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4.6 out of 5 stars67
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 21 April 2012
The last few albums from Anathema have been superb with the most recent - 'We're here because we're here' and 'Falling Deeper' being outstanding, but the band have surpassed even those high standards with this new album - 'Weather Systems'. This new CD really does just take the breath away by creating an emotional roller coaster ride which manages to be sad, moving, uplifting and thought provoking throughout. Listen to the opening two tracks - 'Untouchable parts 1 & 2' and I defy any music lover to hear these amazing songs and not have their emotions running on overload. So many people will be able to relate to those words and be truly touched by the incredible and moving lyrics & music.
The CD keeps the stakes high with a series of powerful and highly accomplished songs. As a music lover in my fifties with so many great albums and musical memories, I can honestly say that this CD ranks up there with the best. Challenge your emotions and awake the senses and buy the CD. Great music and truly exceptional and head and shoulders above so much else out there.
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on 20 April 2012
This band just gets better and better and this album will not only please existing fans, but will surely expose a lot of new fans to their music. I detect influences of Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree in places (e.g. 'Internal Landscapes'), but the songs are all their own work. The two-part opener 'Untouchable' is superb and drifts from clever acoustic guitar, through pounding rock, and into exquisite balladry. I loved 'The Gathering Of The Clouds', as well as the fantastic 'The Beginning And The End'. This is first class music, beautifully played - highly recommended.
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on 19 April 2012
This is the first time I have ever done an Amazon review but there are few albums which have stopped me in my tracks like this in nearly half a century. The last one was We're here because we're here - Anathema, the next one, which has absolutely had me goosebumps and almost in tears as it is just stunning, on a level which only certain tracks by Floyd and classical evocative masterpieces, such as the Vaughan William's Lark Ascending, and Faure's requiem have done, is the new Weather Systems.

Anathema need air time, and the long overdue recognition and success for their talents and this a masterpiece (in my opinion) album. A mature and stunning piece of composition and musical execution on a level I have not heard in years - I lost time to the most amazing music and I am not sad I did it was just incredible. Where We're Here Because We're Here began, Weather Systems has built on and delivers on so many levels musically and emotionally - fantastic
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on 6 June 2012
I have heard of Anathema before now but never listened to them. Now I wonder .. what have I been missing? This album took my breath away from the very first listen. If you like thoughtful, melodic and, at times, arresting rock music, you should like this.
Untouchable Part 2 (the second track)is just one of the most haunting themes I have heard in many a year- and I have a lot of years to call on I can assure you.
So impressed am i, I have just bought the whole back catalogue !!
Let's hope this band gets the success they deserve..and the opportunity to make a whole lot more records like this !!
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on 4 October 2014
I really enjoyed their previous album, "We're Here Because We're Here", and had high expectations of this one. The overall feeling, having now listened to the album over a fair period of time, is of some disappointment. Many tracks are certainly not bad, but are not especially memorable and are an undemanding listen. "Weather Systems" is certainly pleasant and enjoyable overall. The music is performed and sung well, with some obvious high-points. - notably. track 7, "The Beginning & the End" in which the band actually cut loose a little from otherwise cosy blandness.

The problem, I feel, is that, perhaps in an attempt to become more mainstream, they have lost some of their 'prog' elements. Track 2, "Untouchable Part 2", is by no means poor, but you would not blink if some nascent 'star' performed it on "X-factor". There is a tendency to take one simple melody, and then simply repeat it over and over, but just add more and more instruments, play a bit louder, and up the vocal intensity. At times it can sound like 'over-emoting' - heading towards "Evanescence" territory? However, interestingly, I was surprised to discover that some of my younger relatives (a good 20-30 years younger than myself) are now fans, so maybe the strategy is working for them?

It would be nice if they could again develop a little more complexity in their music, be less 'formulaic', compose more involved melodies and themes, and bring the guitar to the fore a lot more on future albums. I will not buy their newest album until I have a chance to listen to it. I suspect it may be similar to this. They have worked hard for their success, and I am pleased for them - but I am not certain this direction is to my taste.
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on 22 April 2012
Simply stunning record from Anathema,not one bad track to be found,just received my
copy and have not stopped playing it.
Just a shame that they will probably never come to NZ, as to hear them
live i sure would be an experience never to be forgotten.
Listen to The Beginning and The End and you will be captured....!!!!!!!
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Anathema are a British modern Progressive Rock band, who started their career as a Death-Doom band in the early nineties. Their 2012 album Weather Systems was my entry point to the band, and since its release I have constantly listened to it, over and over, absorbing more and more of its obvious entertainment factor and its hidden depths. It got me hooked on the band and started me off getting more of their albums.

The record starts off with the fantastic `Untouchable' which is an incredibly powerful and interesting track that constantly builds up, its got brilliant evocative lyrics and an emotionally charged mixture of male and female vocals. This is followed by the bittersweet piano driven `Untouchable Prt 2.' From then on the album goes through a range of different moods and atmospheres, from light to dark, happy to sad. There's strings, spoken word sections, acoustic sounds, electronicy glitching and more, and its all topped off with deep intriguing lyrics and a crystal clear production job.

Highlights include the aforementioned Untouchables as well as the fantastic `Sunlight' and `The Beginning And The End' although to be fair there is absolutely no filler, the record is a strong journey from beginning to end.

There are some naysayers to the album out there, most of whom are either caught out by an album they expected to be heavy but wasn't, or are fans of the band's early days and don't like the new direction. I can see how very different this is to anything the band did at the start of their career, and if you came in expecting something that sounds like early My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost then it may be disappointing, as there is nothing in the way of Death or Doom on offer here at all, but this is an extremely enjoyable, masterfully crafted modern Progressive Rock album, full of interesting, inventive tracks that flows really well as an album and that just grows and grows with every listen.

If you are a fan of bands like Porcupine Tree, Riverside, Tool, Rishloo, Amplifier or even bands like The Mars Volta, Coheed & Cambria or Dream Theater, you may at least want to check this album out.

Overall; Since I first heard it, I've grown extremely fond of this record, its got some of my favourite ever songs on it and I highly, highly recommend it, if you think you might like it.
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on 18 November 2012
So many things I love about this band:

* Great, emotive vocals (male and female)
* Strong melodies
* Excellent musicians - but not indulgent. Songs are allowed to breath and develop (often into a winning climax)
* They seem to have a song appropriate to any mood - angry, sad, reflective, scared, defiant...

I much prefer this version of the band to the earlier doom/death metal. Some great songs including the opener Untouchables part one - a well constructed song with stong vocals, that goes from an acoustic start to a rushed sounding end. Great song but even better for me is the fantastic "Lightning Song" - the female vocals of Lee Douglas are a pure delight - one of my favourite songs of 2012. A lovely vocal turns into a full blown cacophony of sound. They know how to push the old emotion buttons.

There is the epic 9-Minute + "The storm before the calm" that moves though a range of tempos before a harrowing finish. "The Lost Child" starts off peacefully enough before another one of their intense build ups. The singer emploring someone to "save me save me" - repeatedly - with a cresendo in the background. The last track "Internal Landscapes" offers some sort of peace - though near the end a male vocal asks "what's up?". Nothing - apart from being mentally exhausted!

2012 has been a great year for music - Big Big Train, Echolyn, Marillion, Crippled Black Phoenix - this is up there with the very best and, for me, just surpasses their previous excellent release "We're here because we're here". I have half-a-dozen bands that are auto-purchases - this is one of them. Strongly recommended!
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on 28 April 2012
I haven't been into progressive music very long but Anathema is a band that has made a huge impact on me. Crippled Black Phoenix album I, Vigilante was the album that made me want find more prog rock/post rock. Looking through reviews a lot of comparisons were made to Anathemas' We're Here Because We're Here. And after listening to it a few times I was hooked and it's an album I very often go back to. Last years' Falling Deeper ranked up in the top albums of 2011 for me, despite being a re-working of old material. So when I learned there was a new album coming in 2012 I was very excited.

I willingly put my hands up and say I much prefer Anathemas' "new sound" to their "old sound" and am aware of the criticisms the band have received for such changes. I've heard Judgement and A Natural Disaster and I feel neither is close to anything the band has released since WHBWH. And I find it hard to believe people can listen to them now and not feel that the music world is much better off. But each to their own. I respect that.

