LIGHTS OUT (2003)
Everything You Know Is Wrong
The Art Of A Soft Landing
All music and lyrics by Duncan Patterson (1,4,6,8) & Mick Moss (2,3,5,7)
Mick Moss (vocals, lead guitar, acoustic and electric guitars,
bass, synths, piano, programming, samples)
Duncan Patterson (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals, programming),
Hayley Windsor (vocals) (1,2,3)
Michelle Richfield (vocals) (4,5,7)
Jamie Cavanagh (percussion)
Recorded in January 2003 at Sun Studios, Dublin.
Engineered by Stefano Soffia, assisted by Jamie Cavanagh
Produced by Antimatter and Stefano Soffia
Mastered by Fergal Davis
Artwork layout and design by Adrian Owens
Cover art by Duncan Patterson
23rd June 2003
Let's make things clear, it's not about metal, not a single second of it. Even if one can hear some distorted guitars here and there, the band formed by Duncan Patterson (ex-Anathema) and Mick Moss plays a kind of music that we could call semi-organic and semi-electro, but fundamentally DARK. Do not let yourself get repulsed by that fact, it would be a bad mistake, since that album is a marvel. 'Saviour', its predecessor, had laid the foundations : either gloomy or aerial atmospheres but always melancholic and sometimes depressive.
The main evolution consists in the fact that the tempo is even slower on this one. No catchy or up-tempo tunes such as 'Saviour' 'Psalms' or 'God is Coming', the keynote on 'Lights Out' is oppression. Moreover, the first track of the album is the most gloomy of the all, in my opinion. Threatening siren noises, some acoustic guitar arpeggio, disturbing whispers… 'Lights out as you hit the ground' are the last words of it and BAMMMMM… You suddenly wake up from a nightmare with the arpeggio introducing 'Everything You Know Is Wrong'. The drum machine appears for the first time, as the rest of the instruments kick in. This time it's Mick Moss who takes the lead vocals as with the majority of album. The two female singers have a lesser role than on the first album. The track ends with a surprising psychedelic synthesizer melody and all the songs almost fade into each other, more beautiful and desperately dark as it progresses : 'The Art Of A Soft Landing' (maybe the ultimate pearl of this album) with its intense adrenaline rush before the final, unavoidable crash; 'Expire', a pretty sensual song at first that ends up propelling the listener into madness with its hypnotic ending, that repeats over and over again : 'I've a solution, final solution'; ' In Stone', which slowly gains in intensity and reaches its paroxysm with a final haunting soliloquy and a captivating bass line. The list is long, and I could also talk about 'Dream', a song that yearns to be a single; or 'Terminal', the superb instrumental that closes the album, but every track is a gem anyway…
This already divine music is complimented by the lyrics of the duet; still personal, realistic and moving to such an extent that they manage to create a feeling of introspection for the listener.
It takes some time to appreciate this album for it's not an easy one to get into. Some may get quickly disenchanted by its ultra-darkness. But you must give this album a chance, listen to it once, in its entirety and in order, and then listen to it again, in its entirety and in order and do it again and again and again until the moment when, at least, you feel relieved by this catharsis. And when this very moment comes, you'll know you've seized the essence of 'Lights Out' and you won't be able to part with this album…
Originally published in French.
THE TEMPLE OF METAL . GR
The shadows have returned. More sullen this time, but they show understanding. Even though dreadful and immense you just don't stare at them in awe. Why? Because they generously grant security and shelter you under a thick embrace of relief. "Saviour" had warned with its obscurity, but know pensiveness has altered into mournful emptiness.
Shrouded by the haunted breath of melancholy "Lights Out", is the next apocalypse, visioned by Duncan Patterson and Mick Moss under the name Antimatter. It continues the trip it set off a year before and it sinks deeper to reach for untraceable regions of the subconscious. Trip-hop and electronic experimentations survived of course, but now somehow step aside for ambient and moody rock perseverance. However, Portishead influences haunt Antimatter sound, but now the band has decided to immerge into simpleness and a more minimal surface, which doesn't mean though that its imagination has dried up. "Lights Out" just images the predominance of introversion upon optimism, which is shown on the way Antimatter draw up feeling of grief and regret and transform them into musical themes.
Once again vocals on this album are shared between Mike Moss and Michelle Richfield. Both fragiles, awesome voices intensify the sentimentality that "Lights Out" breaths through these 8 compositions. The orchestral mood visioned through a gothic-like sensation prove their creator's intelligence and aim at perfection. Somber keys, plaintive strings and sometimes electronic shots paint haunted melodies, which this time seem to owe so much to Duncan's past in Anathema. Except "Terminal" (the last song based on "A Dying Wish" basic theme) the whole atmosphere brings to light his momentous appearance in his previous band. However "Lights Out" proves that Duncan and Antimatter are able to offer more in todays atmospheric sound.
