Have you ever written off a band, only to have a new album prove you wrong? That’s what happened to me with Antimatter. “Black Market Enlightenment” released on the 9th of November, and all my preconceptions about this project’s music have been changed.
Now, Antimatter has been around since the 90s, and there were other people in the lineup at various points. Right now, the founding member, Mick Moss, is the primary person creating this music. He handles vocals, bass, guitars, e-bow, keyboards, and programming. Obviously, he is quite prolific, and the results display a tight package of ideas that never conflict with each other.
I confess that I’ve always seen Antimatter as a Porcupine Tree copy, especially on “Fear of a Unique Identity”, for obvious reasons. I liked their music, but never found that it grabbed me or made me want to revisit it often. “Black Market Enlightenment” has changed my mind completely.
The musical style is rich and cavernous. It is also quite dark, naturally. This album has grit and edge to it that will draw you into the social commentary and the eerie atmosphere. While it may not be all that explosive on an immediate scale, the music doesn’t need to be. Electronic accents add extra distortion, and pealing saxophone graces a few tracks to give an extra twist just when it is needed.
Mick’s voice falls within the range of Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Jason Ross (Seven Mary Three), or Curtis Casey (Vayden). His strong voice elevates each and every song in a way that a weaker singer would have missed entirely. It is a rare album where even the verses have an addictive feeling, not just the choruses, yet this album hits the mark in that regard. The vocal lines are written extremely well.
The album features robust tracks right from the beginning. “The Third Arm” is a fantastic single with an addictive vocal performance. “This Is Not Utopia” is one of the best here. The gentle yet restless rhythm takes me many places, and the soaring guitars and sax solo seal the deal.
The second half of the album gets even stronger, though. “Sanctification” feels urgent. It has the most kinetic groove of any song on the album, and the echoing, red atmosphere pleases me. “Existential” feels, well, existential. It floats around with tribal grace as haunting female vocal melodies swirl overhead. “Between the Atoms” is a driving, moody track with an amniotic interlude of inner musings that transitions into a poignant instrumental finale. “Liquid Light” ends the album with gritty brightness and flowing existentialism.
Overall, I’m convinced that I need to revisit Antimatter’s discography. This album is weighty, both musically and lyrically, and it only gets better every time I hear it. It takes experience and maturity to make an album like this, and I only expect greater things moving forward.
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