested...and let me say...this is something different...and I am very interested.

In fact it's a bit more than that. I LOVE THIS ALBUM. Never before has an album grabbed my attention more and affect me in such a way, especially with the fist listen.

This band just seems to grow and grow, and with every album, they blow me away. When looking at this band's past, it's hard to imagine that they would end up here (mainly due to their Doom Metal starting). This album prooves that music is still an important art form.

The album has similar moments as We're Only Here Because We're Here, especially with the beautiful moments, but it seems that the emotional side of the previous album has been blown up to a proportional size in order to be marvelled and understood.

Now the album is a concpet album based on a relationship and the different emotional aspects within one. Now I mean it...this is perfect emotion for this album. The lyrics are very basic, but they don't seem cliche'd because they are so simple, yet they perfectly describe every bit of emotion that they are trying to convey.

The line up has changed slightly, where Les Smith has left. Now the band has always confused me a bit, because of Lee Douglas, who performs vocals on every album and tours with the band, but never really seems to be seen as a member. Well let me tell you...she definitly seems like a full time member after this. Performance wise, the band are at there peaks here, with the guys doing really impressive stuff. Now Anathema aren't a virtuostic band...but in styles of songwriting...they beat most people to the ground...and this album proves it!

1. Untouchable Part 1 – For some odd reason, this reminds me of a sequel to Dreaming Light. Similar lyrics and emotions found, and just as beautiful. The guitar work and musicianship is flawless and the arrangement is just beautiful. 10/10

2. Untouchable Part 2 – Now I was pondering the idea of why this song needed to be split into 2 parts, but it makes sense now. A very Marillion sounding piano accompaniment, and a beautiful vocal performance from Vince & Lee. The perfect ending to a masterpiece of a song in my opinion. 10/10

3. The Gathering Of The Clouds – An almost counterpart based interlude. Still a very breathtaking arrangement and some amazing vocal parts. 9/10

4. Lightning Song – A very beautiful song with some great vocals from Lee. The arrangement is amazing too. 9/10

5. Sunlight – A nice song sung by Daniel. A beautiful relaxing almost interlude feeling moment. 9/10

6. The Storm Before The Calm – This song had me perplexed at moments. I did like the electronic arrangement on the song, but it felt a bit odd on this album. I was a bit touch and go on this song...then the ending came, and yes... it's pretty epic. A very emotional ending, but the 1st part is still a pretty interesting moment on the album. 9/10

7. The Beginning Of The End – A perfect song for a single. Quite catchy, yet very beautiful nonetheless. 10/10

8. The Lost Child – This song is very unique, in that it almost sounds like a piece of classical music. It's so smartly arranged that you really can't see any flaws in it. This song also probably has Vince's best vocal performance in it. 10/10

9. Internal Landscapes – When this song started to kick off I did think that it was a very simple and quite uninteresting song...but the I realised that that was it's's

CONCLUSION: It's not perfect...but nothing is...and it's pure human like form which really makes this album work. This album is so beautiful, natural and true that everyone who listens to it can't help to be moved. Anathema aren't a band to fake anything, so you can't help but take there word for everything they say and do on this album. This is definitely their strongest album.


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