The follow up to last year's Savior comes quicker than expected from this highly talented band. ANTIMATTER have crafted a powerfully rich and haunting album of ambient dark rock. The potent songwriting combo of Duncan Patterson (ex-ANATHEMA) and Mick Moss do not disappoint here. The album is more stripped down and more ambient than its critically acclaimed predecessor. Lights Out's sound is a combination of traditional (guitars, bass, drums, piano) and electronic/synthesized instrumentation (percussion, strings, flute, organ) as well as male and female vocals. The songs are primarily written on a foundation of acoustic guitars and bass with hypnotic percussion (both natural and synthesized). The vocal lines are as well written as they are performed. The emotional vocal delivery of Mick Moss, Hayley Windsor, and Michelle Richfield really captures the feel of the album. Perhaps, an explanation for the album's hypnotic nature lays in the fact that the delicate percussion seems to mirrors the tempo of a human heartbeat. Lights Out is just a surreal journey into another reality of melancholic soul searching. The soulful listening experience is akin to that of bands such PINK FLOYD, ANATHEMA, and RADIOHEAD. ANTIMATTER have crafted one of the year's most powerful albums. Lights Out is an amazing piece of music that deserves to be heard by the masses. (The End Records) - dr.park
PROGNOSE BY VERA
'Lights Out' had been released on the 16th of June, but the music offered on this CD belongs so much more to an autumnal landscape, when morning fields are covered by a grey morning dew, a certain fog embraces the dark green woods and the pale sun goes to sleep a bit earlier behind the horizon. At the first signs of autumn, when candlelight and a glass of wine take the place of sun oil and sea, that's the perfect moment to sit down and hear the new masterpiece of - sorry to mention again - ex-bass player of Anathema Duncan and his mates.
The expectations were very high after the excellent 'Saviour'. When the band went on tour in October last year most of the material had been written already, but it was January 2003 when Antimatter disappeared behind closed doors of the Sun Studio in Dublin to fix all these fragile tunes for the outer world.
'Lights Out' starts with a scary siren, illustrating the dark times we spend in this sublunary. Fragile piano notes and a momentary guitar blow continue the parade of sadness. Here we can hear Dunc's voice for the first time in a few lines. Even more familiar it sounds in 'Everything You Know Is Wrong' with the warm, elastic voice of Mick Moss which suits the best with this sober kind of instruments. Filled with atmospheric soundscapes 'The Art Of Soft Landing' covers us with a coat of despair. The pontifical harmony vocals of Hayley and Mick are torn to pieces by a tremendous guitar intervention, a summon cry… after that the lava rolls slowly into delicate piano sounds.
Not of this world and threateningly, that's the mood of the eight minutes long track 'Expire'. In spite of a constant rhythm base and lovely vocals by Michelle this sounds darker and darker. It's the dreamed soundtrack to wallow into your own sadness, but a strong character is needed to rise above this in a purified way, otherwise it's almost unbearable sometimes. But 'Lights Out' brings us some nice surprises too, don't get me wrong, like the social consciousness in the lyrics of 'In Stone', spoken words inspired by the surrounded world going from an introvert mood to contemplated protest. All these are accompanied by atmospheric bass and keyboards.
Hayley and Michelle are still present with their angelic vocals, but the accent is laying on Mick's voice this time, a natural evolution after the gigs. We can conclude this brings the CD work and live performances closer to each other. Furthermore they've chosen a perfect vocal fill up for every song, not calculated but based on their feelings, subject and timbre. This means Michelle sings the fragile 'Dreams' and no vocals at all in the concluding 'Terminal': an allegorical soundtrack to complete your own dreams and images from your imagination. Smooth guitar sounds are the heart of this track, enriched by technical novelties which reminds us to the trip hop scene. For Antimatter still has more in common with Pink Floyd and Portishead than with any common rock band.
On the Strangelight version there is an extra track: an acoustic version of 'Everything You Know Is Wrong' that flows into a fragment of 'In Stone': 10 minutes more beauty you can swallow. Antimatter is not a rock band, Antimatter is the arty reflection of a purified existence, seen through the eyes of sensitive persons and transmitted into moods by two talented artists.
I'll admit I was eagerly anticipating the new album from Antimatter, and the band did not let me down. While much mellower than their previous
release-2002's 'Saviour'-Antimatter still manages to rustle up enough emotions to draw you into their framework of ideas/sounds. I've always liked
Duncan Patterson's compositions (the duo is rounded out by Mick Ross), as he penned most of one of my favourite albums of all time (Anathema's
'Alternative 4') and because of his real down-to-earth vibe he gives each number. Even if a track is a glorious, triumphant epic, there is always an honest, wholesome vibe going on. Here the music follows a steady, simple flow of harmonies and lush soundscapes for the most part, with 'Lights Out' never really straying far from the realm in which it has comfortably imbedded itself. Most notable tracks would have to be "The Art of a Soft Landing," the title track, and "In Stone." 'Lights Out' is a worthwhile listen for anyone who feels to need to sit back and forget about the world for 50 minutes or so, a tranquil state of mind set at ease by soothing passages.
<Adrian Bromley> -8-
Reviewed by Ember (7/28/03):
The End Records is growing bigger and better everyday. They are mostly known for artists of a more mellow and ambient nature, and Antimatter is one band that fits their lineup to a T. They have a sound comparative to bands such as Ulver, Pink Floyd, Anathema, and even Portishead. Lights Out is their second album, and it contains eight songs totaling to just under an hours worth of pure euphoria that will make your head spin, but in a very good way.
Antimatter are dark, but they aren't too gothic or doom oriented. If I had to use one word to describe them it would be tranquil. The sound that they create is an amazing montage of intense electronic beats, space rock and amazing ambient vocals and lyrics, but the best part is that they are completely original.
Antimatter consists mainly of two members, Duncan Patterson (ex member of Anathema), and Mick Moss. The write and play all of the music, electronically and otherwise. They also have two female guests on the album that adds truly beautiful, melodic vocals that will send chills down your spine.
I think that every element of this album is perfectly put together. The songwriting, the production, and the cover art all deserve two thumbs up. This album is perfect if you love any of the bands mentioned above, and it is also perfect if you love music that is spacey, but simplistic and melodic. I strongly recommend this album, and if you like it I recommend that you check out the rest of what The End Records has to offer.
Former ANATHEMA bassist Duncan Patterson is back with his latest ANTIMATTER music cd titled LIGHTS OUT. ANTIMATTER to my ears is a combination of dark / gothic / doom / space rock and a times brings to mind such world-renowned artists such as PINK FLOYD, DAVID BOWIE and JEAN MICHAEL JARRE. The sounds that this incredible musical project bring to mind, are those of a movie soundtrack at times, as it features multiple synthesizers / samplers, beautiful musical soundscapes and luscious male and female vocals. The production on LIGHTS OUT is flawless and captures the essence of the material perfectly.
Recommended for fans of VIRGIN BLACK and longtime fans of ANTIMATTER and ANATHEMA.
Recommended Songs: All
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).
both reviews by john chedsey
If Duncan Patterson (ex-Anathema), Les Smith (Anathema, ex-Cradle Of Filth) and Michelle Richfield (ex-Dominion) were working together, could you guess what the final result would be? Whatever your guess is you are probably wrong because Antimatter sounds like no other band. Their debut album "Saviour" was in my opinion one of the best debut albums last year with its unique form of audial melancholy. It was laid-back, psychedelic, beautiful and sad at the same time. The wealth of emotions brought to you through Antimatter's music is an experience you will not forget about easily. As you can easily figure out for yourselves I was very excited to hear the second album from the British musicians. The two Antimatter releases are like day and night, complete opposites from each other yet still very similar. "Saviour" was melancholic but with a sense of hope and bright white album cover. "Lights Out" on the other hand is completely black with only a small shining light, perhaps representing a human who is slowly running out of hope. The general atmosphere is needless to say much darker this time around. Personally I feel that the band made a wrong decision bringing in more male vocals into the mix and only letting Michelle lead the way on half of the tracks because the previous album would not have been the same without her. Not quite as strong as the debut but still a must-have for anyone who enjoyed "Saviour".
8.5 / 10
England's Antimatter was born following bassist Duncan Patterson's exit from Anathema. He teamed up with Mick Moss to form the band.
Last year's Saviour was a solid debut of haunting moody music with clear Pink Floyd influences. Antimatter took the mellow side of Anathema's Eternity and Alternative 4 to a more ambient and minimalistic approach.
I'm not sure if it's my mental state at this point in my life, but I find Lights Out less enjoyable than Saviour, despite the similarities. The female vocals (which appear on all but two tracks) may be fitting, but I would think the haunting male vocals of Mick Moss used more prominently would better fit the haunting music. Rather, songs like "The Art of a Soft Landing" and "Expire" sound like ballads from The Gathering's rather disappointing Souvenirs album.
I had high hopes for Lights Out. The warning whistle on the opening title track provides a forboding of darkness to come, but this is never fulfilled. Many tracks, especially songs later in the album like "Reality Clash" and "Terminal" are far too long. Only "Everything You Know is Wrong" proves to be catchy enough for repeated listens.
Mellow music which requires you to be in the proper mood for it. Lights Out is softer than Pink Floyd ever was.
Album Score: 6 out of 10
Reviewed by: Brett VanPut
Subtle changes have been made when comparing the latest Antimatter album Lights Out with their debut Saviour. The first change that I immediately noticed was Mick Moss taking more lead vocal duties this time around. In the previous album, Mick would mostly provide back up vocals but this time around both Haley Windsor and Michelle Richfield take a back seat to his lead. There is nothing wrong with that at all, it adds freshness to this album while still referencing the past.
The other obvious change is the overall tempo of the album. Lights Out is much slower, even more dark in tone and a lot of the up-tempo programming sounds that were present in Saviour have been scaled back. You might not hear that with a song like “Expire” which would belong on the first album but with some of the other songs like “Lights Out” with its eerie air raid siren at the beginning and with the slow and mesmerizing “Everything You Know is Wrong”.
The overall feel I get from this album is that the music is presented at a minimalist level. There might be more emphasis on electric and acoustic guitars, pianos and vocals but it is not overwhelming, songs are not going to be fast instead these elements are added to enhance the emotions of the compositions. Like “In Stone” there is a section of the song where there are electric guitars, simple drumming and Mick singing with a little more intensity but the song almost requires that pace to present itself and when it goes back to a slower and tranquil pace, it also feels right. In “Dream” the keyboard instrumentation is also a little faster, with a deliberate rhythmic beating and a more symphonic feel that is combined with Michele’s vocals and a beautiful song is created and the melody of the last 2 minutes are simple yet stunning. Finally, what better way to end the album than with the appropriately titled and hauntingly beautiful instrumental “Terminal”.
I find listening to Lights Out to be very soothing and relaxing and it truly takes me to another state of mind. Rare is it when an album is able to make such a strong personal connection with you but when that happens, you truly are listening to something very special and memorable.
Antimatter have followed up Saviour with a disc that proves far more unsettling and mysterious than its predecessor and displays once again the promise and power that this collective wields. Saviour's sometimes pop-structured tunes are all but gone, yielding to often longer, more atypical structures that call to mind Portishead and, more often, Animals-era Pink Floyd. Like the Floyds at that point in their career, Antimatter's Mick Moss and Duncan Patterson seem to find little comfort in traditional songs and traditional sounds and the duo offer, instead, vast landscapes that continue to unfold with each listen so that Lights Out becomes a forceable entity, a universe of its own.
Focusing on creating a dominant mood and then emphasizing it to the point of pleasing agony, Moss and Patterson further establish themselves as two of the most intriguing songwriters working in any genre. Witness "In Stone," a Moss composition that could easily find its way onto radio. There, as he does so often, he introduces musical ideas (beats, a somewhat straightforward melody), then slowly knocks out each of the walls that keep the song in the cage of traditionalism. Patterson, on the other hand, opts for the least traditional route time and again, creating "Expire" (which breaks new ground in minimalism) and "Reality Clash," a song that makes Radiohead's forays into the unknown sound positively passé. (Along for the ride this time are Hayley Windsor and Michelle Richfield on vocals, who add new dimensions of intrigue with each breath. Richfield's work on the penultimate track, "Dream," should serve as inspiration to any aspiring female vocalist who holds her craft sacred.)
What's so utterly frightening about Antimatter is not the darkness that penetrates each and every fiber of their work but that they were so good so soon and that they seem to show no signs of doing anything but improving. If ever a band deserved to poke its head up from the underground and lead a revolution, it's Antimatter.
Get Lights Out (and Saviour) and get in on the ground floor.
Antimatter has its roots in Great Britain's extreme metal scene (multi-instrumentalist Duncan Patterson formerly bassed for space metal icon Anathema); stray power chords aside, though, this has nothing to do with metal. Patterson, partner Mick Moss and a pair of female vocalists instead explore an ambient space rock landscape not unlike the terrain mapped out by bands like the Gathering or the quieter side of Porcupine Tree. Sinuous melodies, gentle synths, pulsing rhythms and the occasional wash of distorted guitar give the album a soothing atmosphere that cushions the impact of the bitter lyrics. Lights Out is a beautiful acid bath. Michael Toland
Antimatter - Lights Out [The End]
Sadly, few will ever hear this remarkable album from this remarkable band. To those who do, they need only turn out the lights and embrace the darkness.
Chosen as part of reviewers Top Ten Albums of 2003, alex baia
Antimatter is back with a follow-up to last year's Savior. Musically a bit more primal nonetheless as emotionally charged, Duncan Patterson and Co. have discovered a more simplified way to express sad feelings. The band utilizes the "less is more" approach: fairly basic song structures that rely on piano, acoustic guitars, and drum loops while gentle male and female vocals carry the listener into the band's rendition of the trip hop genre.
Due to a straightforward nature of these songs, comparisons to such acts as Portishead and Massive Attack are inevitable, and rightfully so. Tracks like Lights Out, Expire, and Reality Clash bear a strong semblance to the aforementioned bands. This is Antimatter's main flaw on Lights Out. Not that these songs are weak; they're not. Simply they fail to bring something new to the table, something that will detach Antimatter from other bands in the genre.
Still, there are songs like Everything You Know is Wrong, In Stone, and Reality Clash that possess an attribute sorely missing in a scene dominated by female vocals: relaxing male singing courtesy of Mick Moss. This, along with deeply moving keyboard melody at the end of Dream (3:58), are a few of the elements that Antimatter should build upon on its upcoming releases. So far so good, but I expect the next album by these Britts to be a real knockout. Mike.S
Saviour was a very good album, it did not find itself very often in my CD player but it was no doubt good. The reasons why I did not listen to it that much is probably because it did not bring any passion in me despite the undeniable quality of the material.
To say that I was anticipating Lights Out would be very inaccurate, in fact I wasn't even a little bit excited to hear it. But once again, force is to admit that this is one very well done record; well written, well produced and well executed. Duncan Patterson and Mick Moss delve in the same waters as on Saviour, the only major change is a significant Pink Floydish feel to some of the song that was not apparent in the past. The formula is reproduced but not repeated in what could be describe as a natural, if minimal, progression from the debut album.
Another significant aspect is the presence of, or at least a very well sampled, acoustic drums in most of the song, contrary to the entirely sampled one of the debut. This gives the album a bit of an Anathema feel that was clearly being avoided on the debut.
I really enjoy Lights Out, just as I enjoyed Saviour, for exactly the same reasons. Whether or not this one will find its way to the CD player remains to be seen, but if you like intelligent, doom-influenced, trip-hop there is no question you will like this record.
Review by Salvo "Lovedeath77" Russo____
To describe an album so far from metal in our website is something exciting! From a particular band like this, you may feel new sensations, new emotions...and Antimatter will lead you in a such different dimension...where the darkness reigns as well as the suffered romaticism and the passion for acoustic dimension.....
This album is a masterpiece, but it doesn't match everybody's taste...it depends from the different points of view, it won't be for a defender or a punk-fan if you're waiting the winter solstice...the music proposed in this album will make a very good impression on you! A darkwave masterpiece yes, but not only!!! I may notice many influences, and, in my opinion, this cd could be perfect for all dark souls.
Michele gets an ethereal voice, being able to enter into your soul in a delicate way...the sound of the band is rich in loops and deep keyboards, in order to create a dreamin' atmosphere!
The title track seems a musical background for a film: here keyboards and piano create a very dark atmosphere and Michele's voice seems like the one of a fallen angel into an obscure theatre of pain..."Everything you know" is sung by Mick Moss and it reminds me of the latest Anathema compositions; an acoustic dark song, in which appears also a old style dark piano!
The album is as deep as dark, and the musicians gets a very depressive taste...try to listen "Terminal" a sad celtic composition in which the darkness meets the passion ...a song that bring us to old times.....!!!!
"Dream" is an ethereal pop ...a very different song in which Antimatter sounds similar to the latest THE GATHERING albums, concerning the arrangement as well.
"Reality Clash" is another romantic dark song ...very suitable for a film that reproduces scenes of an old storic memory! A dark atmosphere involves all the songs...No metal, no rock...but this is the art of romantic darkness! A special cd to be listened in silence ......
ANTIMATTER "Lights Out" (2003) The End Records (8,5/10)
Some music gives you a straight-in-your-face experience, just as many metal albums do. On the other hand there are some bands that moves inwards, as they work in different layers. You have the first impression, which often turns out as a rather motionless and somewhat boring one. Still, there has to be something that awakes your interest while the music floats through your head.
In the case of Antimatter's "Lights Out", the most irritating aspect was also the aspect that made me certain I hade to dive into their dark universe. You know, sometimes there is one thing that irritates you and you don't really understand why. In the fourth track "Expire" the last four minutes of the track is the repeating "…I've a solution, a final solution…", sung my Michelle Richfield. The strange thing with these minutes is that they still get on my nerves when I sit down and simply listen to each song, while if I just play the CD from beginning to end and read a book at the same time this section turns into a dreaming part that really relaxes me. And still today, after 30 listenings at least, I still don't know whether these four minutes will irritate me or make me dream before it actually sets in.
As a whole the album is beautiful in all its melancholy. "Saviour" was simpler in its musical structures the way I see it but it gave me most of the same emotions as "Lights Out". I'm not really sure how to categorize Antimatter, but an attempt could be - dark, melancholic, minimalistic rock that moves on a very deep level.
With "Lights Out" I'm confident Antimatter are one band to look out for, and whose music is meant for the thoughtful ones of us. There's one aspect with Antimatter and bands that try to break into the soul of the listener, and that's the vocalisation. If the vocals aren't of the necessary high quality, it doesn't matter how skilled the musicians are and how correct the music is - the band would no matter fail. Luckily, in Antimatter's case the vocals fit just perfectly. (RK)
It's very dark when the lights go out.
The first Antimatter album, _Saviour_, kind of came out of nowhere and turned out to be a really great disc. Not something to listen to if you were contemplating suicide, mind you, but excellent. It has not even been a year later, and Mick Moss and Duncan Patterson have completed another album that is even better than the first.
Sonically, this album is pretty much identical to the first one: mostly electronic dark pop songs with very unsettling passages of samples, treated guitar effects, eerie synths, and toned-down beats. However, this one is less sad, a lot darker, and much more minimal. Songs are mostly very simple and slow to change, but the texture and production and unadorned beauty of it all makes it very good. The moods evoked through repetition are all very compelling here -- especially the final instrumental "Terminal", which is scarier than anything on the first release. Another difference is that Mick Moss performs many of the vocals, taking up lead on half of them. The three others are dominated by either the fey Hayley Windsor or the breathy, sexy-voiced Michelle Richfield. The only downside to this album is that there are a few instances of tacky "washing" synths but they are uncommon enough that they don't really make too big of a problem. Personally, I would have preferred less symph-pop emphasis on "Dream", although I still like that song. Also, "In Stone" and "Reality Clash" both use the "computer voice" effect and putting them back to back seems to me a poor choice of sequencing.
_Lights Out_ is a really dark, beautiful piece of work. It is sad that this is an unknown group because I think they are extremely good at what they do. They seem to get coverage exclusively on METAL websites which is weird but oh well. Check it out.
Just a little spot of light on the black cover, only a small piece of hope in the dark, is recognizable on the cover artwork, which perfectly fits the music on Antimatter's second album "Lights Out" being somehow darker than on Saviour, the first opus of the irish- english band formed by Mick Moss and former Anathema member Duncan Patterson.
A bluster of common sirens at the beginning is taking an unusual effect at first listening, yet showing the way the album is going to take: multiple collages of sounds are worked in every single song all over again. "Lights Out", the first song and title track is also pathbreaking for the rest of the albums musical worlds….. yes, worlds, because what Antimatter creates on "Lights Out" becomes, especially after listening to the album over and over again, more than just music and sometimes one could think that it could be a perfect soundtrack to a film.
Duncan and Mick are playing with electronics, psychedelic sounds, mellow guitars and alternating vocals of Micks deep male voice and the lovely female voices of Michelle Richfield and Hayley Windsor. The sound is also emphazised by the descreet bass so that this mixture of dark keyboards, electronical sounds, and gloomy collages finally creates a whole beautiful unit, with name Antimatter!
The second song, "Everything you know is wrong", is a perfect example for Antimatters keen sense on dark, spacy and independent sound, which is far from any categorisation and wanders through somehow different spheres. Especially in this case, the duet of Micks and Michel Richfields voices turns out extremely good and so it seems as if the desperate atmosphere becomes embedded in it, as well as in the guitars……a perfect dream!
"The Art of a soft landing" together with "Everything you know is wrong" and "Lights Out", is my favourite song of the album, mainly because of the beautiful guitar parts (which- one might excuse this comparison- reminds me of later Anathema songs) and the cold rhythms, give it a very own and unmistakeable personal touch.
With a good portion of psychedelic but somehow torn out of the former sound unit, "Expire", with its 7 minute long always repeating rhythm, with the same vocals repeating again and again, is needing some time to get used to it but is still not bad !
"In Stone" at first hand is dominated by drums and vocals, and the bass carries the sound exceedingly while accompany with Micks bewildering voice! Different to the previous songs, there is a break right in the middle of the song and a kind of monologue spoken by a deep voice gives the song a new face. It's like Antimatter is at any time able to surprise the listener!
