Antimatter

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Saviour

Antimatter - Saviour ©2002 The End
1. Saviour
2. Holocaust
3. Over Your Shoulder
4. Psalms
5. God Is Coming
6. Angelic
7. Flowers
8. The Last Laugh
9. Going Nowhere
10. Over Your Shoulder (acoustic)
11. Flowers (acoustic)

Duncan Patterson, former bassist for Anathema, left the band after the rather oblique Alternative 4. His pursuits have led him to create Antimatter, a duo between him and Michael Moss, whose resume isn't nearly so easy to write about. The two multi-instrumentalists have taken their musical interests into a field of music that falls between nearly any gap you care to name and may confound anyone who is searching for a tie between their music and doom metal.

Antimatter is a sparse musical setting that is as stark and bare as the album cover for their debut, Saviour. One gets the impression that the duo recorded a lush, multi-layered soundtrack and then carefully deconstructed the music into its basic essentials. Guest female vocalists have been recruited to handle the singing throughout Saviour and offer yet another bleak element to a style that's already morose enough. Antimatter doesn't attempt to be extreme and rivet anyone's head with the subtle touch of a jackhammer. Their opposite approach lets the listener slide between the instruments and experience the dejection in a much more mannered, expansive way. Saviour could be a pop album, except the approach is simply too creepy for your average set of ears to easily consume.

Saviour could quickly described as beautiful, haunting, expressive and dismal all at once. The overall mood of the album is sometimes a bit much for an average happy-go-lucky boy or girl to tolerate. Surely if one has a good mood that needs to be shooed away, this is the ticket. Needless to say, it's a fairly impressive debut, despite being occasionally too unsheltered and deforested to sit through on any average day.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2003

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Lights Out

Antimatter - Lights Out ©2003 The End
1. Lights Out
2. Everything You Know Is Wrong
3. The Art Of A Soft Landing
4. Expire
5. In Stone
6. Reality Clash
7. Dream
8. Terminal

It would appear that there are still a few jolly good moods out there for Antimatter to sully, as this duo has wasted no time in producing a follow-up to last year's morose Saviour. Although Lights Out features an inverted color scheme to its predecessor, Antimatter simply resumes right where they left off with their sparse emptycore. If anything, Lights Out is even less cuddly than Saviour, which may leave a few more listeners even less happy with the state of the universe today.

Stylistically, very few things have changed for Antimatter since their debut. Mick Moss and Duncan Patterson continue to weave threadbare songs that rely on empty spaces and the echoes to create the isolated, aching feeling of their music. Again, guest female vocalists provide much of the singing, with the occasional input from the two actual members. Antimatter's sound is still quite their own, although on "Everything You Know is Wrong", the band actually briefly resembles Anathema, Patterson's former outfit. Throughout Lights Out, the music seems to veer safely away from any easily consumable approaches and sticks to the dejection as a modus operendi. The flipside to this approach is that I've found over the course of quite a few listens that it's never very easy to immerse one's self into the album. "Expire" has me wishing the song would actually shove off after guest singer Michelle Richfield sings "Final solution" an infinite number of times. Other songs simply hover and stay slightly stagnant as this isn't the type of music that'll slap a listener around for attention.

While I enjoy Lights Out, the abject nature of the music means it's simply not for everyone. Those who enjoyed Saviour should definitely continue following the band's development, but expect to put a little more time into this one to extract the enjoyment (a word which I use with slight irony).

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 06/2003

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