Rating:
8.2
Anathema - Weather Systems
16 April 2012


Disc I
01. Untouchable Part 1
02. Untouchable Part 2
03. The Gathering Of The Clouds
04. Lightning Song
05. Sunlight
06. The Storm Before The Calm
07. The Beginning And The End
08. The Lost Child
09. Internal Landscapes

Disc II [Limited edition DVD 5.1 mix]
01. Untouchable Part 1
02. Untouchable Part 2
03. The Gathering Of The Clouds
04. Lightning Song
05. Sunlight
06. The Storm Before The Calm
07. The Beginning And The End
08. The Lost Child
09. Internal Landscapes


Liverpool, United Kingdom. In the distance the gathering of the clouds dims the sunlight, an omen of an impending rainstorm. In the beginning there was lightning, and in the end a drenched landscape.

Needless to say that whatever kind of rock featured on Weather Systems is literally miles away from Anathema's death/doom sound of decades past. But then again it is no less riveting. Spellbinding is more like it. Once more the Cavanagh brothers manage to fascinate me with their ability to write beautiful music. Be warned though that there is very little variation in the formula that was presented on its predecessor We're Here Because We're Here.

It is a very quiet album, some would say boring. I say not so. There is a touching maturity to these songs. The prominence of acoustic guitars, angelic vocals and orchestral elements do indeed impede any kind of groovy atmosphere to grow throughout the album but it also gives Weather Systems a consistent aura of serenity. Sure I would have loved to hear more of Vincent's voice rather than overusing female vocals especially early on. Anathema female singer Lee Douglas does shine but she seems to be taking over the vocal duties so much that it is hard to recognize their trademark sound for most of the first half of the album.

I wouldn't complaint if things were going out of control a tad midway through the album rather than showcasing everlasting atmospheres that seem to stiffen some songs. Nevertheless I do see what Anathema tried to achieve and overall they succeeded. One question does remain. Will the fans go for it? Personally I love the risk taking but I'm a little torn about the end product. It's beautiful but it lacks variation, and overall it lacks grit. Throwing some more power riffs here and there wouldn't have killed the vibe of the album. A track like "The Beginning and the End" perfectly shows us that.

Remember that it is easy to criticize. I am nitpicking here. This band is amazing and they do deserve your attention. I had the pleasure to see an acoustic performance of Vince and Danny Cavanagh last year and it was a magical show. Whatever you do, support this band by going to their concerts. As for Weather Systems, give it a listen and see what comes out of it. In the right frame of mind, you could end up being taken aback by its beauty.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Anathema
Album: Weather Systems


 


written by Demonic Tutor | 29.06.2012



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DelightfulJim - 29.06.2012 at 03:06  
Great review! I prefer the songwriting in this album to their previous one, but I agree a little more power could have gone down well. But to be honest, I have very little problems with Weather Systems. It's so far my album of the year!
Coolingsrock - 29.06.2012 at 03:37  
I agree about the variation and ''power'' but i don't find this amazing.Slightly above average for me.
Unhealer - 29.06.2012 at 04:22  
Quote:
Whatever you do, support this band by going to their concerts.


Yeah, even though I disliked this record I would go to see them if they come to town again on tour for this album; they put an amazing show.
Troy Killjoy - 29.06.2012 at 05:52  
Definitely didn't enjoy this one as much as I was hoping to, as the overabundant use of female vocals take away a great deal of their identity (as you pointed out) and the blatant attempt at making this seem far more atmospheric than it really is comes off as borderline pretentious in my eyes.

Incredibly weak songwriting, but some mellow atmospheric emotional watered down rock that's better listened to while stoned or relaxing at night in a hot bath with rose petals and Epsom salts by candlelight. A high 6 at best.
Boxcar Willy - 29.06.2012 at 06:57  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 29.06.2012 at 05:52

relaxing at night in a hot bath with rose petals and Epsom salts by candlelight.

