Over Your Shoulder
God Is Coming
The Last Laugh
All music and lyrics by Mick Moss (1,3,4,6,8) & Duncan Patterson (2,5,7,9)
Duncan Patterson (bass, guitar, keyboards, programming),
Mick Moss (guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals, programming)
Michelle Richfield (vocals) (1,2,3,4,6,8),
Hayley Windsor (vocals) (5,6,7,9),
Brian Moss (sampling),
Mags (lead guitar) (9)
Recorded in September 2000 at Academy Studios, Wakefield, England
Engineered by Mags
Produced by Mags and Duncan Patterson
Front cover concept by Duncan Patterson
Artwork by Mark Kelson
2001 (Icon Records)
29th July 2002 (Prophecy Productions)
CD of the month - January 9.5/10
If I could not write anything and you all would get the point I would. Translation: I'm speechless. I don't know if any words can do this album justice. But since this is an album review, I'm forced to tell you a bunch of stuff, so here it is. Listening to this recording is like watching your favorite avant-garde movie over and over. It gets better each time. You have your best parts. You learn something new each time. You miss it when it's gone. You can't wait to see it again. When the album is over, you sit and ponder what just happened and the full range of emotions you have just felt. You think for a bit and then yearn to hear it again, for you know you will experience something hauntingly beautiful. You will learn more about life, you will ponder your own death, and what you may feel in the initial stages of the afterlife. What this album can teach you, I will let you figure out for yourself. Each one of us will feel something unique. This is how I felt…
The first track "Savior", is the most straightforward rocker on the album. It starts out simple with the solo beat of the drums. The simplicity a stark contrast for what is to come. The next track "Holocaust", is something you might hear in the corners of your mind just after you've been given anesthesia and you are drifting away. This is the bridge that leads us into the meat of the recording. "Over Your Shoulder" gives us a little advice from the band "…to keep us from dying". "Don't engage in any kind of dreaming, conscious through it all…" floats through our minds. With the hint of eeriness at the ending, we know something is coming. The feeling of suspense seeps into your soul.
"Psalms" leads us into desolation. I see myself, eyes squinting moving side to side, creeping around a corner, in a dark alley, in a darker place, in the rain. The line "he don't want to make the transition into meat that feeds the ground" is very clever. I feel my heart beating faster as I heed this advice. "God is Coming" gives us the sensation of floating around weightless. A creepy, slow intro, sparse and haunting lyrics, into the most hard and killer beats on the album. Towards the end of the song our weightlessness is stripped away. We begin to hopelessly plummet downward to smash upon the pavement. Interestingly enough as we move into the next song "Angelic", the lyrics remind me of the last thing you think of before you die. "Flowers", is like we are on another plane looking down upon someone taking flowers from our grave. Acknowledging the feelings of freedom and peace, twisted with shock, fear, and anger that we might feel after our own death. "The Last Laugh" deals with the pain of loss and ends with the ticking of a clock. The last track "Going Nowhere" picks up the clock sound and ticks on and on and on and on and on. Letting us know our lives are going nowhere. This is the longest track of the album clocking-in (ha-ha) at 7:59.
My version of the album included two acoustic bonus tracks. Gorgeous renditions of "Over Your Shoulder" and "Flowers". I have nothing negative to say about this soundtrack for life, and death, and loss. Lyrically, musically, and vocally speaking, it is excellent. The haunting and angelic guest vocals of Michelle Richfield (Sear) and Drug Free America's Hayley Windsor, fit perfectly evoking a vast array of emotions. When music can do that, Bravo.
Reviewed By: Lord M
Outburn magazine, USA
This collection of dreamtime anthems comes to us from Duncan Patterson and Michael Moss, with considerable contributions from guest vocalists Michelle Richfield and Hayley Windsor. Though some parallels to Anathema can be felt on Saviour, Duncan has actually moved off into even more eclectic realms than his former band has.
Saviour covers a lot of ground, but the central approach is groovy, downbeat electronica adorned with very organic guitar passages and keyboard ambience.
Vague stylistic ties to bands like Cranes and Portishead can be traced, but Antimatter really puts their own stamp on this material. The one track that breaks the spell is 'Gos Is Coming'. Appearing like a thunderstorm midway through the disc, the song starts off as ethereal as the rest of the album befor a dark, hard edged beat kicks in to rattle your preconceptions. The delicate vocal style that both singers employ fits the music perfectly, falling just short of being precious. The vocsal melodies provide the warmth to songs like 'Angelic', 'Saviour' and 'Psalms' and end up being the real heart of Antimatters sound. The rare male vocals (courtesy of Michael) are less endearing and seem slightly at odds with the other singers, but this is only a minor distraction on an otherwise gorgeous album. Daniel Hind
December, 2002 vol 6, num 2
Definitely a step out into the great beyond from what we’re used to from The End… and if this is really “The End” I trust we’ll have no trouble making our final peace.
Early moments indicate an Anathem-ic symmetry, nearly duplicative of the ambient closeness of said band’s later runs, distinguished by languid female vocals to further sensuousness and depress earlier notions of comparability — and then one reads the press release and the ties are indeed binding.
Former Anathema bassist Duncan Patterson created Antimatter in ’98 along with multi-instrumentalist Michael Moss, evidently to further explore previously sought after terrain on the lighter scope of ambient music, going it a step richer and more passionate.
The female duo of Michelle Richfield and Hayley Windsor share the singing duties, with an occasional aside from Moss, who trades with Windsor for the standout “The Last Laugh,” and while neither can boast one outstanding trait or distinguishability over the other, their soulful presence adds the extra depth of emotion, that “dark tranquility” if you will, of Antimatter’s element.
On the off occasion, as with track five, “God Is Coming,” the music takes a dub turn, accentuating a programmatic persona, though in most cases the mood is soft, somber, sensual, and “Angelic” as documented by the song, a beautifully sung ballad that begs for attention inasmuch as spiritual affirmation.
The mood is dark, generally desperate, and desirous, rooted deeply in new age and percussive parallels, autumnally embraceable, mildly idyllic, calm with an occasional conflict — think in terms of an orchestral-like blend of Theatre of Tragedy or The Gathering, with a Goth-like presence of a Lycia and progressive moods of the all encompassing newcomer, Tapping The Vein.
“Saviour” is a heavyhearted creation that’s at once foreboding, disquieting, and inspiring. Reviewer Vinnie Apicella
Who would have thought that Geoff Barrow’s songwriting might have touched off a genre all it’s own? Many felt the recording studio had more to offer than just finding different ways in which to mic a drum-set and a few amplifiers. The volume has gone up on such theories. There are many who would give “Saviour” only a few seconds and before writing the album off as being “too similar to Portishead”. I’m able to comprehend distinct differences -- first in the production, and then in the initial composition of the tracks themselves. While Portishead draw inspiration from Lalo Schifrin, and other extravagant sixties composers, Antimatter, containing Duncan Patterson (ex Anathema), have encountered dub reggae’s gothic doppelganger.
The tracks share a very slight similitude to the “Numbed In Moscow” remix Portishead did in 1994. While Barrow placed Portishead’s debut “Dummy” onto acetates so he could mix them in hip-hop fashion -- giving them an abrasive, old-world texture with the turntables, “Saviour” has noticeably more legroom, and in the end sounds like a Gregory Isaacs side project. Antimatter’s imprint, The End Records, is known for taking chances that often develop quite nicely. This is coming from a record company known more for progressive metal. How would I label “Saviour”? Certainly advanced, probably ahead of it’s time. By Jason Thornberry
For those of you who are not in the know, Antimatter is the project of Duncan Patterson (formerly of Anathema) and songwriter Mick Moss. As a result, the same sense of melancholy that is so prevalent in Anathema is also present in Antimatter although it is in an entirely different form.
Saviour is a unique experience as Patterson and Moss surround themselves with several guest performers including two distinct female vocalists. While different vocalists can cause a degree if instability and an overall lack of cohesion, Antimatter avoids this pitfall with outstanding songwriting and undeniable talent. Musically, Saviour moves thru its various moods and styles like manic-depressive pieces of a rain soaked chessboard. But unlike so many bands that try too hard, Antimatter operates on a “less is more” philosophy that serves to enhance the emotional impact of this record. There is definite sense of minimalism that creates the dark atmosphere that makes this record so special. A simple drumbeat, reverberating in tone creates a unique picture in the listener’s mind. This is such a fresh and unique approach considering the fast food nature of music in general. Antimatter gives us only the broadest strokes of the picture, allowing us to fill in the blues and the grays.