Without a break the song fades with a whisper into the intro of "Reality Clash", a dark song first dominated by keyboard sounds then changing as a turning point into a quite "ordinary" Antimatter song! Though one can't speak of "ordinary" songs on this album, and every piece of music is and will be something special!
Next song on the list is "Dream", personally, one of the most passionate and at the same time most sad songs on the album. After the atmosphere at the beginning has been created by the female vocals and a wall of sound, consisting of keyboards, samples and percussion instruments, the song turns into a very dark steadily raising instrumental part at the end of the song, until it finally becomes silent. "Dream" seems to be a good example either that Antimatter might think of doing a soundtracks for a film.
The instrumental "Terminal" could also be accompanied with pictures……it builts up its own dramaturgy which is provided with experimental keyboard sounds. The structure of the melody is evocative of a breath and then suddenly…….beeping, like in a hospital. Music's fading, a gasp for air…..it's over…..lights out…
Conclusion: If you like independent soundcreations and dark, dreamy melodies you should definitely give Lights Out a try…..and even the most hard- boild metalhead will certainly find, some means or other, a great musical experience in Antimatters sound. Highly recommended!
Antimatter is the new band by ex-Anathema bassist and songwriter Duncan Patterson. The symphonic rock of the Anathema albums Eternity and Alternative 4 is continued and further worked out by Antimatter.
The band plays very slow and tranquil music. Luckily Antimatter doesn't use as much notes in each song as some symphonic and progrock bands do. The compositions are kept sober and minimal, which makes the songs more like soundscapes with vocals then actual songs. Antimatter also displays its interest in trip-hop. One way to describe this band is like Pink Floyd meets Portishead, which is a very good description of their music.
Lights Out takes the listener to a sort of state of slumber with its slow and dreamy melodies and rhythms. Antimatter has made a beautiful and fragile album. This is perfect music for long winter nights.
Another face of the darkness. LIGHTS OUT reaches the most hidden areas of a mind and drags out its darkest recesses. If we talked about
labels I'd say it's psychodelic and ambiental dark/goth/trip, it's peculiar apogee fo sadness. All this is enriched by very charming voices of Michelle (Sear) and Hayley (Mirazma) that contrast with soothing singing of Michael. I don't see the reason to dwell on this album more. Those who loves darkness in any form shouldn't think it over long and send their orders as soon as they can. Let others regret.
Sopel (rating : 6/6
The Darkest Hours
Atmospheric, Melancholy, Sadness & Sorrow, ambient and really dark are the word that remember me Antimatter. Beautiful clean male & female vocals on amazing landscape. This release is like a journey inside a dark world. Electronic stuff is adding also something very special to those songs. A good mix of Anathema, Portishead and some atmosphere a la Pink Floyd. Dark gothic fans will really enjoy those dark melodies but if you're looking for heavy brutal stuff this CD isn't for you. Mysterious feelings, romantic vibe. All you have to do is turn the lights down, light some candles, close your eyes and enjoy this unique atmosphere...
Antimatter return, "Lights Out". This is the follow-up to last year's phenomenal "Saviour" album. Antimatter is Mick Moss and Duncan Patterson (ex- Anathema) with the additional vocals of Michelle Richfield and Hayley Windsor. Mick Moss sings a lot on this record and it creates a more laid back vibe than "Saviour" in my opinion. Pink Floyd Comparisons will no doubt come to mind almost immediately. "Lights Out" is a somber and contemplative journey that sort of sucks you into it and then just leaves you floating around. This album has a great vibe to it but it doesn't really mesmerize me like "Saviour" did. This is one of those really intense listens that are best done between 2-5 AM. Regardless of all that, this is a solid record from a band with a unique vision. It may not be the album of the year but fans of the ambient, dark, melancholy, and ethereal will find something to sink into with "Lights Out".
Key Song: "The Art of Soft Landing"
Reviewed by: Mark Fisher
The ambient universe of ANTIMATTER is renewed on their second effort entitled « Lights Out » pursuing their path paved with clouds in the straight line of Anathema’s material whose roots go back as far as Pink Floyd.
Being constituted, among others, from former members of Anathema, the fans of the band led by the Cavanagh brothers will be on known territory with this new material from ANTIMATTER. Although melancholy is henceforth an almost necessary tendency in this style, it is interesting to listen to this band’s music that incorporates some electronic elements subtly placed. Although there are very interesting tracks like « In Stone » and « Lights Out », others have rather an hypnotic effect going towards tiredness and I’m mainly talking about « Expire » that is sung by a woman, Michelle Richfield, but which the redundancy of the chorus plays directly on our nerves. On the other hand, Michelle offers a remarkable performance on « Dream » that is a very lifting title and beautiful and sounds a bit like the « Nighttime Birds » era of The Gathering.
« Lights Out » is really for the lovers of atmospheric music with a light touch of rock. Be you’ll be the judge!
There is a definite trend in metal circles lately to experiment with electronics. Some groups blend techno and metal into an industrial hybrid of sorts such as PAIN and 30 SECONDS TO MARS, others just completely dive in and leave metal behind, like ULVER eventually did. ANTIMATTER is of the latter type, as any real sign of metal is buried, if not completely nonexistent.