So every night then?
Merchant of Doom - 29.06.2012 at 11:41  
Pretty much a carbon copy of We're Here Because We're Here, but with far too much female singing, which, indeed, takes the band's trademark away. Having said that, it's an enjoyable album, with some good songs on it. Shame there is no progression in their music... I hope they are not going to release another 4 albums like this one... a return to the Judgement era would be appreciated, thank you... but I'm only dreaming. Where are the Epsom salts?
K†ulu - 29.06.2012 at 14:39  
Believe it or not, I would not listen to this if did not read the review; now I will "give it a listen and see what comes out of it." Who knows, maybe "in the right frame of mind, [I] could end up being taken aback by its beauty."
BloodTears - 29.06.2012 at 21:28  
This album is really good but you do need to give it some time and see if for what it is. Don't go in expecting something from the past. This is Anathema now and this is good, as far as I'm concerned. As long as they continue to write beautiful music, I will buy their albums and be at their shows.
Delamortia - 30.06.2012 at 06:55  
This album sounds a bit too "soft" compared to their previous album. Just above average.
andreosokin - 02.07.2012 at 10:21  
Awesome review, though I'd give it a 8.8 out of 10
Bonna - 03.07.2012 at 18:58  
8/10
Weather Systems contains some brilliant tracks (Untouchable 1 and 2, Lightning Song) for sure!
Overall it's a very solid, quiet and intimate album.

One thing about that female vocalist although I really like the tone of her voice (blends in just perfectly) but,... why does she use that vibrato so much? Most singers use this trick to hide the fact they can't hold a note, but doubt if that is the case here.
R'Vannith - 03.07.2012 at 19:19  
People are actually complaining about the vocals? Woah some of you are difficult to please. Great performances all-round I think. The song writing is definitely the high point for me, I have no problem returning to this album at any time as it just has an irresistible charm.
IronAngel - 04.07.2012 at 21:05  
Written by Bonna on 03.07.2012 at 18:58

One thing about that female vocalist although I really like the tone of her voice (blends in just perfectly) but,... why does she use that vibrato so much? Most singers use this trick to hide the fact they can't hold a note, but doubt if that is the case here.


It's been her style for years. I remember being rather irritated by it on the song A Natural Disaster. You know, that "You just sli-i--ipped, throu-u-u-gh, my finge-eers". I didn't find it nearly as extreme on this album, though I haven't listened to it much or very closely.
Mr. Doctor - 04.07.2012 at 23:30  
Written by IronAngel on 04.07.2012 at 21:05
It's been her style for years. I remember being rather irritated by it on the song A Natural Disaster. You know, that "You just sli-i--ipped, throu-u-u-gh, my finge-eers". I didn't find it nearly as extreme on this album, though I haven't listened to it much or very closely.


Haha Oh man don't listen to Dax Riggs bands then (Acid Bath, Agents Of Oblivion, Deadboy & The Elephantmen), he does that shit a lot but I love his voice anyways... It works with his bluesy music.
IronAngel - 04.07.2012 at 23:52  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 04.07.2012 at 23:30

Haha Oh man don't listen to Dax Riggs bands then (Acid Bath, Agents Of Oblivion, Deadboy & The Elephantmen), he does that shit a lot but I love his voice anyways... It works with his bluesy music.


It totally depends on context. I'm not bothered by it anymore even on A Natural Disaster, but it's pretty underscored there since it's basically just Lee singing over silence.

I'm not bothered by the prominence of her vocals on this album, btw. If I were to complain about one of the three singers, it'd be Danny. He's not bad either, but clearly outperformed by Vincent and Lee.
flora - 19.10.2012 at 17:41  
This is the album I love to listen to in the end of the day. Simply great!
wastedmind - 07.03.2013 at 11:45  
For me music has been always the matter of feeling.and i assume the one which is drived from this album is as original as the one from the previous album:"we are here because we are here".yes these two last albums of Anathema might be similar to eachother but i dont see what's wrong with it.as far as i know "Alternative 4" and " judjment" have some kind of simillarity too but no one complains about that.which is i believe because most people here are more like metal fans than the people who simply appriciate music,every kind of music aside from the genre.
Lee has a great voice by the way.
Echonia - 12.03.2013 at 19:38  
Written by wastedmind on 07.03.2013 at 11:45

which is i believe because most people here are more like metal fans than the people who simply appriciate music,every kind of music aside from the genre.

