Transportation is one of the biggest things that music can accomplish, to pick the listener up from where they sit and deposit them in some other place. The truly great albums in the short history of modern music all achieve this unbelievably elusive feat; something about their sound whisks away your attention and enraptures you within a world, of the band’s making. Not so long ago, we made the claim that Elder’s Lore does just that, encapsulating the fabled trope of “the hero’s journey”, launching its listeners into an epic journey through music and expression. How do you follow something like that up? A critically lauded album can often be a double edged sword, raising immense questions around potential, scarcity, and circumstance. More so when the album is such a transformative journey: do you have what it takes to create that sensation in your listeners again or will this album, however good, be fettered and miss the mark of greatness?
It was only last night that we ran a Love Letter to Anathema’s Weather Systems. That post was perhaps not large enough in scope as it should have really been addressed to the band’s entire discography. Anathema are one of this reviewer’s favorite bands, a pillar of his personality and perspective on life. It is only natural then that any new release comes accompanied with trepidation. When Distant Satellites presented an image of Anathema quite different than Weather Systems, most listeners were overjoyed; the band seemed to handle the summit well, not opting to remain frozen in place. But now, The Optimist is here and the question remains: what strange lands do we found ourselves with Anathema and what is the purpose of the band post-masterpiece?
“Sumeriancore” was an interesting genre. A highly specific brand of progressive metalcore that coincided with the rise of Sumerian Records, lead by prominent bands on that label, it was very popular for a few years and then dissolved into djent shortly after. Born of Osiris were at the forefront of this, if not the main driving force. Being part of the original “big 4” of the genre along with label mates Veil of Maya, The Faceless and After the Burial, they’ve inspired many other artists and headlined many tours. They’ve had some wildly acclaimed albums, and some that are borderline ridiculed. A decade after their debut, where are they now? Where is the genre? And what’s their future? That’s what we’re here to discuss today.