Anathema Weather Systems

AnathemaWeather Systems
If you didn't know that Anathema started out a couple of decades ago as a UK doom metal band, Weather Systems wouldn't tell you. And yet, underneath the album's fluid, mostly mellow surfaces and throughout the sonic evolutions, the Liverpool, UK-based act have remained unmistakeable. For the most part, the band's latest album (their ninth) falls somewhere within the post-rock spectrum, with a palette ranging from the stripped back, earthy elements of folk to the more sensuous and even symphonic sounds of experimental pop. Yet even in its most laidback moments, Weather Systems is brimming with musical and emotional potential. From the opening seconds of Danny Cavanagh's fingerpicking intro, the record establishes a pulsing intensity that eases, but never dissipates. Just as Cavanagh's finger-style guitar playing returns repeatedly, that underlying pulse comes back into view. But it's not simply this rhythmic momentum that sketches Weather Systems' ebbing and flowing drama. Cavanagh's acoustic guitar is joined – sometimes dreamily, sometimes explosively – by rich, layered arrangements, combining a rock core of guitar, bass, drums and multiple voices with various shades of synthesized orchestration. The result is a series of swelling, cresting riffs, long, drawn-out melodic progressions and otherworldly atmospheres. There's so much going on throughout each of these nine songs that it's hard to take it in all at once, yet whether it's because of time shared or friendship and family connections, the performances are in perfect sync. As much as metal lies in Anathema's past, what the band are producing now is, at heart, part of the same artistic vision, simply translated into another style. (The End)