Last winter British melodic rockers Anathema began recording a new album, named The Optimist, which is due for release on 9th June and will be the eleventh of their career. As an anticipation of this release, the band shared a single named Springfield, that is now running on YouTube:
Here we present the song Springfield, it’s actually the song that closed our unforgettable Wembley gig with Opeth and it seemed to be a track that just fell into place without much effort. It seemed to do itself. The song forms part of a narrative that runs through The Optimist album, it’s a narrative that begins where A Fine Day To Exit left off. The album is a journey. The songs are ambiguous. There is no right or wrong way to take them. Make of them what you will (D. Cavanagh, guitarist and founder of the band)
Anathema started their musical journey more than 25 years ago as a doom metal band. Through the years their sound has significantly evolved leaving away the most metallic elements and and gradually embracing the canons of progressive rock, with a path that has become particulary evident in the last ten years once they recruited prog legend Steven Wilson (former Porcupine Tree) to produce their works. I personally consider that the most beautiful and memorable works of the band are those released in the 10 years time period from 2003, the year of release of the magnificient A Natural Disaster, until the early years of the current decade, up to the 2012 album Weather Systems.
What we object to the last works from the band is not the adoption of a more soft and melodic approach, which is legitimate and also appreciated in its essence. What we point out, in fact, it that the songwriting seems really petrified on a single compositional solution, which can be summarized as follows: take a simple and expressive melodic line and begin to repeat it over and over to the bitter end, slowly adding other layers of sounds (first the piano, then the bass, then the synthetizers, then the drums, then the voice, then there is an escalation of the guitar, then the sound becomes a little heavier, and so on….).
The new single is no exception. Let’s wait now for the full lenght album and we’ll check the remaining songs.