Of special note is the wonderful vocal performance by Michelle Richfield. I have not heard a voice as expressive as hers in a very long while. When you hear the mournful sounds of the lead guitar and then add her voice, as in “Over My Shoulder”, the results are chilling. In tone, as well as representation, the record harkens back to the melancholic days of the rebel college rock of the early nineties. Siouxsie and the Banshees, Peter Murphy and early Cure come to mind while listening to Saviour. So what about the music? Antimatter is hard to describe due to its emotional nature. Imagine rain soaked city streets at midnight, when the reflections of streetlights serve to light your way. Or imagine a the sorrowful embrace of lovers, where passion and loneliness entwine. Am I going nuts with the metaphors? Of course I am, because that’s what Saviour does to you. It is not “just” music, but a vehicle to capture your imagination. Antimatter provokes, then demands, an emotional response from the listener. Saviour accomplishes what so few bands even attempt to accomplish. They have created a work of art, one that is beautiful in its melancholic tone and wholly cathartic in its depressive nature. -rhavin2112
Reviewed by Requiem (2/5/03):
It's great to see metal musicians expanding out of the realm of metal from time to time. Many metal musicians are extremely talented from the get go, so to see what they can do in a foreign territory often yields some interesting results. Which brings us to Antimatter, boasting ex-Anathema bassist Duncan Patterson and some new jack to most of us by the name of Michael Moss. Together they managed to construct some interesting music that as the bio quotes is a "sinister Portishead meets a more haunting Anathema". In the end, there's not a speck of metal on this disc, but who cares. It's the fact that it bears lineage to a metal past, and its done quite well.
What on Earth does it sound like, you ask? Well, the aforementioned description somewhat nails it on the head. Each song contrasts the other, but the album does not step outside its overall vibe, which is ambient trip hop with some dub elements thrown in for good measure. The Portishead references come from the fact that this is mainly trip hop
with various female vocalists performing on each track. It's definitely got a somewhat dark vibe for this style of music but nothing as nasty as say Scorn or Aphex Twin. The last two tracks are acoustic versions of two of the album's tracks with Anathema's Danny Cavannagh guesting on vocals.
Standout tracks include "Psalms", which contains some memorable female vocals and a bass line towards the end that kills. "God is Coming" is more towards a Wumpscut vibe, with its really dark keyboard lines and more industrial drum patterns. "Angelic" reminds me of the female acoustic tracks on Serenades, and shapes its way into electronic trip hop by the end. The whole album is done surprisingly well for what it is. It's cool to see a label like The End step up to the plate and challenge the open-mindedness of its metal community. Those into dark and ambient electronic dub along the lines of Andrea Parker, will most likely find some value in this. Always reviewing full-blown metal can
really get to me, so this was a welcome surprise to the endless onslaught of distortion and screams. 4/5
I suppose it would be hard to sustain as a guiding ideology, but an idea which tickles me is that all the releases coming out of The End Records are apocalyptic. This thought is kept afloat by Antimatter's Savior, an effort by two gentlemen with a rotating cast of female vocalists. Antimatter is the house band playing at your favorite basement-level bar while the world burns. Fire and brimstone, sackcloth and ashes, floods and locust: it's all happening out there. Inside, both you and the bartender know that you're never going to get around to paying off your tab before the lava from the tectonic upheavals pours through the door, but he keeps pouring anyway.
And, if you are going to be witness to the Apocalypse, it might as well be in a comfortable setting with appropriate music. Antimatter's sound works best in an intimate setting; the acoustic guitar working with the vocal duo in "Angelic," for instance, is meant for a small room. "Going Nowhere," with its ticking clock sample and fading melody, almost threatens to do exactly that, but instead becomes a lament for the passage of time and the final reckoning which your mind engages in as you try to calculate the sum effort of your lifetime. The melancholic spirituality of the songs on Savior infuse an environment best as accompaniment, almost like foreboding folk aural wallpaper.
If Savior is a torch song soundtrack for Judgment Day, then "God is Coming" is the song which will be played at last call. There are angels in the streets now, cutting down the unrepentant and unfaithful with their huge, flaming swords. You can hear them coming. Drink that last one down. Stand tall. This is the final--
Review by Héctor Noble Fernández
"Saviour" is a combination of apocalyptic darkness and precious fragility; a framework of electronic percusions, dark backgrounds and elements; and of course, the classical rock instruments (halfway between rock and doom). The musical sensation when you listen to something like this is enormously similar to that present when you enjoy a trip hop band (there are more than clear similarities with this sensual genre): the fragile female voice, quiet and small (in some tracks you will find also a male voice), the characteristic cadence of the rhythms... although ANTIMATTER are probably much more "difficult".
ANTIMATTER's music is decadently and poetically recomforting: those beautiful (almost sentimental) slow-motion melodies, the deep and turbid atmospheres but the luminous whiteness of the music; that constant and pulsating percussive treatment (with a slight electronic saturation I really love)...
Only the first track (which is the most dynamic and rock-oriented), the fith with its orchestrated and electronic apocalyptic delirium and the last purely acoustic version of "Over your shoulder" offer significative differences with regard to the rest of pieces, which are mostly a slow and minimalista (but rich in influences...) stream of angelic and heavenly atmospheres of voices, synthetizers and acoustic guitars which are something like a musical catharsis or a spiritual degeneration, sometimes suddenly perturbed by the most tremendous and stormy darkness; all this always depicted with electronic strokes, as well as some neoclassical subtleties , and above all (and with the biggest of success) with moments so immensely intense and emotive that even the skin of your neck will stand on end.
It can result excessively "clear" and harmonious for the purists of metal, but pure emotional excess for the "purists"(?) of music without compromises and without a concreta musical definition.
Saviour bears very well its name and for two good reasons. First, it comes as a cool breeze much appreciated after the never ending heat waves we had this summer. Second, for me it's a nice hearing break after indulging myself lately with black metal fantasies.
Today the world is filled with great bands made of great musicians making great albums. Now what happens when a former musician from one of those bands decides to part way with its friends and do solo project ? Plain and simple : make a great record !
Ever heard of Anathema ? Of course, what a silly question ! This new project was born and raised in Duncan Patterson's mind. Yes the same guy who used to be the bassist and songwriter from that _ _ _ _ _ band ( I think you can fiil the blanks ). Also invited to join the ride, Danny Cavanagh who sings and plays the guitar on the acoustic version of " Flowers ", which kind of reminds me of some early work by Peter Hammill ca. 1970-72. The last two songs ( bonus tracks ) are unplugged versions of pieces number three and seven.
The first thing I did when I received this cd was to read the lyrics from beginning to end. This was actually nice and easy since the songs don't have pages of words plus the sombre poetry that could be find here is quite interesting and intriguing. Antimatter delivers for your pleasure, nine excellent compositions made of melodic, dark, ambiant passages, gorgeous female chants, in a rich and dreamy decor.
Some delightfull songs I'd like to point out are : " Over Your Shoulder " , for its composition, guitar sound, male / female duo on chorus. " God is Coming " has a very dark intro, strange keyboards partitions giving a mysterious mood before turning into a faster and hectic frenzy while remaining dark in emotion. One of my favorite hold position number six because of its nice acoustic guitar, angelic voice, beautiful male / female duo and its sombre musical arrangements. Then right after, " Flowers " , besides including the calm and melodic qualities described before, have some chilling passages worth mentionning. The longest number is called : " Going Nowhere " and has a very dreamy musical interlude guided by strong bass lines and clock sounds.
Saviour is relaxing without being labelled as New Age, accessible without being strictly commercial, full of soothing melodic pleasures for our darkened souls.
9 out of 10
Reviewed by Jack 'Odel' on 10/26/2002.
If you are looking for something a little different...
““Saviour” is an experimental dark orchestral ambient electronic dub that can be referenced to a sinister Portishead meets a more haunting Anathema” (The End Records, 2002). If you can glean some light from this than good luck to you, and you needn’t read my review as you are already off the record store in search of this grim work, but for the rest of you please read on...
After having “Saviour” for well over a month, I am still not overly sure what to make of it. It doesn’t sit very comfortably with me for the entirety of the 11 tracks (two bonus acoustic tracks), however that is not to say that Antimatter have put out a bad album, for that would be a silly assumption to make. “Saviour” is an album that makes ‘evil’ music weep in a way it has never done before. ‘Haunting’ is a very apt term to describe the music of Antimatter, yet at the same it is also ‘beautifully haunting’, because Antimatter is a band based around atmosphere and minimalist music arrangements. No bombastic riffs, no obscure drum poundings; just pure atmosphere and class. Nothing more, nothing less.
“Saviour” creates the dark atmospheres and auras that scores of symphonic black metal bands would dedicate their black souls to Satan in order to achieve just a whiff of.
Bottom Line: Maybe the reason “Saviour” doesn’t sit terribly well with me is because there is just something unnatural about it. It eats away at me. It is eerie, yet majestic. Undeniably, Antimatter is a class act, and “Saviour” is testament to their ability. Worth checking out for the atmosphere, if nothing more.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Translation by sol83
Duncan Patterson has left Anathema years now. The last thing he recorded with them was the insuperable "Alternative 4". I should remind you that Patterson was not just the bassist of the band, he wrote music and lyrics for Anathema in an exceptional way. For example, more than half the songs from "Alternative 4" have his signature. His exit was a great loss for the Liverpool band. Why am I talking about Patterson? Because Antimatter is a project that was created by Duncan's collaboration with another talented musician, Michael Moss. Both of them seem to have decided to follow their desires, without caring where this will lead them, musically speaking. Personaly, all I can do is respect their choice, the result of which was "Saviour", a "difficult" listening that will not appeal to all Anathema fans that easilly. But it's better this way. An album created with "the good old recipe" would offend Patterson's composing skills, and he smartly avoided that. On the contrary, he and Moss bring out their deeper self. The result of this procedure is the lamenting atmosphere that dominates the album, the acoustic melodies where somewhere in their subconscious lives the ghost of Tim Buckley or Syd Barret, the trip-hop obsessions that pay respect to the temple of Portishead, the dub pursuits, the orchestral mood, the fragile female vocals and the electro-gothic feeling that does not care about cheap impressions but for the real essence of music. What did I learn from the "Saviour" album? The following: Patterson has much to offer to those who trust him and Antimatter is a non-commercial project that however produces great music.