I don't agree. I am not a metal fan (I love 70s classic rock and progressive music) but I prefer their 'old' times. I have friend who listen to black metal and love weather systems / hate serenades. There is no such thing like ' I vote bad , becouse It's not metal'
Alternative 4 and Judgement are not metal. But actually I don't see any similarity between We're Here Becouse We're Here and Weather Systems. Luckily , Weather Systems is a really interesting album.. We're Here Becouse We're Here is an overrated album , maybe becouse we were waiting for 6 years and we automatically assumed this album as their huge comeback.
Weather Systems is great and I love it. But I wan't to be honest. Anathema in last years with every new album become more catchy , not mainstream!!! but catscy.
wastedmind - 18.03.2013 at 22:55  
Written by Echonia on 12.03.2013 at 19:38

Written by wastedmind on 07.03.2013 at 11:45

which is i believe because most people here are more like metal fans than the people who simply appriciate music,every kind of music aside from the genre.

I don't agree. I am not a metal fan (I love 70s classic rock and progressive music) but I prefer their 'old' times. I have friend who listen to black metal and love weather systems / hate serenades. There is no such thing like ' I vote bad , becouse It's not metal'
Alternative 4 and Judgement are not metal. But actually I don't see any similarity between We're Here Becouse We're Here and Weather Systems. Luckily , Weather Systems is a really interesting album.. We're Here Becouse We're Here is an overrated album , maybe becouse we were waiting for 6 years and we automatically assumed this album as their huge comeback.
Weather Systems is great and I love it. But I wan't to be honest. Anathema in last years with every new album become more catchy , not mainstream!!! but catscy.

well infact i agree with you in many of the cases you mentioned above.and let me clarify something,when i talked about the similarity between two last albums of anathema i meant that they both come from the same and new attitude of them towards life which is totally different from that expressed on previous albums.yes i do agree that "weather sestems" is not repeating 'we are here..." but im saying that they come from the same rout as 'judjment' and ' alternative 4' were coming .
about the people here...no offense.just read the comments on the review about "we are here..." album and you'll see what i mean by saying "which is i believe because most people here are more like metal fans than the people who simply appriciate music,every kind of music aside from the genre".your friend may be different.i hope
Echonia - 24.03.2013 at 14:12  
Written by wastedmind on 18.03.2013 at 22:55

Written by Echonia on 12.03.2013 at 19:38

Written by wastedmind on 07.03.2013 at 11:45

which is i believe because most people here are more like metal fans than the people who simply appriciate music,every kind of music aside from the genre.


well infact i agree with you in many of the cases you mentioned above.and let me clarify something,when i talked about the similarity between two last albums of anathema i meant that they both come from the same and new attitude of them towards life which is totally different from that expressed on previous albums.yes i do agree that "weather sestems" is not repeating 'we are here..." but im saying that they come from the same rout as 'judjment' and ' alternative 4' were coming .
about the people here...no offense.just read the comments on the review about "we are here..." album and you'll see what i mean by saying "which is i believe because most people here are more like metal fans than the people who simply appriciate music,every kind of music aside from the genre".your friend may be different.i hope


I agree. The're many fanboys who always say 'this is not death/doom this is sh_t' without even have listened the album.(and many people who don't like metal and hate all the albums before A Natural Disaster). Well I told you. I am not the guy that will hate an album just becouse it's not the genre of rock/metal I prefer. My problem with their last two albums is how the songs evolve. The same guitar chord over and over again , playin softly in the beggining and turn heavier by the time. And also the lyrics.

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