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Saviour

Antimatter

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Album Review

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.

Saviour, Antimatter
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