Antimatter – “The Judas Table” (Prophecy Productions)
Despite the very metal cover of two kissing androgynous beings in straight jackets, Mick Moss and the melancholic rock that he produces is anything to jest about. Formed in the late 90s with ex Anathema bassist Duncan Patterson, Antimatter’s sound was ground breaking, incorporating goth metal, emo as well as ambient, new age and even trip hop! However, since Patterson left in 2005, Moss has forged on admirably with a sound that has become less experimental and harder in preference to a largely acoustic base but still retaining the goth rock and certainly plenty of melancholia. “The Judas Table” pretty well continues in style from its 2012 predecessor, but overall is gentler while echoing even more sadness through its 10 tracks. Always cerebral in his lyrical concepts, Moss has taken an introspective in exorcising his inner demons through musical catharsis of “The Judas Table”, whose central theme is betrayal, and hence its poignant title. With a neurotic edge in his vocal style that sorta reminds me of Fergal Sharkey, Moss has spent many hours in despondent contemplation to create the brooding, yet utterly mesmerizing material on this 6th studio album. To say songs like ‘Killer’ with its dark electronica meets emo rock a la Prime STH are soul shaking is something of an understatement as Moss’s brilliant guitar work tears into you like the bitter sweet moment of heart break. Taking a more laid back approach in his vocal drawls on ‘Stillborn Empires’, Moss contrasts his mellowness with a heavy fuzz toned guitar that powers in along with some haunting vocal harmonies in subtle backdrop – exquisite! With a goth vocal accompanied by some delicate piano on ‘Can Of Worms’ the backdrop comes in the form of dark electronica, building climatically during to the chorus where heavy guitars once again add to the overwhelming emotion topped off by a rock out solo. If there is light moment on this album, then that odd ray of sun is in ‘Integrity’, where one really feels that Moss has come out of it all, a better man freed from the shackles of soullessness around him, liberated and empowered in trouncing his inner demons to finally reach the inner peace we all ultimately crave for. Simply breathtaking.