Antimatter – The Judas Table (Prophecy Productions)

Tuesday, 22nd September 2015
Rating: 9/10

Not enough attention is passed Mick Moss’s way. The gentile, thoughtful, unflinchingly dark Brit has taken Antimatter from Anathema spin-off band (see: the Duncan Patterson years), to one of the most formidable dark rock bands going. Sure, there’s the occasional tint of metal here and there, and, the band gets the ‘ole “metal association card” to play with, but make no mistake – Antimatter have carved out their own little space in the depressive rock world. Their 2012 effort Fear of a Unique Identity was bold and striking, loaded with spot-on social commentary. The Judas Table is more stark, stout, and, utterly brilliant.

The balance between acoustic minimalism and lush, dreary sonics is properly struck throughout this ten-song outing. Opener “Black Eyed Man” is almost standard Antimatter fare, with Moss crooning over a bed of bleak guitars and patterned violins. The earnest nature of his voice is as unmistakable as they come, perhaps moreso here given the subject matter of not only this particular song, but the rest of the lot as well. (Read: Most of the songs are about deceit, two-faced people, and their various ills and spills.) The bright “Killer” and moving “Stillborn Empires” and enigmatic numbers, particularly the latter, with the great line of “It was a business doing pleasure with you.”

Yet the real gems fall onto the bare “Comrades” and in particular, “Hole,” which might be Moss’s finest moment since “Leaving Eden” (the song). It’s just him and his acoustic, peddling the strings, making dynamic chord changes, all the while his voice strikes a somber, sullen tone. It’s one of the year’s best songs, actually.

Paced effortlessly, and with even more sing-along jaunts (“Can of Worms” is great; so is the title track), The Judas Table should rightfully become Antimatter’s breakout moment. Moss has always had an album like this in him. To see it come to fruition in such a manner is truly inspiring.

Antimatter official website