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SAVIOUR

Antimatter

Experimental/Post Metal


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Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars Anathema bass player Duncan Patterson left the band after their first masterpiece Alternative 4. When he went on to start his own project Antimatter, fans must have been torn between desperation and hope. Patterson was known to be a big contributor to Anathema's sound and songwriting. So would they be able to continue without him? On the other hand, if everything went well, maybe the Antimatter project would just lead to another possible favourite?

I guess the answer to the first question is quite clear, Anathema continued as if Patterson never left and released two more masterpieces. But what about Antimatter? When their debut Saviour turned out to be an electronic pop record with a high trip-hop factor, I can only guess it was the last thing fans expected. And going by the number of ratings so far, it's probably the last thing they were waiting for.

Now, while the musical form is very different from Anathema's Alternative 4 and has absolutely nothing to do with prog rock (no matter how broad you define it), the mood and quality of the music is easily as excellent. With a battery of samples, electronics, trip-hop rhythms and two angelic female vocalists, Antimatter have crafted an outstanding collection of sad dreamy pop songs that should easily appeal to all fans of Massive Attack, Portishead or Cocteau Twins. It's not highly original but outstanding throughout.

There are many highlights to consider, but Psalms, Over Your Shoulders, Angelic and The Last Laugh are certainly worth checking out if you like melancholic quality pop with light gothic flavours and sensual vocals in the style of Tracey Thorn, Elisabeth Fraser or Beth Gibbons (need I mention the bands?).

There are some experimental songs as well, such as the cinematic epic God Is Coming. It's such an ominous and threatening piece that even I could be let to believe that God will actually be coming any day now. Also Going Nowhere goes a bit further then the straightforward verse-chorus songs around it. There's a brooding post-rock taste to it that comes close to the type of songs Antimatter would write for their second album.

Saviour is a unique and unexpected release from someone with Anathema credentials. It's the only album Antimatter would do in this style and my favourite release of theirs. While not highly original, I confess playing this almost as frequently as Massive Attack's Mezzanine.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#274057)
Posted Thursday, March 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This is where it all began for ANTIMATTER. Former ANATHEMA bass player Duncan Patterson teamed up with the talented Michael Moss to create this atmospheric music with plenty of electronics and samples.They have two guest female singers who share the vocals. So female vocals are on every track.

"Saviour" has a good drum intro then it settles quickly with female vocals before kicking back in as contrasts continue. "Holocaust" features vocals that almost seem processed early on. It's dark with percussion and other sounds. "Over Your Shoulder" has both male and female vocals although the female is leading.Sparse percussion is helping out. "Psalms" has vocals a minute in with a beat and some atmosphere. Bass later. "God Is Coming" has this atmosphere with whispered vocals. It kicks in before 2 minutes after she whispers "God is coming". A strong electronica flavour here.

"Angelic" features this gentle guitar as vocals join in. Sampled violin-like sounds 2 minutes in and to end it. "Flowers" is mellow with vocals.This is very melancholic. Some brief outbursts come and go. "The Last Laugh" is my favourite. Male vocals lead on this one with female vocals helping out. Some prominant guitar in this one too for a change. Lots of atmosphere with a beat. It kicks in louder late. "Going Nowhere" has female vocals to start only then we get this cool sounding keyboard, percussion and guitar soundscape which creates lots of atmosphere.

I really like how the album ends with those two closing tracks but for my taste it doesn't measure up well against the follow-up "Lights Out". Better than "Planetary Confinement" though. 3.5 stars.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#301427)
Posted Friday, October 01, 2010 | Review Permalink

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