Ethereal is the only way to describe Lights Out, almost like a completely stripped down version of PORCUPINE TREE. Subtle textures, soothing keyboards, and repetitive rhythms dominate this release. The title and album cover both fit the music perfectly, as the entire affair is rather dark, but not so much that its aural depression wears off on the listener. “Lights Out” opens with an air raid siren and maintains that same eerie vibe throughout, even during the softer passages such as in “Reality Clash.” The closing track “Terminal” is the most pleasant sounding song with its soft string arrangement, but toward the last few minutes industrial rumbles and a heart monitor jar the listener enough to remind them how bleak the record really is. Positively haunting from start to finish.
One testament to making good electronic-based music is by how annoying the repetition is. Thankfully ANTIMATTER uses enough different instruments and sounds that even though the entire CD sounds like the tempo never alters, it does not become tedious. Even the extremely repetitive ending to “Expire” is well done and creates a nice scary mood. Some groups that delve into electronic experimentation may try to recreate song structure or maintain a decidedly metal flair when they do so, but this is not the case with ANTIMATTER. You will not find a single metal moment apart perhaps from one highly effective scream in “The Art Of A Soft Landing."
The minimalist and ambient genres can easily be discussed as art rather than music. Anyone familiar with Japanese Noh Drama will probably thoroughly enjoy the simple subtleties of Lights Out. Drawn out and at times repetitive, this music is great to completely zone out to, but also to enjoy as a simple yet extremely powerful art form. Metal heads may want to steer clear, but if you are into groups such as THE FUTURE SOUND OF LONDON along with your brutal death albums like me, you will not be disappointed.
Antimatter is the brainchild of Duncan Patterson and Mick Moss that the label describes as 'experimental dark orchestral abient electronic dub that can be referenced to a more sinister portishead meets a more haunting anathema''. Having never heard Portishead I can't verify if that statement is entirely true though. Before listening to 'Lights Out' my only experience with Antimatter was the acoustic set they played on their recent US mini-tour. When I got the album I expected it to be solely acoustic instruments.
I was wrong ... while 'Lights Out' is quite mellow (at least musically) it uses a variety of instruments and sounds ranging from the standard guitars, bass, drums and keys to odd electronic noises and what seems to be a sample of Steven Hawkings. The music is mellow and haunting while the majority of lyrics are bleak and depressive, an artistic contrast that is very impressive. The vocals of Mick and others are clean and powerful and lend themselves perfectly to the style of music presented. If I had to compare the music on this album to any other bands I'd say that it's like Pink Floyd meets My Dying Bride, it's soothing, peaceful, and highly creative but underneath that peaceful facade lies a melancholic masterpiece that's as dark as a Barrow, Alaska winter.
As this is NOT a metal album many metalheads won't be able to get into it, however fans of dark ambient/gothic rock will eat this up. One great thing about this is the absolute lack of pretentiosness. Antimatter do not need to present themselves as being dark and miserable individuals, they simply let the music speak for them and it works VERY well.
8 / 10
Title: A very close follow-up!
Last fall saw the release of “Saviour”, Antimatter great debut album. In January, Duncan Peterson and Mick Moss were already back in studio to record “Lights Out”. Here it is now in our hands early in June. Kind of fast isn’t it? I’m wondering if this project was not actually a double album that came out as two cds with different titles! So close to one another. “Lights Out” is the extension of “Saviour” and the guys played it safe by not turning everything inside out but rather exploring even deeper the path undertook which was musically very well done and stimulating. One major change is in the vocals department. Less female oriented this time around and Duncan himself is making an appearance on the opening-title track. Mick Moss takes on the lead vocals and has the promo sheet says: “A more haunting version of Roger Water”. One can’t oversee the fact that in deed Antimatter has a very Pink Floydish edge and on one particular song, my favorite by the way, ‘Everything You Know is Wrong’. It’s almost scary to hear something so closely related to the famous progressive band from my youth…Pink Floyd had the “Dark Side of the Moon” while Antimatter now has the dark side of the earth, the one we all know the existence of but no one has ever really seen…
Antimatter is delivering a lush and calm scenery made of dark and hypnotic sonic paths. Most compositions follow a slow to medium pace and the quietness of the opus is at times partly interrupted by some more intense moments without falling into a state of heaviness. As a matter of fact, this band could be defined as an atmospheric-psychedelic rock ensemble. The keyboards are omnipresent in the soundscape. Many times discreet and symphonic, leading and guiding the mood. Other times as in ‘Everything You Know is Wrong’ you’ll get an extra treat in the form of a solo a la Pink Floyd but also the cool sound of the electric piano. Great usage of acoustic guitars, strong bass lines and a super chorus with female back vocals makes this song very memorable. There’s more good stuff in the shape of industrial samplings, electronics percussions, lots of melodic lines and instrumental parts. This brings me to the closing number ‘Terminal’, the only instrumental (completely instrumental) that starts with classical guitar, ambient keys, then joining in the darkness, flute and harp sounds. At around 4:00 into the song, the emotion becomes more intense as the keys turns a more symphonic face before an apocalyptic mood lead by industrial samplings terminate your musical journey…
Bottom line: No bottom line, only top notch atmospheric creativity.
Categorical rating breakdown:
Rating: 9 out of 10
9.5/10 - Portishead & Pink Floyd re-recording DSotM
49:53 8 Tracks - Ambient/proggy.
I have a problem. My CD player, for the past 2 weeks, has refused to allow me to put in any other CD. The last time I reached for the "Eject" button, it growled at me, so, I hit "Play" instead, and listened to this captivating disc for the fourth time that day.
In contrast with their somewhat poppy debut album, Saviour, Lights Out is dark, mysterious, moody and very ambient influenced. Musically like a perfect collaboration between Pink Floyd and Portishead, this album simply washes over you, with each track flowing into the next, at times swelling, at others drawing back, working you gently towards the end.
The only hitch in the album is on the fourth track, 'exprire', with its final three minutes of Michelle Richfield's voice repeating "I've a solution, a final solution". Even for a seven-minute song, 3 minutes of
a repeated line is a bit excessive. Of course, by the time the song is over, you've forgotten your annoyance and are getting lulled back to oblivion by "in stone", the following track.
Just a warning, when you place this CD in your CD player, don't expect to listen to anything else for a while.
~reviewed by Eric Rasmussen
Antimatter's debut, Saviour, was a very sparse and creepy trip through unusually emotional music. Music presenting emotion is not what I found unusual - Antimatter's emotion is... empty. Through strong bass lines, catchy electronic beats, occasional synth strings, and a host of talented vocalists, they managed to create music that was so intentionally lifeless, it could only be the result of tortured souls depleted of human emotion and hope. Lucky for us, they thought it'd be fun to share their sense of loss with the music world. Lights Out is the band's second CD, and you can be sure the group still hasn't discovered Prozac.
In some regards I find Antimatter's music very difficult to listen to. It's almost too minimalistic, too diminished of energy, and too depressive. Yet there's a certain power to the dreary soundscapes they create, and I continually find myself returning to them. Antimatter's songs are rather like lullabies by the mentally deranged. You can't always figure out what's going on or why, but you know it can't be good. And, more importantly, you can't deny the engaging sense of catchiness that just barely hangs on in each song. Compared to Saviour, the music is better developed and the song structures are noticeably deeper.
Lights Out features suitably excellent production that gently spreads apart the instruments. In the occasional songs that will feature guitar and drums and keyboards and vocals all at once, you'll never feel assaulted by a dense sound. Most of the time, however, the songs are kind of like three item omeletes. It's as if the band had made these ingredients: light beats, synthy ambience, uneasy melodies, catchy bass, and several talented but disturbed vocal styles. Then when it came time to put the songs together, they decided to choose only a handful of ingredients for each one.
If you enjoy music that can powerfully alter your mood and otherwise chip away at your will to live, what else can I say? Antimatter will be your best friend on those rainy, gloomy days where you can't muster the energy to get out of bed. If you fancy yourself a music collector, there is most definitely a spot for Antimatter in your collection. And if you're just an arm-chair psychologist, hey, it'd be fun to psychoanalyze the music in order to discover what individuals could possibly have created it. But if you're just an average music fan that enjoys inspiring, bouncy, or otherwise 'enjoyable' CDs, make sure you give Antimatter a listen before picking up their work. Their music is art, and save for a catchy beat or two, can only be appreciated as such.
It seems like only yesterday that Antimatter released their excellent Saviour debut, and one would be forgiven for worrying that perhaps this may not be enough time for the group to replenish their creative juices and come up with a similarly inspired batch of songs. But, chances are, most observers will agree that 2003's speedily recorded Lights Out is a more than acceptable follow-up — better even, depending pn your personal likes and dislikes in regards to Antimatter's understated, but varied combination of sounds.
Where Saviour tended to highlight the techno/electronic/dub elements of the Mick Moss/Duncan Patterson songwriting partnership (these two being the creative duo behind Antimatter), Lights Out focuses on their more organic and acoustic tendencies. The haunted opening tandem of the title track and "Everything you know is Wrong" sets the morose tone, only gradually relinquishing their sparse, ‘less is more' philosophy to make way for additional instrumentation (heavy guitars, synths, programmed beats) and the dulcet vocals of returning sirens Hayley Windsor and Michelle Richfield.
Perhaps the album's most fully realized examples of this majestic cold-fusion of sound, both "Expire" and "In Stone" would serve as wonderful singles, were it not for their prohibitive eight-minute running times. Richfield's bewitching voice dominates the former, as well as subsequent standout "Dream," but Moss and Patterson clearly remain Antimatter's phantoms-in-charge, bringing Lights Out full circle with the ghostly ending that is the instrumental "Terminal." — Ed Rivadavia
Antimatter's latest album entitled "Lights Out" is a mellow, dark and ambient album. The album emiited vibes of Pink Floyd crossed with a modern gothic sound. The music is mysterious and depressing, while at the same time remaining angelic.
The album is non-conventional in several ways. The vocals feature the duet of both a male and a female voice which contributes to both the atmosphere of the album, as well as emitting a full sounding vocal track. Dual vocals also added to the impact, or dynamic, of the music. It's often the little things, like a back-up vocal line, that help push albums to the next level.
The music itself often reminded me of mellow Agalloch...sort of a dark folk feel. With the intelligent use of keyboards and other instruments (wood block for instance), I found that they contributed significantly to the dark tone of the album. I'm not a big fan of the "sampled sound", which you would find in techno/trance music, but on this album it works well and compliments the more traditonal sounds of piano. I quess what I'm getting at is that the mix of traditional and modern intruments offers a certain "push-pull" vibe that I could appreciate...even though I'm pretty much a purist (relatively speaking) when it comes to instruments and music.
"Lights Out" is a respectable album that isn't metal, but emits the darkness often found in metal. In the right frame of mind, this album is an experience. This album would just about put me to sleep nine out of ten times, but that tenth time is pretty cool.
The production is as good as one can expect and everything is very precise and professional. In fact, it's one of the better sounding albums I've heard this year. If you dig the ambient folk/goth scene, then this is a solid buy.