For me, Weather Systems is somewhere between WHBWH and Falling Deeper. It has the same themes and vocal harmonies of WHBWH and the strings and general arrangements of Falling Deeper. Judging from the reviews I've seen here it's clear people feel Untouchable part 1 and 2 are the highlights of this album and, I have to say, I completely agree. One thing I feel about Anathema from a lyrical point of view is that, because the main theme for a lot of their songs is love and how we react to it and how it impacts our lives, their lyrics touch people in different ways. Anybody will tell you that it's happiness and it's pain and that's how I feel when I listen to their bittersweet lyrics. It will impact different people in different ways depending on things that they've been through and felt throughout their lives. Joy and completion versus sadness and emptiness or love found and love lost for example. One song could remind you of someone in your life and for someone else the same song might remind you of someone who's not in your life anymore. And it's with that in mind that Untouchable part 1 and 2 works so well. Part 1 is fairly upbeat and fast and Vincent Cavanagh's' voice really soars. Then on the flip side Part 2 is a lot slower and more melancholic and opens with a piano tune that leaves a lump in my throat every time I listen to it. And on Part 2 you notice the first big difference to Weather Systems from WHBWH. And that's the contribution of Lee Douglas' vocals. It worked well on WHBWH as a vocal pairing with Cavanagh. But on Weather Systems there are a lot of moments when it's just her singing and she absolutely steals the spotlight. So, it's almost like Untouchable part 1 and 2 almost tells a story; Part 1 being the good side of love. The upbeat tempo and overall sounds representing the energy and new feelings when finding love but Part 2 is showing what it's like if that is taken away. The lyrics of Part 2 "I feel you outside at the edge of my life. I see you outside walk by at the edge of my sight" make me feel that way. But as I said, other people might feel differently. That's just how I've interpreted it.

Bearing in mind these are the two opening tracks there are plenty of other great moments. Again, Lee Douglas' talents shine through on Lightning Song and similarly Cavanagh's vocal talents come through on Sunlight, which reminds me a little of the song Dreaming Light, but with great acoustic guitar playing instead of piano. The whole theme of love really comes through, perhaps most strongly, on closing track Internal Landscapes. Similar to Angles Walk Among Us the song opens with a voice over. In this one you hear a man telling a story of himself having a near death experience and how, in what he thought were his last breaths of life, he wanted to tell his wife that he loves her one last time. Another very emotional moment from a band that really knows how to tug at your heart strings.

It's not an expression I like to use but Weather Systems is everything you would expect from an Anathema album; Fantastic piano and string assortments, angelic male/female vocal harmonies and lyrics that can be uplifting and heart breaking at the same time. I'm not sure whether I think this album is better than We're Here Because We're Here because I've not listened to it an awful lot and because it ranks at the top of the class of 2010 for me. It's certainly a very, very close second and with time may even take pole position in Anathemas' catalogue. Fans of the band, especially the more laid back side, won't be disappointed with this album. People who want to try them for the first time can certainly start here to get a good idea of what makes the band so special and what they're about and why they are so impactful. It's definitely my album of 2012 so far, despite only being in late April. And especially with albums coming from Amplifier, Storm Corrosion and Falloch it's a good opportunity to see how the album can stand up to some exciting releases this year.
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on 17 June 2012
I've listened to this album over and over so hopefully I've managed to form a pretty good opinion.

Firstly let me say this is an amazing piece of work. The album feels like a journey and I love the three different distinct vocalists (Vincent, Lee and Danny) that are scattered throughout the album. It make it feel almost like a conversation and keeps the music very fresh.

The music overall is stunning and leaves one with an incredible flurry of emotions at the close of the final track. It really is like an emotional roller-coaster and it's very rare that albums are able to do this to you. What Anathema have embarked on here is the road to greatness, this album sounds like nothing else out there and the band are doing extremely well in carving out their own sound and feel. The orchestral work compliments the music beautifully and makes the overall experience so rich.

I can not recommend this album enough. I'd be hard to press to pigeon hole this into a specific genre and actually I wouldn't want to. All I know is that this holds it's own up against many classic albums and time after time is an incredibly rewarding listen. Buy this, you will not regret it one little bit.
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