ANATHEMA — A Natural Disaster (review)

ANATHEMA — A Natural Disaster album cover Album · 2003 · Non-Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Peacock Feather
A really telling name was chosen for the album by members of Anathema. It was born, by the way, in a conversation between Danny and Duncan Patterson, when they reconciled with each other. As stated by the Cavanagh brothers, at the time they were in a closed confrontation with each other for personal reasons, and this at some point led to the fact that Danny wanted to leave the group. Fortunately, this did not happen, moreover, the third of the Cavanagh brothers returned to the band after a long absence – Jamie, Vinnie's twin brother, who took over as bassist after the departure of Dave Pybus. Nevertheless, the inner state of Danny is absolutely accurately reflected in the new material, which is almost entirely written this time by the eldest of brothers (only Balance is co-written with Vinnie and John Douglas).

I see Natural Disaster as the album that became a kind of point of no return for the band. This LP of the "new" Anathema is unique in that, unlike the subsequent bright and optimistic albums, A Natural Disaster attracts exactly some kind of alienated, slightly gloomy, sad atmosphere. Against this background, the names of the first 2 tracks look very ironic, with such a sign! Although, maybe the band meant exactly the perfect harmony and balance that they finally found on this album.

From the first time I did not understand this album, I honestly admit, and I thought about putting it off until better times. The only thing that attracted me was the unusual Closer, and even then it was unusual because of the very skillful use of the vocoder. Later, however, the beauty of Natural Disaster began to unfold for me like a lotus bud. And here you are already clinging to the soul and pathos of Harmonium, and soulfulness of Are You There? (in which Danny again turns to the topic of losing a loved one), and the piercing aggression and darkness of Pulled Under at 2000 Meters a Second, and the hopelessness of the title song (Lee Douglas finally sings solo!), and the serenity of Flying, and the unexpected instrumental about 11 minutes with a well-chosen title Violence simply amazes with its mixture of the entire sound of the album, where sentimentality and aggression collide with each other and form a kind of yin and yang. By the way, in addition to Vinnie, on this album, Danny himself sings solo on 2 songs at once (Are You There? and Electricity), and what's funny, some reviewers confused the voices of Vinnie and Danny (although objectively they are completely different)!

On Natural Disaster, the band went even further from its musical past, but it adapts some ideas from there and turns them into new, unique things, like, for example, it happened with the aforementioned Pulled Under at 2000 Meters a Second, but the trend remained the same: Anathema continued to modify its musical vector, and it seems that on A Natural Disaster, they finally found the necessary and convenient sound. The verdict is simple: despite a couple of tracks (Balance and Electricity), which in my subjective opinion are rather boring, the album is really great, and I love it almost as much as the previous two.
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