ANATHEMA-The Optimist

Kscope

08 June 2017 by Martien Koolen

The “new” Anathema sound (the band left their heavier roots) started in 2010 with the amazing album ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’, followed by sound-a-like albums ‘Weather Systems’ (2012) and ‘Distant Satellites’, which was released in 2014. Now, three years later, Anathema release their 11th studio album called ‘The Optimist’ and the idea for this album originated from the cover artwork of their 2001 album A Fine Day To Exit. The opening track “called”: ,,32.63.N 117.14W’’, show the exact coordinates for Silver Strand Beach in San Diego, being the last location of `The Optimist’. The album was recorded in the winter of 2016, produced by Tony Doogan, and ‘The Optimist’ contains some of the darkest, challenging and frightening Anathema songs ever. The melodies are proud and distinctive and the use of weird electronics makes this a daring and experimental album, proving that the music of Anathema is truly progressive, symphonic epic rock music at a very high level. Honestly I cannot get enough of it, although a lot of critics will say that the band repeats itself too much and too often. However if you listen to ‘The Optimist’ over and over then you will notice that repetition is not the case. Just listen to the two instrumental songs ,,San Francisco’’ (cerebral electronics) and ,,Wildfires’’ (filled with haunting piano chords) and you will be hooked. Another highlight is ,,Endless Ways’’, a beautiful melodic track with breath taking vocals by Lee Douglas which gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it. This album is a journey full of wonder and the last track ,,Back To The Start’’, clocking over 11 minutes, is a real dark, sinister beauty; making ‘The Optimist’ another milestone in the catalogue of Anathema. However if you are a true metal head, then I think this album will not be “suitable” for you.