Anathema
Weather Systems


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
April 17th, 2012 | 653 replies | 48,894 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Very high on style, but lacking the substance that made We're Here Because We're Here a fan-favorite.

In theory, this should be Anathema's best release yet. They've literally taken the formula that made We're Here Because We're Here such an excellent release, and supersized every part of it. The epic, uplifting melodies are back and bigger than ever, Lee Douglas' vocal role has increased exponentially, the orchestral element is more prominent, the tempos are more diverse and Vincent's vocals are more dynamic. On paper, this should easily lead to the same kind of musical leap that We're Here Because We're Here took when compared to A Natural Disaster, and it almost did. The increased emphasis on the previous release's biggest elements has allowed Weather Systems to be easily consumable and instantly memorable. It has also lead to the back-to-back gems of "Untouchable" parts one and two. These two songs are almost literally the embodiment of everything that made the previous album so damn good, and they're undeniably near the top of the band's material. The initial part features an excellent cyclical guitar melody, emotive vocals from Vincent and Lee, an upbeat tempo and a big closing. Part two slows the tempo down and replaces the main guitar melody with piano and keyboards, but otherwise follows the same formula. It, too, is based on a solid melodic foundation, exceptional vocal harmonies and a slow build towards an eventual climax. The problem is that just about every subsequent track follows that exact same formula, eventually causing the album to feel more sterile and less genuine than We're Here Because We're Here.

"The Gathering of the Clouds" also begins with a cyclical guitar melody, excellent vocal harmonies and a warm layer of keyboards. It also starts soft so that it can eventually build towards something bigger. It's almost as though the band picked the elements of the previous album that fans gravitated towards the most and then focused on crafting an entire album of those very things. If so, they did a good job but it causes the album to lose the emotional connection and sincerity of We're Here Because We're Here. Therein lies the main (and only) problem with Weather Systems – it's so damn good on the surface, but it is rarely able to elicit the same kind of emotional response as its predecessor. Whereas the previous album used certain themes and ideas to accentuate each overall song, this release has pushed them into being the entire focus. Without much deviation, each track is going to start softer than it will eventually end up, each song is going to blanket you with uplifting harmonies and warm melodies and just about every one of them will lose their emotional connection while pushing the methodical formula. The one real exception is "The Storm Before the Calm" which introduces a programmed beat, an electro undercurrent and a dark, almost gothic, atmosphere. Unfortunately, it is also horribly redundant and will probably not be a song that people return to often.

It's tough to listen to Weather Systems because it's almost an album of two faces. The main face is the most obvious one. It is the fact that this album has somehow improved on all the most endearing parts of We're Here Because We're Here. The uplifting melodies are stronger, the tempos are more diverse and the vocal harmonies are hard to ignore. These elements, and more, have made Weather Systems one of the easiest Anathema albums to get into and also one of the most memorable. The problem is that it all feels just a little too formulaic. There are too many times when it feels as though the song is building up only because that's what it's time to do. There is also too many times where any emotional connection is buried under a track's own bloated grandiose ideas. There's no doubt that Weather Systems should be considered another milestone for Anathema because it is most certainly an improvement on everything they've been working towards, but in all the commotion and attention to the minute details the band may have lost sight of the bigger picture, leaving everything just a bit too sterile and formulaic to truly be considered anything more than excellent.



Recent reviews by this author
Anathema Distant SatellitesFlotsam and Jetsam No Place for Disgrace - 2014
Mindcage Our Own DevicesFates Warning Darkness in a Different Light
Queensryche QueensrycheSkinny Puppy Weapon
user ratings (607)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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....

Wreath (4)
Well, this sounds awfully familiar…...

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 
Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 17th 2012



16315 Comments


was waiting for you to review this

Willie
Moderator
April 17th 2012



15914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I didn't plan on reviewing it, but a few people asked.

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae

fuckthatnoise
April 17th 2012



1479 Comments


>We're Here Because We're Here
>a classic

lmao

Willie
Moderator
April 17th 2012



15914 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well said. You're obviously quite good with the social skills.

Imperial
April 17th 2012



1726 Comments


Album cover sucks amirite?

R6Rider
April 17th 2012



4580 Comments


Sweet.

Gonna get this.

Digging: Plebeian Grandstand - How Hate is Hard to Define

Gmork89
April 17th 2012



5510 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Awesome review Willie, pretty much explains exactly how I feel about it. I still think everyone should be talking more about Internal Landscapes though, I think it's one of the most moving songs they have made, and the first time imo that an Anathema album has a worthy "ending" song.


Josh D.
April 17th 2012



13967 Comments


Went through this once and it seemed underwhelming.

Makemebad35
April 17th 2012



747 Comments


Time to give this a full listen now. Will probably have to get it.

ProjectFreak
April 17th 2012



1320 Comments


i was pretty impressed on one casual listen to We're Here Because We're Here...so, probably gonna look into this. great review.

NoXoR
April 17th 2012



25 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely missing some of the magical energy that We're Here Because We're Here had, but its a fantastic record on its own.

zaruyache
April 17th 2012



6280 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

We're Here ruled, so I was hoping that this would, too. Glad to see that it delivers.

Digging: CHVRCHES - The Bones of What You Believe

zxlkho
April 17th 2012



3461 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think this album is just as good, if not better, than We're Here Because We're Here. I just can't stop listening to it.

conesmoke
April 17th 2012



5199 Comments


I quite like the album art actually. m/

Irving
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2012



7177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Interesting read; will try if I have the chance.

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

Yazz_Flute
April 18th 2012



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Fuckall Anathema are so fucking pretty.

Digging: Eskaton - 4 Visions

bloc
April 18th 2012



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Been having difficulty trying to...er...obtain this...

I keep hearing how pretty and stuff it is.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Yazz_Flute
April 18th 2012



18770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Get Vuze and torrent it.

bloc
April 18th 2012



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oh yeah, torrents! Didn't cross my mind.

YouGotLucky
April 18th 2012



946 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i hate the art



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy