A Natural Disaster (Koch)
by Martin Popoff
Perhaps it’s the fact that dueling brother Danny has written most of the record, but Anathema have turned in a fairly single-mooded, periodically guitary record, one that is equal parts Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, and late ’90s Anathema. Oddly, though, it’s all the layered mellow bits, with Vincent crooning yearningly and intimately over de rigeur electronic sachets and cachets that sound most comfortable and accomplished. Long down the pike, when the whole band joins in, one is confronted with something quite raw, spontaneous in a bad way, and flatly recorded, very little bass, shockingly bashed drums. But the songs are so trippingly good (see “Childhood Dream” for a fix of The Top-era Cure metal extraordinaire) that one can wryly make lemonade from the lemon-sour sound, and pre-suppose that this band of bloodbrothered and always bothered strugglers for their art did it all on purpose, as some sort of seductive dance between The Final Cut and Turn Loose the Swans.
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