After Judgement (1999) I kind of lost touch with Anathema. Nothing intentional, it just happened. So I was curious to hear how the band has developed since. I did read the music sounded less and less like metal, but proof had to be provided.
And proof this is. A Natural Disaster sounds like a whole other band actually. But is that a problem? No, not really.
This Anathema sounds very mature. When describing their current sound, words like majestic, solemn, refined or sophisticated come to mind. But that is not to say they don´t rock out any more. Rock is still part of the arrangements, though only when it adds to the picture. But truth be told, this has very little to do with metal anymore.
Opener Harmonium is an example of a sophisticated and solemn track, while following number Balance has some more rocking moments towards the end of it and is more up beat overall. Next song Closer also moves at a quicker pace, but is still refined in it´s approach. Though again the distorted guitars slowly take over from the keyboards and then sink back again. I notice that themes are repeated quite a lot, resulting in a spellbinding groove.
So what we have here is a lovely album that shows a lot of emotion and feel in the projection of the songs. Class A stuff that deserves your attention.