My first words after finishing this record for the first time were "That was an amazing record," my roommates replied, "It was". Anathema have always been a band who understood the power and depth of their compositions and had a strong understanding of how to push their music to exciting new boundaries. They are the kind of group who exist on the cutting edge of progressive music creating something beautiful and immaculately put togeter but never failing to surprise or innovate, somethin clear from the first on The Optimist.
A record that makes daring leaps and uses weird electronic bears to counteract powerful and emotional melodies you find yourself frequently plumbing the depths of what this band is capable of. There's something strangely charming about The Optimist, you find yourself consistently delving into weird twists and turns of the sort that only a band of this magnitude can embrace. The irony of this record is how wonderfully sad so much of it is, contrasting the title of the work, but staying in line with the bands general ethos. The Optimist is a record that begs to be returned to again and again, inspiring constant curiosity and engaging the ears time and time again.
At the end of the day, every performance on thsi record is consistently impressive and reminds you just how Anathema became one of the biggest bands in their genre in the first place. They insist on a certain magical realism that keeps you utterly entranced. The Optimist breathes powerfully, reaching for the stars and often expanding beyond with lush soundscapes and overwhelming song structures. This is what progressive, symphonic and epic rock music was meant to be about and I simply can't get enough of it.
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