8 out of 10.
THE TEMPLE OF METAL . GR
Fans of Anathema definitely found the departure of Duncan Patterson an event of vital significance for the future sound of the band. And this indicates the intense presence of this moody bassist that made him almost irreplaceable. Four years after his split, Duncan found Michael Moss (Drug Free America) and with the assistance of Michelle Richfield (Sear/ ex-Dominion) and Hayley Windsor (DFA) formed Antimatter. Even if the companion is involved Les Smith (ex-Cradle of Filth, Anathema) don't expect Antimatter to sound more or less like the bands mentioned before.
Danny Cavanagh described the band of his former band mate as "Satanic Portishead"! A title inclusive and quite precise to what Antimatter sound like. Even though members don't come from trip-hop, electronic or ambient fields, however they intimate knowledge of these sounds and it turns out fine. Absolutely relaxing music not by the meaning of easy listening, but truly becoming for personal escapism and internal quest. Really experimental soundscape that embraces breakbeats (covered with haunting keyboards, heavenly female vocals) and can't disregard dreamy acoustic or distorted (in minority) guitars.
Mick Moss offers his voice in some songs but "Saviour" album is mostly based on female vocals. Michelle's and Hayley's voices give a visionary touch to an emotional melancholic outlet over musicals ideas that passes from ambient and electronic to drum n' bass and rock easily and effectively. Almost all songs are at least remarkable, (I think "Saviour", "Holocaust" could be absent, but it's only my point of view) but I was impressed by "God Is Coming" (a dark song which grows even darker reaching the end!), The Last Laugh" or "Flowers" (somber keys, violin and Hayleys vocals, a captivating vision!). "Going Nowhere" is a moody trip into Duncan's past in Anathema, containing familiar parts from "A Dying Wish", "Destiny", "Eternity" etc. Best listened with lights off, eyes shut, memories aback.
Right after his departure from UK's leading doom act ANATHEMA, Duncan Patterson came together with Michael Moss to compose some great atmospheric gloomy music, somewhat in the periphery of ANATHEMA's work, yet more diverse with elements ranging from depressive doom to drifting trip hop to moody pop tunes. All interferes perfectly, making the nine tracks really stand out in atmosphere and originality. Definitely music for a rainy day, whether you are a metal, gothic or pop music fan! With additional angelic female vocals!
Reviewed by Michiel, 03 Sept, 2001
Former Anathema bass player Duncan Patterson is back! After his split with Anathema in the Summer of 1998 after the recordings of the "Alternative 4" album he chose his own path. Besides his activities in the band Dreambreed (with Dave Pybus, the one who replaced him in Anathema and now is on tour with Cradle of Filth, on guitar and vocals he decided he wanted to change his musical direction.
He found Michael Moss as his new compagnion and got vocal assistance from Michelle Richfeld (who we know as the female vocalist on the first album of Dominion) and Hayley Windsor as well as former Cradle of Filth and nowadays (again) Anathema keyboard player Les Smith who helped with the sampling. So what can we expect from this gathering of musicians who have paid their debts to the melodic metal scene in Great Brittain? Music like the earlier mentioned bands probably? Wrong!!
According to Duncan Patterson, the music can be best described as "experimental dark orchestral ambient electronic dub with female vocals". To be really honest I have nothing much to add to that. I always like to compare the music to other bands and so I do now. Antimatter's music can be compared best to acts such as Portishead and Massive Attack I think. If you would say that that's no metal at all I can't do anything else than fully agree with you but in my modest opinion it's a risky experiment for musicians with such a different musical background which turns out really cool!!
For instance songs like "God is Coming" with even a few breakbeats in it, my personal favorite "Psalms" (download it!!) and "Going Nowhere", which even contains some Anathema riffs which we know from "A Dying Wish" and the "Alternative 4" album, proove that even non-metal music can be really good to listen and sit back and relax from time to time...
Those concerned about the whereabouts of Duncan Patterson, ex-bassist of Anathema and man responsible for much of the composition and conceptual thought behind that great band's fragile epic Alternative 4 will be pleased to discover that he has returned to the fray with a brand new band who, despite quite manifestly extending the black threads of thought and bleak introspection which sired the aforementioned Anathema composition, takes a quite different approach in terms of the tools used in musical delivery.
Patterson and colleagues (including Michelle from Dominion - whose rich, silky tones, it now seems, are compulsory inclusions on any doom-related album recorded north of Sheffield - in addition to Hayley Windsor of Drug-Free America, amongst others whose fame, if any, is not known to me - and who cares if Lecter from Cradle of Filth provided some sampling skills, anyway?) have opted for a largely electronic palette, with which they seem to take us on a tour of their favourite electronic albums, albeit seen through the veil of Patterson's apparently ever-gloomy psyche and highly distinctive musical style. "Psalms", for example, wears its Portishead influence proudly, down to the noticeable change in vocal delivery (and judging by the mood on the internet, is proving to be a diversion for many a Portishead fan - interesting, as ex-metallers rarely tread new musical ground in the pastures to which they migrate); "God is Coming" betrays a fondness for DJ Spooky, or maybe even Autechre, with its lengthy section of hammering, IDM-style beats. However, fans of recent Anathema output will immediately notice familiar chord progressions, turns of phrase and even motifs lifted wholesale from Alternative 4; the title track recalls "Empty", and witness "Going Nowhere"'s direct and brazen use of the repeating guitar part from "Destiny" (although here played with a keyboard voice) overlaid with the guitar solo from "Eternity Part II" from Eternity! Forgivable as Patterson composed all of the above in his Anathema incarnation, and indeed they are presented here in different form, but still perhaps a little blatant.
As a whole, SAVIOUR has clear appeal for the Anathema devotee, but is patchy, its highlights mostly balanced by less impressive sections (which still are pleasant, if not innovative or even especially substantial). Don't be put off by the insanely long-winded official description of Antimatter to be found on their website, namely "experimental dark orchestral ambient electronic dub with female vocals", which frankly makes me want to run a mile, because Saviour is a touchingly honest work, beautifully clad in a clear, clean production and certainly delivers much more than the average cack-handed electronic foray metallers indulge themselves with. Worth having.
1340MAG.COM Review by Mark Fisher
The End Records brings forth another amazing release with AntiMatter's "Saviour". This album is different from a lot of The End's releases because it is electronic in nature. Antimatter is the latest project from ex - Anathema bassist/songwriter Duncan Patterson.
The album starts with the title track that almost has a dance vibe to it while maintaining an electronic rock edge and given how popular electronic rock is becoming (with bands like Mortal and Zeromancer leading the way) I was expecting the album to continue in that vein. After the title track finishes though, the album takes a quieter turn. The majority of the rest of the album is more ethereal and sinister sounding with its haunting female vocals (provided by Hayley Windsor and Michele Richfield) and soft guitar work.
The information that accompanied the album called "Saviour" a "sinister Portishead meets a more haunting Anathema" and while I'd like to be able to describe it better, that description is pretty much dead on! This CD is perfect for just sitting in a dimly lit room at 3 AM and contemplating the complexities of life. While this album may be better than many of The End's releases in the category of immediately capturing your attention, Antimatter is very much like their labelmates in the fact that this is an album that gets deeper and deeper with each listen.
I would say that this is one of may favorite releases from this great label!
Album Grade - A
Cover Art Grade - A
Key Song "Angelic"
METAL-OBSERVER.COM Eric Rasmussen, America / nov 2002
Ok. From what I understand, this is a side project of one of the dudes (Duncan Patterson) in ANATHEMA, and I cannot hold that against him because I don't really know ANATHEMA much. But this is one of those records that borders the line of genius or pure garbage, it simply matters how the dice land. If it hits my mailbox on a day when I am in a good mood, this gets a 9, and if I am in a bad mood, it gets 2. I think that will go for anyone because I guarantee that this is something very few people will listen to on a regular basis.
It has elements that a lot of people are getting away with in Metal - female vocals, atmospheric tones, heavy keyboards and a lot of triggering and looping - but the only difference is a lot of bands are incorporating this with METAL!
There is no Metal to be found here, and who is to say there should be? No one said this was supposed to be metal and no one said everything done by a person in a Metal band should have to be Metal. I like the tone set here - quite like something you might hear from a modern-day pop singer and done very well with a very dark and looming atmosphere.
The SISTERS OF MERCY and maybe Alanis Morissette would be really proud, and I bet BLONDIE wishes her shit was this good these days. Very alone, very sad. VERY GOOD!
The day I am reviewing ANTIMATTER is a good day. (November 4, 2002)
9 0ut 0f 10
LEGACY MAGAZINE No. 19, 03/2002. Translation by Eos
„And where were you?“ is written in capital letters on the display of my CD player after only 48 minutes. „I don´t know“ is what you would like to answer Michelle Richfield; well knowing that a communication on such a low level is only possible when the simple white plate with the almost unnoticeable (??) „Saviour“-stamping starts to turn again.
The music reveals something of the superior works of the former songwriter from Anathema, Duncan Patterson. While „Eternity“ and „Alternative 4“ were based on gooseflesh-causing melodies and vocals, the smooth melancholy of the Antimatter debut is unfolding more in the phantasy of the dreaming listener. Allready the first track „Saviour“ enchants with it´s inspiring warmth and induces the listener to close the eyes for diving safelly into the relaxing sound. And you won´t be alone. The singer Michelle (well known since Dominion's „Interface“ and marvellous Anathema cover version of Bad Religion's „Better Off Dead“) offers her so familiar hand and articulates the desperate wish of the still shy dreamer: „Take me with you when you go...“. The step over the reality and fiction separating threshold have been made; the wunderfull music can enclose the own thoughts for the very first time and lead them to where they can feel the velvety warmth of the nest of the protecting shield against the everyday life; directly into the soul.
„Over Your Sholder“ begins and starts with the trippy (?) Massive Attack-beating; shily (?) picked guitars and the duetting (?) voices are leading into an almost accessible, lively direction but without ever braking the density of the album.
The latent darkness and the beats characterize „Psalms“ and the for „Saviour“ representing mood-coctail of sorrow and lively excitement. „God Is Coming“ raises the electronic part and plays with the sporadic but intrudingly (??) whispering title. In contrary to the neighbouring songs here the Les Smith's line is very long for which reason the countless and complex samples make „God Is Coming“ almost danceable (??).
The following „Angelic“ couldn't sound more fragile: a relaxing sound-carpet of voce and guitar is stretching over the complete length of the song and leads almost seamles into „Flowers“ which is also as quiet but substantially sadder. „The Last Laugh“ combines the plainness of „Saviour“ and the duett from „Over Your Shoulder“. „Going Nowhere“ shows that despite all the experimenting (??) and all the minimalistic soundbits Antimatter have succeeded in what the last The Third And The Immortal album failed: to create a uniquely wunderfull dream (however unusual and unreachable it might be) with a lot of feelings and emotions.
The ticking at the end reminds of Anathema's interpretation of „One Of The Few“ (originally by Pink Floyd) and is preparing for the step back into the reality. Arriving there an old acquaintance is making the arrival more pleasant: „Over Your Sholder“ in a plainer, nice acoustic version.
'Antimatter', new project of ex-bassist of the more famous Anathema, Duncan Patterson, has released a pretty unique album. A very psychedelic album, but attention, it's not simply 'I couldn't do before with Anathema, so I did it with Antimatter', in this album there's much more.
There are lots of experiments with electronics, ambient passages (try listening to the beautiful 'God is Coming') and atmospheric, united with sweet acoustic passages with the stunning voice of Michelle Richfield (better known in the bands ' Dominion' and 'Sear') to elevate everything.
I warn u, there's no metal in this album. Not even a little. Not even if at the keyboards there is Les Smith (ex-Cradle of Filth). Overall, t his album is a very good one that I want to advice to anyone that want to listen to something unique, dark but emotional at the same time, shown in the beautiful 'Flower' track, that alternates delicate and dark moments.
The only doubt comes from the production, at points a bit dirty, but at the moment I don't have access at a stereo different from my computer (with good speakers though), therefore don't take my doubt too reliably.
Written by Giorgio Anselmi
ADVERSIONONLINE.COM Dec 2002
8/10 - [The End]
This duo features former Anathema member Duncan Patterson with his partner in crime Mick Moss. Most of the vocals come in the form of
several "guest" appearances from excellent female singers, with Moss taking care of business elsewhere (though Anathema's Danny Cavanaugh does sing on one of the bonus acoustic tracks).
This material was recorded way back in 2000, so it's not exactly "new", but it is quite fucking impressive. I had no idea what to expect when I threw this on, but the band's unique blend of dark, ambient electronic rock has been impressing me more and more over the past few months.
The compositions are rather moody and bleak, using tastefully programmed percussion, lush clean guitars and synths, gorgeous singing, and the occasional distorted or acoustic guitar riff as well. "God is Coming" is one of the darker and more electronic tracks herein, but it's really not as strong as the songs that blend the band's full range of influences, such as "Angelic" or "The Last Laugh" - complete with memorable vocal harmonies, catchy hooks, etc. But when I say "catchy" I don't mean upbeat or poppy, because nothing here comes close to that. I have no complaints whatsoever about the production. Everything sounds great and after many repeated listens nothing has jumped out at me as bothersome in the least.
The bass is present, the vocals are warm and well mixed, the programmed drums often sound very realistic, and so on. I guess the layout's a little bit plain, though. It's all black and white with a few images, but it's mostly straight black text (in one of those typewriter fonts) over blank white panels. It gets the job done, but it could be a bit more interesting to match the vibe of the music. I could say the same for the lyrics. Of course none of this is rocket science, but the lyrics, while not bad, aren't always as interesting as the atmosphere created by the sounds: "I had a dream, far away from here,
far away from you, far from all the pain. With strength in numbers, the sad betrayal braves, returned to desecrate those memories again."
Like most releases from The End, Antimatter won't please everyone. But that's a good thing. I would highly recommend this for those of a more open-minded nature who might be looking for something more laidback and chilled out to listen to. Great, great stuff.
[Notable tracks: Holocaust, Over Your Shoulder, Angelic, The Last Laugh]
SONICDEATH.CO.UK Reviewed by Neil Yeomans - 07/11/2002
Those of you familiar with Anathema will know that bassist/songwriter Duncan Patterson left the band after their 'Alternative 4' release in order to pursue his Antimatter project. This left me in two minds; one side of me was dismayed that Anathema had lost a significant influence to the band, but more importantly the other side was intrigued as to what Duncan would come up with on Antimatter's debut release.
Having being described as a "Satanic Portishead" and featuring two female vocalists, my personal expectations of 'Saviour' were set to a very promising standard indeed.
Admittedly the website description of Antimatter, namely "experimental dark orchestral ambient dub with female vocals" (say that 5 times out loud) instantly left a pretentious flavour hovering over 'Saviour' before I'd even listened to it, I must admit that I was shocked to hear a frighteningly relevant sound pouring out of my speakers on the first hearing of 'Saviour'. Not unlike My Dying Bride's experimental album '33.788%... Complete', Antimatter's debut is distinctly post-modern in nature and paints a very bleak and distressing picture of religion as well as prompting feelings of inner reflection - rest assured that this is every bit as powerful as Anathema's material, it is just presented via a very different musical medium.
Do not be put off by the fact that 'Saviour' is essentially an electronic album, as the intense passion and futile sense of depression will leave its mark upon any fan of dark music. Heavily vocal based, the dual talents of Michelle Richfield and Hayley Windsor provide thick, velvety textures to the often delicate sounds that Antimatter produce. Wisely traditional instruments have not been completely abandoned, 'Saviour' has its fair (but subtle) share of guitar and bass arrangements that work extremely well with this style of music, adding a altogether darker edge to the composition.
Imagine 'Alternative 4' era Anathema blended with Portishead topped off with some nice industrial touches along the lines of L'ame Immortelle and you'll have a rough idea of Antimatter's sound. Fans of latter day Anathema will find 'Saviour' to be a very familiar listen at times, take closing track 'Going Nowhere' for example; the repeated keyboard passage is taken straight from 'Destiny' from Anathema's 'Alternative 4' album which is built upon using the guitar solo on 'Eternity Part II' from Eternity - I can't help but think this as purely intentional, as the very title "Going Nowhere" is pretty much the reason Duncan Patterson decided to leave Anathema in the first place.
As a whole the album has a soothing nature to it, especially on tracks such as 'Flowers' with its delicate and icy instrumentals providing a fragile platform on which to launch the sheer vocal beauty of Hayley Windsor. There are also some more upbeat numbers, take title track 'Saviour' for example with its danceable trip hoppy beats entwined with Michelle Richfield's sensual vocals. Antimatter are a special band, as they are able to entertain both the Trip Hop and Metal fraternities while not really fitting into either genre.
Fans of Anathema circa 'Eternity' are well advised to check this album out, and of course fans of bands such as Massive Attack and Portishead are equally well advised to immerse yourselves into the depths of this finely crafted and utterly soul-touching album. Much more interesting than Anathema's 'A Fine Day To Exit'.
SWEDEN, AUGUST 2002 Translation by lost lenore
When a particle made out of antimatter makes contact with a particle of common matter they will both completely disappear under the emission of energy. Luckily this album from the band made it through to me... The band called Antimatter is the creation of the former Anathema bassist Duncan Patterson. He has also been helped out by his old bandmate Danny Cavanagh and the former Cradle Of Filth member Les Smith has contributed with his sampling. This is far from the works from Anathema and Cradle Of Filth though. The music that Antimatter present on their debut album is laid-back melancholic pop / rock with beautiful female vocals done by Michelle Richfield. Some of you may know her from the band Dominion or her guest appearances for My Dying Bride and Anathema.
