Anathema - Distant Satellites

Anathema - Distant Satellites
Distant Satellites
Two years have elapsed since “Weather Systems” (read the review here) and Anathema are back with a new album which as they’ve said: “… is the culmination of everything Anathema’s been working up to so far in our musical path. It contains almost every conceivable element of the heartbeat of Anathema music that it is possible to have. There is beauty, intensity, drama, quietude, and extra musical dimensions that the band has previously only hinted at. All built on the song writing chemistry of Daniel, John and Vincent – and the haunting voice of Lee Douglas”.
Having consumed “Distant Satellites” in a three-day gulp it is fair to say this is an emotionally brilliant album, yet it more or less moves in the same soundscapes as their previous work. “The Lost Song” is an exemplar of their similarity; it is divided in three parts much like “Untouchable” – the latter consists of two parts though – in “Weather Systems”. Structurally they both follow similar patterns – the first more vivid, the second softer – with a scintilla of the very same aura and musical ideas. Bottom-line? The motif remains the same albeit enjoyable.
In their majority, the songs here find their way to penetrate your heart and in all honesty, the album’s lyrical journeys manage to keep you immersed in an abundance of emotive paths. Particularly absorbing are: the thespian “Ariel”, the self-titled “Anathema”, the antepenultimate “Firelight” – instrumental, the dreamy “Distant Satellites” and the atmospheric “Take Shelter”. With the exception of “You’re Not Alone”, which – allow me to use an euphemism – is a filler, the rest of them are pretty tight and quite respectable songs in their unity.
On balance and to be brutally frank, “Distant Satellites” is a good value for money (their music has never been pants!) but for all practical purposes it will not shake your world if you are aching for that long lost era when sheer melancholy roamed Anathema’s musical paths. Familiar as I already am with this fact I just embrace their new brainchild and relish what it has to offer.