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Antimatter - The Judas Table (2015) - Review

Band: Antimatter
Album title: The Judas Table
Release date: 9 October 2015
Label: Prophecy Productions

01. Black Eyed Man
02. Killer
03. Comrades
04. Stillborn Empires
05. Little Piggy
06. Hole
07. Can Of Worms
08. Integrity
09. The Judas Table
10. Goodbye

Since the departure of one of the Antimatter's founders, Duncan Patterson, (former bassist/songwriter of Anathema), the remaining member Mick Moss brought Antimatter to the state of being one of the essential bands when it comes to melancholic and atmospheric rock. After two stunning albums, the groundbreaking Leaving Eden (2007) and Fear Of A Unique Identity (2012), both albums set new standards for the dark atmospheric alternative rock music, now Mick's Antimatter is back with a new very introspective album, The Judas Table. Following the steps of before mentioned two albums, the new opus is another proof how to blend together melancholic art rock, goth, atmospheric rock and highly emotional acoustic pieces. The Judas Table is a conceptual album in which Mick Moss sings about his personal experiences, about betrayal, disappointment, self-doubt, and anybody who ever suffered from betrayal on a personal level will without doubt relate to this album, but not only... Mick explained in the interview I did with him: "It’s a concept album that is all tied together with the nightmare scenario of me having a dinner party with all the people from my past who have needlessly stuck a knife in my back."

Even if The Judas Table is an album full of introspective thinking about deficiencies of human behaviour and social life, it sounds calmer and a bit more soothing than the previous two. First of all, like every single thing Mick Moss ever did also the songs up here are very intimate, but also liberating and empowering for those who will relate with music and words. It's like if Mick has found his inner peace, maybe he cleared out his head of some chaos, to give some insight to other people who may think the same way, or suffer the same problems. The Judas Table is an album that needs some time to grow on you, at least some times it must be experienced in your own privacy, without any interference from the outside world, in full concetration...

Musically The Judas Table is a strong album, even if it's very subtle in its essence, it has so much power embeded in all this melancholy. There are much more acoustic lines than on the previous works, but that mesmerizing solemn atmosphere which took everybody out of this world and time on Leaving Eden is still present. Sometimes the ambiances and use of those space guitars and keys might resemble to Pink Floyd from their later era, but Antimatter's sound goes into darker, gothier and in a way depressive spheres, yet if you pay attention to details there are to be found some segments that might have its origin on the pre-Leaving Eden era and those who found joy in the latest couple of albums by Anathema will not remain empty handed. Antimatter is one of those acts that found a perfect recipe how to build the tension in songs, making them dynamic in its opulent way, when the songs slowly build up in ambiance and density.

Antimatter most of the time sticks to the approved formula by using a multi-layered sound with heart breaking almost popy melodies, reverberate strong bass lines, smooth drums, gentle violin, absolutely fantastic keys that make the whole soundscape even gothier, in a short every single element is used with such a feeling and prudence. Ok, Antimatter won't be what they are without Mick's highly emotional baritone vibrating voice, on some places he's accompanied by backing, as well stunning, female vocals, and his refined smooth guitar play which is occasionally spiced up with some memorable solos. Mick's sense to create compostions of highly hypnotizing and flowing segments turned out to be victorious again.

It's almost impossible to separate any of the songs out of the whole concept, but the higly emotive and melancholic gothy opener "Black Eyed Man", the mind blowing "Killer" with hypnotizing 'trip-hop' dark keys, sad and intimate "Comrades" with so very captivating refrain, the dynamic hit "Stillborn Empires", which plays with emotions by exchange of slow melancholic melody that transforms in rushing refrain, yet with such a superior solemn operatic/doom part after the break that must shake the listeners soul, as well I can't forget about superior "Can Of Worms", all of those are some of the best songs Mick ever created and I can say instant classics that will play a visible role in this bands discography. There's also some cynicism used in track "Little Piggy", the trip-hop elements come back into the pallete on the soothing "Integrity" with great addition of magical female backing vocals, and more and more... Even though Antimatter won't surprise you with anything really revolutionary in their sound, the whole album offers a lot if you are willing to experience and follow this extraordinary melancholic thoughtful, yet cohesive journey through those mighty soundscapes.

Mick Moss' battle with his inner demons might seem to be now in an equilibrium, but we who love the music this man does will hope that this battle in his thoughts might never end and Antimatter will still be exploring this intimate and sad side of personal struggle to survive amongst all of evil selfish souls who were born just to cause harm and desperation. All in all, Antimatter created another gem full of amazing soul and mind shaking atmospheric songs!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9/10