The melancholy is similar to the Anathema atmosphere but other than that Antimatter is a whole new creation and in my opinion this album is better than anything Anathema has ever done. If you enjoy moody and passionate music with female vocals you should not miss out on this release. The atmosphere is very suggestive and you can almost feel the tender caress of the clouds of heaven while walking through this wonderful soundscape painted by some of the finest musicians of the British Isles. Definitely the strongest debut album of 2002 so far. The best thing about this album is that it gets even better each time you listen to it. Just make sure that you're not in the mood for some The Haunted or Cannibal Corpse when you sit down to listen to it. Stand-out tracks: "Over Your Shoulder", "Psalms" but there is not one single track that isn't great except for the acoustic version of "Over Your Shoulder" which is done with male vocals that do not sound that good." (9/10)
When was the last time you heard a CD, when you could unconditionally let everything go and really dive in musically created worlds of feelings, that turns over your soul and simultaneously gets you in a familiar warmth of security, so that you light-footedly float away on the music, as if it was the most normal thing in the world?
Doesn't exist? 30 years ago with THE DOORS? The first time sex? The first time stoned on the motorway? The first albums of THE GATHERING, perhaps? All myth or snow from yesterday, you say. Nowadays something like that doesn't exist anymore! So let me tell you differently and listen to Antimatter's first work.
Also this work is not focused on making itself known by special effects but winds oneself with a sympathetic honesty and modesty and consequence in melody and rhythm inevitably directly into the heart of the listener. Meanwhile I became addicted to songs like "Over Your Shoulder", "Psalms", "God Is Coming" or "Going Nowhere" !
The fact that such an extraordinary album does not fall straight from the sky is probably clear. An explanation is that the force behind Antimatter is the former ANATHEMA Bassist and Songwriter Duncan Patterson.
The seducing female voice belongs to Michelle Richfield, her male singing partner is Hayley Windsor. And on the acoustic version of "Over Your Shoulder" ex-(or not) ANATHEMA singer Danny Cavanagh gets behind the microphone. (- I AM NOT RESPONSABLE FOR THESE THINGS,LL)
So "Saviour" reminded also sometimes much of old ANATHEMA times ("Eternity ", alternative 4"...). Nevertheless with one well-considered mixture of strong melancholy riffs, excellent, varied singing and acoustic instruments,
paired with modern cinematic electronics and moving grooves Antimatter succeeded in producing an outstanding debut that leaves much of what lately has been thrown on the market as soulless pop music.
Finally an album with strong emotions! I must listen to it again immediately!
RON FOR ROCK EZINE, OCT 08 2001
The new project of ex-Anathema bassist / songwriter Duncan Patterson is announced on a sticker on this CD. The music is a bit different though. Antimatter has still got the emotional melancholic mood, but adds a more ambient feel to it. It`s like a dark, less dance orientated version of Delerium (a product sprung from the mind of Bill Leeb and, before the last CD, of Rhys Fulber as well - both known from Frontline Assembly). This album got a doom and gloomy atmosphere to it. Beautiful, mostly female voices, some drum `n bass influences and emotional laid back guitar. This record could bridge the gap between gothic and rock. Float away on songs like "Over Your Shoulder" and "Psalms" (a bit in the vain of Hooverphonic) and realize that `floating away` is exactly what this album is about.
Antimatter breathes a relaxed state of mind and some religious background as well. Absolute highlight is "God Is Coming". It starts as a ballad but ends in some great dark - difficult to follow - drum `n bass part. For Anathema fans however "Going Nowhere", the last song of this record, would be the greatest stunner, because the band refers in this song to the past of that band. "Going Nowhere" also marks the end of a trip into a dream world of beautiful moody moments.
8.5 / 10
Music should be a constant journey between all you’ve ever heard and all you’ll get to know one day. One’s taste evolves by the grace of what you hear. This statement sure can be said of Duncan Patterson, songwriter and bass player of Anathema until the summer of 1998, leaving the group after the intense, high recommended ‘Alternative 4’ album.
Duncan returned to the scene in 2001 with his own sound and vision of what music should be, called ‘Saviour’. It needs some time to get used to, ‘cause this has nothing to do with metal, nor with Anathema, nor with whatever else : it’s Antimatter !!! But soon enough this music gets a grip on you and you’ll become addicted to it. This swearing sounds won’t let you go. I’d like to say : after the intense sadness of ‘Alternative 4’ an inner peace and freedom had led to a free flow of inspiration. This album has been made without stress and I understand why Duncan wanted to call the group ‘Angelic’ in the beginning. This is heavenly music, not of this world, but made for its inhabitants.
Together with an old friend Mick Moss Duncan worked out his ideas, helped by two female singers, Brian Moss and Les Smith for the samplers and Mags for some peaceful guitarwork in the spacy composition ‘Going nowhere’. On the re-releases we can enjoy some extra tracks (Over your shoulder and Flowers) with a beautiful contribution of Danny Cavanagh (Anathema).
Titletrack ‘Saviour’ opens with a solid riff and a growing tension. The chorus is very catchy and keeps spinning in your head. This should be a great single ! ‘Holocaust’ holds a solemn atmosphere of keyboards, loops and bright chants by Michelle (once Dominion, now part of Sear) discreetly built on a Portishead background with resounding vocals and dry percussion. But above all it’s the gloomy feeling that gets a grip on you, we are cautiously led through a field of trip hop psychedelica. Rock and ambient amalgamate in a perfect way on this album.
In ‘Over your shoulder’ we hear Micks warm voice for the first time while the guitar work lights up little flames of remembrance. This is one of the songs that stands the closest to the whole idea of ‘Alternative 4’. These are superb compositions brought to the essence of themselves and performed in a devoted way. The performance is sober and yet very spacey, like an echo of what we always wanted to hear. When I’m forced to make a comparison I should mention Massive Attack and Portishead, but with a Pink Floydish rocksauce.
‘God is coming’ is the most instigated, adjured track of the album. After a moody whispering voice, strings bring up a bombastic sound and soon it becomes an eruption of drums as if water splashes around your wondering ears. The percussion in all of its forms is centralized in this song, guided by a heavy symphonic background. Yes folks, this is pure expression where further explanation kills the magic. I can only say : listen and give it a go and enchantment will come your way. It’s almost a movie soundtrack and sometimes it reminded me of the atmospheric parts of the last Mercury Rev album.
‘Angelic’ probably contains the whole intention of this creation. Acoustic guitar and slightly husky voices give us a lot of sensitive moments. The orchestral programming adds some grandeur to the song. This is a purifying track, it makes you accept your fate in this world as long as there’s music like this. Hearing ‘Flowers’ I wondered on which song it made me think. There was a link to the past but I couldn’t find it. Now I think it’s ‘Hang on to a dream’ from Tim Hardin. It gives me the same feeling without being a copy. Desolate, mystical, caught in the loneliness of an empty city by daybreak. This music makes me dream and muse of the things in life that really matters, like friendship, love and a loss you can hardly bear. It lightens up your spirit and opens new perspectives.
‘The last laugh’ is a plain wink to Duncan’s past. It’s a Pink Floydish ballad, sung by Mick in good Roy Harper tradition with a strong chorus and echoing guitars : charming melancholy that spins around in your head for hours later. Introspective floating towards another height.
And the clock ticks further … and further … and further … to dive in some dark nihilistic sounds of ‘Going nowhere’. Soft glowing guitar, sec drums, somebody somewhere your life’s goin’ nowhere … we are caught in the middle of a new Twin peaks episode, as it seems. Heavenly music with a structure as fragile as a cobweb. The haze of our memories passes us by, untouchable as our dreams on the rhythm of a heartbeat (bass and drums), decorated by laid back guitarlicks of Mags.
It’s obvious that performing all these beautiful sounds on stage isn’t that simple. But music has to live and I am happy to announce some acoustic gigs of Antimatter on the continent.
(4th of October – The frontline club – Ghent – Belgium) I’m looking forward to see all of them on stage !!! Be there !
Reviewed by Garry Sharpe-Young, USA, SEP 2002
ANTIMATTER is an odd, intangible thing. It is essential in order for the whole fabric of things to hang together yet its very presence is unnerving and even dangerous. ANTIMATTER the band have summed up the essence of their namesake and encapsulated all the dread, wonder and mystique implied into this, their debut album.
The press release will tell you this is 'ambient electronic dub'. It is all those things and more. Whilst not denying the trance like, cavernous nature of the whole affair it would be unwise to slot ANTIMATTER into so convenient a box. This band certainly think outside the restrictions of any box. In short they have conjured up an anomaly, a unicorn, a thing that should not be.
Dominating are the vocals of Michelle Richfield and Hayley Windsor. The former, known for her work with SEAR and DOMINION, really is edifying to listen to. Superb tonal qualities and very, very disturbing. Richfield has the throat of an angel yet delivers a sermon from Hades. The lyrical content of 'Saviour' is as well crafted as you would expect from Patterson's ANATHEMA links. Gothic in the true, pre-raphalite sense of the word.
