Anathema has been running the progressive rock circuit for years now, and they're always on the top of their game. They've taken a lighter approach to their latest record, offering up a darker surrounding to their music. Anathema bring an alternative sound above their progressive roots in The Optimist, the band's latest record.
The Optimist is an album that really inspires emotion. It's setting is a car traveling down a dark road, and as you listen on, the sights you drive by come from the deepest pits of your mind. The electronic beat of 'Leaving It Behind' is a strong introduction to the record, the elements of electronica and rock to the mix. The soaring vocals give urgency to the quickly moving scenes, before the slow, dramatic start of 'Endless Ways' enters. This song builds epically, guitars soaring and the female vocals from Lee Douglas really add a new dimension to the sound.
The band's sound is very approachable on this album, but that doesn't sacrifice their true progressive rock roots. The Optimist is very much rooted in progressive rock, especially evident in the title track. 'The Optimist' starts somberly with pianos and somber vocals, backing vocals and strings shimmering in the background. The song builds epically, ending with a confident and powerful bang. The same is true of 'Springfield,' its haunting guitar intro eventually building into something massive. A creepy blues vibe on 'Close Your Eyes' gives the album some experimental vibes, too.
Anathema bring an alternative sound above their progressive roots in The Optimist, but never tread to far from their core. The Optimist is an adventure through your mind, ending in silence just as it may have began. You can take a night time drive into the depths of your own perceptions and have a real chance to think about them here.
Favorite Tracks: Springfield, Endless Ways, The Optimist
Least Favorite Track: Close Your Eyes
Rating: 78 / 100
Stream or buy The Optimist on Apple Music: