Anathema
Weather Systems


4.0
excellent

Review

by Wreath USER (6 Reviews)
April 16th, 2012 | 26 replies | 2,386 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Well, this sounds awfully familiar…

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

… but that’s alright actually because We’re Here Because We’re Here is my favorite Anathema album. Not a lot of bands can get away with approaching a poppy sound without losing an essentially progressive rock title as well as they did with that album - that irony is a fact. Or perhaps it just might be the most progressive thing I’ve ever heard. *sigh* Whatever. I suppose progressive music like exploration of any sorts is a lot like science. You never really create anything truly original because like science, progressive music (or any music for that matter) isn’t about bringing something 100% new and fresh to the table, it’s about discovering connections and exploring possibilities. Therefore I think it’s fair to compare the band’s most recent effort to its predecessor.

What you get when you listen to the first half of We’re Here Because We’re Here is uplifting progressive pop rock music at its very finest. Every passage is excellently executed and what it doesn’t bring to the table in terms of technicality it makes up for in deliciously simple but exciting arrangements with every instrument working collectively to make the foundation of every song varied but at the same time keeping it very simple. And it’s effective as hell; it makes for very catchy songs that stick on your mind like super glue without merry-go-normal run of the mill song structure. It’s basically a genius musical formula. Throw in some humanism and somewhat predictable and cliché lyrics about love and human relations to catch the attention of the emotional listener (that will probably end up connecting with the songs on a personal level, in which case the attribute is totally subjective but great nonetheless) and you’ve got something which shouldn’t really be regarded as progressive at all. But somehow the album actually profits from this approach instead of it being a disadvantage as it should arguably end up being. Highlights such as Angels Walk Among Us, Everything and Dreaming Light will probably never leave the place in your heart in which they’ve made themselves comfortable if you, like me, absolutely adore the album.

Though on the album that this review is actually about, ironically what makes the album less interesting to an extent is the exact same thing that made the previous album interesting. What you get is what sounds like an extension of We’re Here Because We’re Here which should arguably work just as well as it did on that one but the significant difference is that when Weather Systems is predictable it’s just not as interesting because the arrangements and songwriting is simply not quite as good. The songs kind of collectively blend together in pallor and the first half of the album is basically rehashed material from each song and none of them is really bringing anything new to the table in relation to each other. I like thematic albums, don’t get me wrong but I don’t really dig that slightly one-dimensional approach. The second part of Untouched, as an example basically just repeats the melodies and meat of the first and why they chose to split The Gathering of the Clouds and Lightning Song into two songs kind of perplexes me. [i]The Lost Child[i] and The Storm Before The Calm is like a breath of fresh air with slightly different approaches and almost ominous passages throughout the respective first halves of the songs. Album needs more songs like that to break a pattern without disrupting a theme. What I’m saying is that if the songs would be just as good as they are as a collective unit the entire album would be so much better if it was more varied. “If it’s not broken – don’t fix it” doesn’t quite get to apply to a progressive band, I think. Though it absolutely goes without saying that the songs as standalone tracks showcase some unerring, very well written and absolutely beautiful passages, especially throughout that first half of the album.

It’s still a delightfully dramatic album with the same bittersweet touch that made We’re Here… very special. So with that said - the songs are still great, the melodies and passages are still very well written, every musician on the album is doing a great job, the Cavanagh brothers’ singing is better than it’s ever been and the orchestrations on the album beautifully blends into the soundscape without taking too much place nor going by unnoticed. And I love the diligent use of female vocals. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder and in my honest opinion where the album ultimately falls a bit on its back is where the songs, as earlier implied, feel like somewhat insipid extensions of each other on an album that essentially sounds like an extension of its predecessor anyway. And it’s a bit of a shame because this truly is an excellent album only with potential that the band apparently chose not to take an advantage of. Maybe I’m being picky but when an album is so close to perfection I don’t see why I shouldn’t be. Ultimately, with or without taking its predecessor into account; Weather Systems is so good. So very good.



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user ratings (545)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Trey Spencer STAFF (4)
Very high on style, but lacking the substance that made We're Here Because We're Here a fan-favorite...

Lambda (4)
A gorgeous album, lush with beauteous soundscapes and truly mesmerizing moments....

DarkNoctus CONTRIBUTOR (3)
doubtlessly enjoyable, but the feeling of magic is regrettably, eerily absent....

Victor (4.5)
This is one of the most beautiful representations of depression, loss, love, and death I have ever h...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Wreath
April 16th 2012



85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fuck taboos I guess - this one is partly a bit more subjective than my previous reviews and is probably best suited for people that are already familiar with Anathema so I won’t pretend to act surprised if anyone ends up disagreeing with me!

I just wanted this off my chest. :3

*sigh* and the paragraphs got messed up and it won't let me change. :C


macadoolahicky
April 16th 2012



1835 Comments


"Well, this sounds awfully familiar…" "… but that’s alright actually because We’re Here Because We’re Here is my favorite Anathema album."

Terrible way to start a review. Honestly, remove that and it is already tons better.

Ending
April 16th 2012



1863 Comments


Did not expect to see this reviewed so quickly. Nice one.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2012



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

"… but that’s alright actually because We’re Here Because We’re Here is my favorite Anathema album."

this and we're here because we're here are the only anathema albums you've rated

also get rid of stuff like *sigh*, it's really unprofessional

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

BallsToTheWall
April 16th 2012



44164 Comments


Untouchable - Part II is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2012



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

would have liked it more if the female vocals didn't ruin the last moment on it, i really liked how it was ending until she sang the very last bit :[

Wreath
April 16th 2012



85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you for the feedback, keep it coming please. :3

And yeah, I'm well aware of the fact that I've only rated two albums by Anathema on here so far but
that doesn't mean they're the only ones I've heard!

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2012



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

well your ratings of other albums may be relevant to this one, what did you think of the others?

oh, and check out my review at your leisure. :]

BallsToTheWall
April 16th 2012



44164 Comments


would have liked it more if the female vocals didn't ruin the last moment on it, i really liked how it was ending until she sang the very last bit :[


Female vocals made the song.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2012



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

they did up until the very end, just when the song was winding down she sings the verse again and it was just a little too much and killed a very sombre moment. :[

CaptainDooRight
April 16th 2012



26552 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"very sombre moment"

estatic fear anyone

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2012



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

a sombre dance!! :]

CaptainDooRight
April 16th 2012



26552 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

CONNECTED!! :][:

macadoolahicky
April 16th 2012



1835 Comments


The closing track is epic

Wreath
April 16th 2012



85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I tend to remember songs rather than entire albums when it comes to Anathema's older stuff actually. Not in the sense that I don't know what songs are on the respective albums, of course. I'm very fond of A Natural Disaster and Judgement as entire albums but tend to prefer listening to just a few tracks on the rest of them.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2012



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

i thought the same until i really, really listened to them. judgement is a journey i can only experience as a whole, as well as the silent enigma. :]

Scoot
April 16th 2012



17493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

not as good as whbwh but i enjoy it very much

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2012



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

now that's not very nice! :]

Wreath
April 16th 2012



85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The only album except for the doom albums that I really don't dig is Eternity. It sounds a bit awkward somehow, like they couldn't decide how they wanted it to sound during both the mixing and writing process. Maybe it's just me.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
April 16th 2012



8590 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

eternity isn't really a doom metal album, heh :]

i could never get into serenades personally but the silent enigma and pentecost III are absolutely fantastic



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