Standout cut is 'God Is Coming', a pleasure boat ride that is cast adrift into the jaws of Hell itself. Once the sirens have lured you into their lullaby a full scale staccato drum n' bass blitzkrieg is let loose. 'Angelic' on the other hand inhabits the outer reaches of their soundscapes, Richfield and Windsor working together beautifully. (Interesting to catch the accent inflections too!)
What 'Saviour' will not give you is an easy listening experience. This is neither commercially orientated yet obscure enough to be relegated to a historical curiosity. Satan is stalking the aether hereabouts yet, like in the very best of horror movies, you never see him. Knowing is enough to make your bowels quiver. And ANTIMATTER know.
WWW.STARVOX.NET reviewed by Eric Rasmussen
Pick of the month
Before I heard Antimatter, I wasn't sure if blood ties to the acclaimed Anathema would pre-dispose Antimatter to sounding a lot like the infamous doom metal act. At the very least, I did expect Antimatter to be partially a metal band. It isn't. Not even a little. Now before you go running off for one reason or another (I tend to have that affect on people), I'll tell you right off that Saviour is an excellent album worth the attention of anyone into any kind of dark music.
Many descriptions of the band have been floating about, and one that stuck with me basically described a darker Portishead. Antimatter does bear a resemblance to Portishead, and they are, in fact, darker. Perhaps that's why the comparison stuck. Antimatter's music is very calm and melancholic. In addition to the backing orchestrations, the songs are full of straightforward beats and bass lines that are often very catchy and capable of lulling the listener into an almost hypnotic state. The problem is that once you've reached that state, the depressing lyrics and feeling of dejection can take their toll. Saviour is the kind of album that is best to listen to when you feel you're a little too wound up, or maybe the week has been going unexpectedly well in the kind of way that irritatingly infringes on your usual vortex of negativity.
There are a number of different female vocalists adding their various touches to Saviour, as well as vocal performances by two males. I like to give credit where it's due, but my tired mind was incapable of deciphering the array of track numbers and symbols surrounding each of the many vocalists in the liner notes. After an exhausting decoding process that ultimately failed I decided I'd be better off just enjoying the music, and I'll leave the number work to Stephen Hawking.
"over your shoulder" is one of my favorite songs off of Saviour. It has a great guitar melody, and the male and female vocalists divulge wilderness survival tips very effectively. The atmosphere is relaxed and even a bit on the serene side, but there is a certain sadness to the low-key song. "god is coming" comes as a surprise every time I listen through Saviour. It is a startlingly intense song with urgently demanding vocals that, frankly, freak me out just a little. This is what people are going to blare on loudspeakers as the apocalypse is taking place. Now, I know what you might be thinking - an intense song by a band related to Anathema, it must have heavy guitars, right? No! You're horribly, horribly wrong if you think that! The song instead has a backing string section that is quite foreboding, and a somewhat harsh series of electronic sounds and beats.
I think that "psalms" is one of the most representative songs on the whole CD, it has a steady beat and a decidedly dark orchestral accompaniment that comfortably adds color to the catchy guitar theme and bass riffs. The vocals are also undeniably catchy, though they are equally melancholic and emotive. The final result is a song that is expressive, a little depressing, and damn listenable.
I'm still not entirely sure how music this sad can maintain the level listenability that it does. I'm also not sure if listenability is a word. The point is - the moments tinged with hope are outweighed by the generally lamenting atmosphere, but it's the kind of thing that could conceivably still make its way onto any radio station that plays Portishead or similar music.
The US version of Saviour features excellent acoustic versions of "over your shoulder" and "flowers," making it worth your while to seek out The End Records distribution of this album. If you are into dark semi-electronic music with easy going vocals and a quietly distressing atmosphere then you should be first in line to give Antimatter a listen. Anyone coming from the doom metal side of things should also find a lot of appealing material here, but without any of the heavyness or crunch that you might be used to. I do tend to think that the atmosphere and the strength with which it's conveyed should be more important than genre trappings, however, so if you really appreciate darker music of any variety, there's no reason not to give Antimatter a chance.
Reviewed by David Perri USA, SEP 2002
If you're wondering why this band's name sounds familiar, it's because this is the project Danny Cavannagh briefly left Anathema to join after feuding (again) with his brother, Vincent. Formed by ex-Anathema bass player Duncan Patterson and recruiting the talent of three different female vocalists, Saviour is a pretty translucent listen, one that slithers in and out of genres as effortlessly as... well, something that takes little effort. A word of caution: don't expect metal of the dark atmospheric kind because you're not going to find it here (I highly recommend the new Agalloch, however). Instead, if you choose to venture into the land of Antimatter, you're in for A Fine Day To Exit on supreme downers, and a kind of self-loathing that takes years to perfect. Exuding the vibe of a David Cronenberg movie or Radiohead in the most morose moments of Kid A, Saviour is a trip into depression central, a place that exists only very late at night or during the moment immediately preceding death. Electronic, organic and spaced out all at the same time, Antimatter is extremely clear about one thing: redemption is nowhere to be found, ever.
( 8.0 )
The Saviours Have Arrived...
Not many people know of Antimatter, the new band of Duncan Patterson (ex-Anathema) and Michael Moss, but those of us who do are extremely priviledged.
'Saviour' is a stunningly beautiful piece of work, combining ethereal music and haunting vocals, which come courtesy of Michelle Richfield (of Sear) and the equally talented Hayley Windsor (also of Mirazama + Drug Free America).
Stand-out tracks on the album include 'Over Your Shoulder' (which bears a likeness to Massive Attack's 'Teardrop' and includes vocal work by Moss), 'The Last Laugh' and 'Psalms', which will completely encompass and entrance you. However, it is difficult to put one above the rest as all of the songs have an air of immeasurable majesty.
This CD would appeal to a few types of audiences - Anathema fans would be likely to adore it, as it shares the same beautiful, melancholic fragility. It may also be appreciated by those interested in the more ethereal style of dance, which is particularly prominent on tracks like 'God Is Coming'. But I would advise anyone with an open mind and a penchant for deep relaxation to give it a listen.
This band are indeed something unique - a jewel in the crown of alternative music...
A nebulous album like this is one is hard to categorize beyond calling it dark, moody, electronic, and experimental. Perhaps I am just not familiar enough with this type of music to be able to describe it more accurately, but it borders on darkwave and industrial while maintaining elements of alternative. Like the post-modern framework that it exists in, there is a complexity of derivations here that identify it as art, if as nothing else. Now if that sounds like a lot of babble, so be it. Antimatter is mostly the work of Duncan Patterson and Michael Moss, but guest performers include Danny Cavenaugh, formerly a member of Anathema. It is too obscure and experimental to be alternative, but vocalist Michelle Richfield has a sultry voice like Gwen of No Doubt. What else can I say? It is haunting, emotional, and very intriguing.
"Aww, sweet nectah..." I always love it when I get something from The End. Antimatter is a relatively new project (1998) by Duncan Patterson (Anathema), and features a guest appearance by Danny Cavanagh (also, Anathema.) Vocals are handled by Patterson's close friend Michael Moss; Guest vocals by Michelle Richfield on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, & 8; and Hayley Windsor on 5, 6, 7, & 9; and Jenny O'Connor on the bonus tracks. This album is pure nepenthe... Listening to it right now, I can already tell in a big-ass way that it is going to be my soundtrack this fall. It comes out of the speakers like gentle balm to the soul...caresses the brain with blunt, ether-soaked fingers, and lulls the consciousness into a beautiful numbness that could only be equated to the blissful state of vacancy experienced when under the influence of dental grade nitrous oxide. The promotional literature that came with the disc describes the sound on "Saviour" as "a sinister Portishead meets a more haunting Anathema." This is not a metal release; it is very ambient and brooding, experimental and electronically generated. The vocals are for the most part female, and very soft and haunting. Since I don't listen to any popular female artists, I am sorry I cannot compare these to anything else out there; but take my word for it, they are quality. Her voice sounds very insulated, and "smoky" if I may say so. "Over Your Shoulder" comes as a surprise, busting in with some heavy dance beat or something, which sort of annoyed me, but it is overlookable, for those like myself who don't dig that, for the sake of the whole recording. This album was recorded at Academy Studios in September 2000, and includes two bonus tracks, which are acoustic versions of "Over Your Shoulder," and "Flowers." This is one of the most gratifying albums I have received in a long while and I am going to be listening to it forever. It is the perfect companion to something like Rain Fell Within, and inspires a truly morose mood that is fitting for any cloudy day, or while reading something by Hermann Hesse. Just don't breathe too deeply. Adam Barrett
Duncan Patterson, former bassist for Anathema, left the band after the rather oblique Alternative 4. His pursuits have led him to create Antimatter, a duo between him and Michael Moss, whose resume isn't nearly so easy to write about. The two multi-instrumentalists have taken their musical interests into a field of music that falls between nearly any gap you care to name and may confound anyone who is searching for a tie between their music and doom metal.
Antimatter is a sparse musical setting that is as stark and bare as the album cover for their debut, Saviour. One gets the impression that the duo recorded a lush, multi-layered soundtrack and then carefully deconstructed the music into its basic essentials. Guest female vocalists have been recruited to handle the singing throughout Saviour and offer yet another bleak element to a style that's already morose enough. Antimatter doesn't attempt to be extreme and rivet anyone's head with the subtle touch of a jackhammer. Their opposite approach lets the listener slide between the instruments and experience the dejection in a much more mannered, expansive way. Saviour could be a pop album, except the approach is simply too creepy for your average set of ears to easily consume.
Saviour could quickly described as beautiful, haunting, expressive and dismal all at once. The overall mood of the album is sometimes a bit much for an average happy-go-lucky boy or girl to tolerate. Surely if one has a good mood that needs to be shooed away, this is the ticket. Needless to say, it's a fairly impressive debut, despite being occasionally too unsheltered and deforested to sit through on any average day.
Genre: Ambient, Doom Metal, Industrial Metal/Electronica
Antimatter will be a band to appeal to fans of recent Anathema. Not only is the music similar (although Antimatter's frequent use of electronics gives them a modern sound), but the line-up includes ex-Anathema bassist Duncan Patterson and a guest appearance from guitarist Danny Cavanaugh.
Featuring a couple of female vocalists, all of whom use a toned down, almost ethereal vocal approach, Saviour is a deep and deliberate album. The Portishead comparison is not without its merits. The disc opens with the more upbeat and catchy title track, then falls into the band's more trippy material of songs like "Holocaust" and "Over Your Shoulder." "Psalms" and "God is Coming" have a genuine creepiness about them, something like The Silent Engima meets Pink Floyd by way of atmospheric Tiamat. The U.S. version includes acoustic bonus versions of "Over Your Shoulder" and "Flowers."
Antimatter do not have much to do with metal, but the depth, sense of exploration and darkness will draw fans of bands like Anathema, especially due to Patterson and Cavanaugh involvement.
Album Score: 8 out of 10
Reviewed by: Brett VanPut
Duncan Patterson, of the Anathema fame, hooked up with longtime friend Mick Moss to create Antimatter. Antimatter is a gloomy trip-hop affair in the vein of a more depressing Portishead, although there is also a fair share of dub to be found. The biggest difference that I can see with the structure and contents of Antimatter's music compared to Portishead's is the reliance on acoustic instruments. A Portishead song will often start with a sampled drum and keys, Antimatter start with acoustic drums and guitar-bass for melody, keyboards are more there as accessories than as base of the songs (with a few exceptions like God is Coming). Another difference is the depth of melodic content that is to be found, from the vocals to the guitars, bass and keyboards the melody is carried in wonderful synchronicity and understatement. The music, while it is very airy, still packs a depth that is not often seen in albums of this kind. While Antimatter taps into somewhat of a beaten path, Patterson and Moss manage to find their own alternative and find themselves as innovators as well as damn good composers. Very good album.
reviewed by simon
This is the new band from ex Anathema man Duncan Patterson who is here playing all the guitars, bass, keyboards and programming. Here Duncan is helped by Michael moss on guitar, bass and keys and he has a lot of guest vocalists, from the enchanting voice of Michelle Richfield to the one by Hayley Windsor and the special appearance of Danny Cavanagh (Anathema) in the acoustic version of "Flowers". The music here is extremely climatic with heavy use of clean guitars and keyboards. Here the main goal is to explore deppressive sides of Duncan´s musical
personality. I want to point out the excellent work that Michelle Richfield has done here on the vocals, adding a lot of feeling to each of the songs on this CD. This CD is a future classic.
To put it subtly, Saviour is depressing depressed music for depression. But with some really pretty guitar here and there. All tremeloey, vibratoey electric moodmaking and/or pensive, questioning acoustic pickage. Electronic drums and synth mood washes support the SCREAMING AXEWORK, while a sad woman with a straight unpretentious singing voice sings “Whose water drowns the others?” and “You’ll be seething going down” and “Careful not to drown” and “Close your eyes when you feel you’re going under” – in four different songs. (?)
The songs ARE all about fear of death, sad betrayals and hearts growing colder. And the backdrops remind me of the slower songs on the second Cure album – simple… direct… lots of space in the mix, motifs taking their time… And, at its best, eerily effective. It’s really hard to listen to this whole CD in one sitting and NOT get depressed (and I don’t mean that in a bad way – I mean that the moods they create WORK). However, taken song for song, I would say that only three of these really grabbed me, shook me, taught me how to go up an escalator without my shoelace getting caught at the top and made me go, “Jeez! Good song!” For your records, these songs are entitled “Holocaust,” “God Is Coming,” “Angelic” and “Flowers.”
Dark and sad. Those are the words of choice for describing _Saviour_. It just bleeds those senses out of every note. From the production's haunting echoes, the forlorn melancholy of the vocalists, lyrics of lost beauty, sorrow, loneliness.... not fun stuff, but it makes for a great album. So what is this stuff anyway? In case it matters, Antimatter is the project of Duncan Patterson and Michael Moss, the former having once been a member of Anathema. I can't really comment much on their background, but their somber inspiration on this album leaves a mark and has inspired me to look into their credentials some day.
Although Michael Moss sings parts of the songs "Over Your Shoulder" and "The Last Laugh", the vocal performances are largely handled by a pair of female vocalists, Michelle Richfield and Hayley Windsor. Both voices are lighter than air, crystalline and pure, pretty and delicate, and it's hard to imagine singers more perfectly fitting for the melancholy music of this release: dark, ambient pop with a haunting production that is all perfect clarity and harrowing echo. Richfield's voice is a little more robust, breathy, and sexier, while Windsor is almost elfin with her heavier accent and silky smooth quietness.
As I said, the music is basically just beautifully crafted, chilling dark pop. Sparse arrangements of percussion (electronic and acoustic), bass, and perhaps a keyboard and/or guitar leave lots of breathing room for the vocals, which are treated with an overlay of reverb to give the whole album's sound deep space and resonance. "Over Your Shoulder", "Angelic", and especially the sad "Flowers" are stunning songs among great songs. A pair of largely instrumental tracks attain levels of dark atmosphere and mood I've heard few accomplish. "God Is Coming" is a frightening smother of beats that is quite disturbing in the dark. "Going Nowhere" is the album's final cut (not including the bonus tracks), carrying the album off into the darkness with a minimalist four-note synth pattern, a ticking clock, and other harrowing textures that build and shift around these things.
I'm not sure who this is going to appeal to on a general level, since a lot of people who might like the style will never hear of _Saviour_ and those who hear of it might not like the style. Anathema fans? Maybe, heh - I have no idea. In either case, it is excellent music and I recommend it highly.
7.5/10 - Hard to find a metal connection
I'm used to The End being the Avantgarde/Wounded Love of North America, and presenting a wide range of metal related music, but the degrees of seperation for Antimatter, while being few, are very large. A new project for former Anathema bassist and song-writer, Duncan Patterson, Antimatter bears greater resemblance to fellow UK trip-hop bands like Portishead, Tricky and Massive Attack than to any metal band out there today. However, some tracks, such as "god is coming" are more reminiscent of the mixture of dark ambient and industrial to be found in :Wumscut: or Mentallo And The Fixer.
I'd like to hear more connection between the tracks, especially as in some of the more ambient sections, it's jarring to hear sudden silence, especially when the next track begins in an even more ambient vein, such as in the transition from 'angelic' to 'flowers'. Elsewhere on the album, there are slow fades to silence, that better give the illusion of transition from one song to another.That said, some of the songs are pretty catchy, and I really enjoy the acoustic versions. (I catch myself humming 'over your shoulder' a lot).
Here's a track by track description which could possibly guide you for your listening tour to Antimatter's redeeming craft, "Saviour".
1. Saviour: The album's carrier title casts an alternative shadow which puts stationary ground into a "rocking and unstable" motion but I think this requires sort of a "dancing appreciation". The vocalist rendition of the piece somehow portrays another Alanisite strategy or maybe just projection or similarity. (Alanisite -pertaining to an Alanis Morissette follower.) This track, could somehow save a drowning listener who's sick and tired of falling in love with the typical flow of melodies in the airwaves today..but I guess there are more "saviours" to be found while listening to the entire album.
2. Holocaust: If I am German, Jewish or war-veteran, could I be able to love this track? (What a question?) Anyway, it doesn't necessarily that you have to have a part of an experience of the "holocaust memories" just to appreciate this piece...if you found a German, Jewish or a war spirit or anything Holocaustic in nature in you..then whatever way you call that feeling then....try this track. But if there's none to search for within, then it's just okay....The drama set on this track is very much highlighted as a melancholic and sensitive part of the music. It shakes the senses for its message. The rhythm is ultimately appealing (personally) as it has involved a stimulating effect done by the backgrounding haunting vocals.
3. Over Your Shoulder: If I am to find a certain track within this album to vote as the "saviour" or the power-pick entry to enter mainstream or any radio station, I would definitely pick this one out immediately. Gonna mark this "Odd One Out!" The tunes are too perfect not to be recognised and appreciated. How to describe it, well...WONDERFULLY ADDICTIVE! Not just the message that has transfused strongly and smoothly to my senses but the entire rhythm, melody and art of the track has powerfully given way to a sweet and admirable collaboration of souls, noticeably felt through the compatible convergence of the voices. If you are to look after one track which you could always remember about Antimatter, this one is strongly recommended. The feel is just too boundless to mention.
4. Psalms: Maybe call it "the praying attitude" that can be discovered on this track for it would leave you for a one and just many times of self-reflection (regardless of your beliefs or religion I know everyone needs self-reflection.) The ultra-heavenly voice draws in an attention that is most likely compared to a soothing therapy which would let your exhausted soul unwind, even just for this track's total length time.
5. God is coming: Apocalypse?Armageddon?End of the World? Doom's Day? Whichever way you call it...you gotta feel the thunder and alarming roars of the highnesses on this piece. Maybe the heaven's are angry, the hell's opening up and giving up for extreme sufferage and pain. This track is way too imaginative and explorative to mix and compose sounds and chemistry of emotions to define and somehow illustrate the complex fears and tragedies brought about by every finality. The impression displayed by the sound moods creates this track as a potential player for a scene of its kind, hopefully this gets noticed. What this would leave you is another challenge to explore your mind and to think even deeper. Stimulating it is.
6. Angelic: The intro's too lovely that almost illustrates a vast field of dreams in a morning sunshine. You can quite consider it as a sweet and caressing lullabye that could touch and prick any kind of heart. The melody has been played in a feminine language but the whole piece provides a sanctuary which one should definitely look out for.
7. Flowers: Poetic. Stylish, Ballad-ic in nature as it involves a fragrant nature on its material (not because of the title, "FLOWERS".)Call it tearjerker? Well, I guess this is up for every listener's comment. May the flower bloom in all its freshest and wonderful glory. The entirety's a bit lengthy, sorrowful and instrumental in its composition.
8. The Last Laugh: This ain't as joyful as what the title is suggesting but it could leave you with more than just a smile. Confusing isn't it? The male vocals brings out an urban modern attitude. He sings, and he does sing well. It's very seldom to find good singers plus the attitude which you can describe even if you haven't seen a glance of the artists yet. This, has a potential to be kissed and enjoyed by the popular market. The beats may sound a bit common for most rock and "this type of music" listeners but what is good about this is that, it still carries a unique style of their own and that's what you call the Antimatter Identity. Where can their DNA's be bought? (Just joking.)
9. Going nowhere: Where are you going? Yeah, some place. Somewhere, anywhere,wherever...maybe even nowhere.This track tells a path to nowhere, uncertainty which goes realistically in tune with the title's emotion. It creatively plugs in as an emotional outlet for the pressures of the world. Deep is the meaning that is conveyed, the track's worth of every appreciation. A bit orchestral, maybe churchy or instrumental as you would certainly miss the words sung on the start of the song. Maybe the objective is quite clear, to draw out another wide open dark space for internal quest and reflection. After listening this final track you would possibly understand two things from them: 1.Inner Reflection 2.Sensible Artistry
This is the first time that I have problems writing a review, the first time that I understand I have to learn new words. To find the right ones to describe Duncan Patterson’s (ex-bassist from Anathema, but is it really necessary to introduce him?) new album is almost impossible. However ‘Saviour’ is so fascinating that I’ve been playing it for one week.
Antimatter was born back in 1998, created by Duncan Patterson and his long time friend, Mick Moss. A demo was recorded in 1999 (with the first 4 songs from ‘Saviour’). In autumn 2000, the album was recorded and distributed by Icon, a young australian label. We had to wait until april 2002 to have ‘Saviour’ officially released in France.
Melancholic atmosphere, catchy tracks, sensual voices of Michelle Richfield & Hayley Windsor, keyboards played by Les ‘Lecter’ Smith (ex Cradle of Filth, Anathema) and a guitar with a pure sound without any unuseful fancy stuff.
The whole isn’t that far from the strong emotions of ‘Alternative 4’, but still it’s a different style (more samples which give an electro or orchestral touch - depends on the track). The atmosphere is dark, and still ‘Saviour’ makes you feel a peace you can’t describe, so much that it makes you listen to it again and again and again. ‘Saviour’ makes you also wanna listen to it in order to understand ...understand how come these songs which whos constructions (which look very simple) could bring such a strong emotion in the guts - and how come Duncan & Mick succeeded in giving their music such an emotional strength. And then, I can’t find words ...This album is simply magnificient.
SOPEL ( )
This is not music... these are just emotions trapped in the form of sounds. "Saviour" is a brimful of indescribable atmospheres and climates. That's just what this albums main triumph is - it can't be listened to "in the background", you have to draw your attention to it much more... to know it and enable it to entirely charm you.
The extremely beaufiful voices of both Michelle Richfield (she once did vocal work for Anathema - now she's in Sear) and Hayley Windsor (DrugFree America) add much charm to "Saviour". Their voices harmonize with the music perfectly, they help us to fly away to land of feelings and contemplation. The album is a kind of retreat, a way of escape from this grey haunting reality. It's a different state of our consciousness, which you can feel only if you cross a certain limitation - if you jump over that wall of reality which doesnt allow your mind to take off.
If we talk about music, electronic sounds alternate with gentle and soothing guitar melodies. Songs on this album are quite various (obviously within their styles), from "Saviour", through the very dark "Holocaust", the surprising "God Is Coming", to "Going Nowhere", which you can find many influences in (like Anathema's "Destiny" or "Eternity Part II", incidentally both tracks were written by Duncan).
If I were to describe this album to Anathema fans, I would tell them to focus on Duncan's songs from "Alternative 4" - it's the same climate, but you can find more mature tunes as well as female vocals here. I've never thought that I would be able to like an album, which one can say is electronic. Thanks to "Saviour" we have the occasion to become convinced that electronics (used propely) are really able to heighten sensations and impressions.
Eventually, personally I think "Saviour" is a masterpiece, which undoubtedly is worth buying.
Antimatter is an experimental project delving into atmospheric mood rock. Led by multi-instrumentalists Duncan Patterson (ex-Anathema) and Michael Moss and featuring various different singers, Antimatter's 2002 debut, Saviour, is a varied affair, couching delicate, almost gothic voices and melodies into softly pulsing electronic rhythmic foundations.
Fittingly, the album's barren, ultra-white artwork provides the perfect trailer for the stark, austere compositions within; it also recalls Patterson's final outing with Anathema, 1998's Alternative 4, but calling this a direct descendant of any sort would be misleading (quite the opposite, as the echo-laden drums that pervade most of the material here — "Holocaust," the title track, etc. — sound utterly at odds with almost anything his former band ever attempted).
Moving into singles territory, "Over Your Shoulder" uses a co-lead vocal approach to enrich the sparse ambience, and follow-up "Psalms" offers possibly the richest sonic backdrop heard thus far, ominous bass and sharply orchestrated string effects providing a chilling contrast to the soft cooing of guest singer Michelle Richfield. Her duet with Moss on the excellent "The Last Laugh" is another memorable highlight, but subsequent tracks such as "God Is Coming" and the somewhat terrifying "Flowers" (sung by the elfin-voiced Hayley Windsor) take the opposite route, with their oblique arrangements proffering very unpredictable twists and turns.
Finally, two bonus tracks added to the American release provide extra incentive for open-minded listeners to discover this promising new act.
Ed Rivadavia 4 out of 5
With each new release from The End Records it’s going to be hard not to consider this as one of the best labels in metal. Saviour is the newest release from this great label and the band responsible for its creation is Antimatter, the new project by Duncan Patterson (ex-Anathema) and his long time friend Mick Moss.
Let me say it straight out, this album is not metal, it has nothing to do with metal and any of you expecting a metal album should look elsewhere. Saviour is a dark, ambient and electronic album that has more in common with a band like Portishead than Anathema.
The pace of Saviour is slow, tranquil and haunting. This is the sort of album that you put on late at night with some minimal candlelight and then you lie down, close your eyes (it is kind of hard not to do it when in 'Psalms' the lyrics say just that) and lose yourself in the music. After this listening session, I can guarantee you that you will feel extremely relaxed
The vocal duties shared by Sear’s Michele Richfield and Drug Free America’s Hayley Windsor is simply mesmerizing and with the minimalist music present throughout the entire album they are really the focal point of the songs. They are both very different in their style with Hayley sounding more child-like, more innocent and that is reflected in the songs like 'Flowers' and 'Angelic'. Michele has a more sultry and seductive voice and that is evidenced in 'Psalms' and 'Saviour'. There are other songs where Mick will sing lead alongside either woman and in fact one of them 'The Last Laugh' is my favorite song of the album. It is the song with the fastest tempo, the coolest electronic beats and even some electric guitars popping up.
The edition released by The End includes two acoustic bonus tracks one being 'Over Your Shoulder' and 'Flowers'. It is extremely interesting to hear these songs stripped down to just the singing and an acoustic guitar. This version of 'Flowers' should be of importance to Anathema fans since Danny Cavannagh sings the lead. If you enjoyed these acoustic songs like I did, then let me point you to the A Dream for the Blind EP which you can download from the Antimatter UK website run by Mick.
There are times when you just want to listen to some relaxing, mesmerizing and beautiful music, there is only so much metal one’s ears can take. An album like Saviour provides that tonic for you. This is simply an amazing album. I highly recommend it.