The first I came across Anathema, which was in their Judgment album, they sounded like a pretty good doom metal band. After listening to A Natural Disaster, I was slightly confused as to what their genre really was.
Weather Systems was released last year and it came highly recommended by fellow Anathema fans. I had no idea what to expect, really. And that's the best approach to a new album.
And honestly, I was really, really impressed. There was nothing about the album I could look at and say, “They could have done this better.” There are a couple of tracks in the album I listen to at least 5 times a day.
If you are looking for something really heavy, this is not what you are looking for. But I'd recommend you give it a try anyway. This album really touches the heart with its wonderfully melancholic music. This is atmospheric music at its best. It is sad and beautiful and portrays vivid, lifelike images in the mind. Lyrically, the album is mostly about hope, despair, love and life. And death. Might sound a bit cheesy, but trust me, its not. In one word, I'd say its incredible.
The vocalists are really at their very best in this album, Lee Douglas in particular, who plays a much more significant role in this album. Certain passages from the album will reach out and touch you and you find yourself listening to them over and over. Instrumentally, the album is very tight with some amazing tunes. The band takes care to not overplay anywhere in the album. It is finely balanced, with the right mix of simple and complex, heavy and soft.
I won't be getting into the tracks individually. They are all very, very good. Its pointless describing them. If I have to pick a couple of songs from the album that just blew me away, I'd pick 'The Beginning and the End' and 'The Gathering of the Clouds'. The Beginning and the End is one of the best songs I've ever heard. The final part of The Storm Before the Cold is one of the most incredible sections from a song I've had the fortune of coming across. You can feel life washing over you, basking you in hope. Brilliant, brilliant vocals and overall music in that. Other than that, I used to listen to the album on repeat and it took me a month or so to tire of it. I'll turn off my inner fan-boy now.
Just give it a try. You don't have to be a metal fan, Prog fan or an Anathema fan to like this album. It is pretty accessible for all sorts of listeners while still being pretty damn good.