Mantar are newcomers in the sludge music scene. Their first full-length record is officially released by Svart Records this year, a record titled ‘Death by Burning’. Its artwork shows a woman (?) with a crown in her head.
Antimatter is a UK band , formed in 1998 by Duncan Patterson (former bassist/songwriter of Anathema) and Mick Moss. After the successful release of “Planetary Confinement” Patterson left the band, leaving Moss in charge of the songwriting and vocals as well. Moss managed quite well making two releases, with the latest being the band’s fifth album “A Fear of a Unique Indentity”.
The style of the band had changed over the years; the first releases focused on melodic vocal lines, had dark electronic atmosphere and balanced on the borderline between gothic and trip hop. “Planetary Confinement” marked a shift towards more of an acoustic based melancholic rock sound. The same directions follow the other two releases with Moss (only in charge), adding his own ideas thus giving electric guitars more role to the songs.
“A Fear of A Unique Identity” basically continues in the same pace ; is a guitar driven album – there is a resemblance to Anathema’s most melancholic’s moments- making this a heavy sounding release. The running time of the songs is long, this is necessary because it gives the right amount of time for the melody to be unravelled and the atmospheric feeling to pass on to the listener. I really felt travelling with every single track and I think they should be listened more than once to be better understandable. Basically the songs begin instrumental (electric guitar, drums) and somewhere in the middle the melody blend with industrial, electronic elements with foreboding and ominous undertones. The album begins with “Paranova’’ and “Monochrome’’ giving a small taste of rock oriented elements , “Firewalker” the longest track, featuring a bittersweet melancholic electric guitar solo, that still ring in my ears.
“The Parade” is probably the best and most interesting song; its short in running time and simplistic as it is only instrumental but it holds such an atmosphere that it could represent the whole style of the album. The continuously drums give a marching feeling to the song that it keeps going more intense reaching the end where it suddenly stops and the song as well. The theme of the lyrics is about society and is mostly referring that people should find their true identity without fear of being singled-out. The lyrics in some songs are excellent and pass through this idea, while others don’t make much sense, which strangely isn’t annoying because they blend well with the mysterious feeling and atmosphere some tracks have. The vocals mostly are from Moss, there are few duets along Anselmo, who can mostly be heard as echoing or singing in the same time with him.
Overall this is a strong album, the songs are emotionally charged and the feeling of confinement and bittersweet solitude will carried you away. Definitely, one of the best releases of 2012, for this genre of music. This is a must for listeners that like to discover new things or for those souls that enjoy chilling-out listening to high quality melancholic music.
|Track List||Line Up||01. Paranova
03. Fear of a Unique Identity
05. Here Come the Men
06. Uniformed and Black
07. Wide Awake in the Concrete Asylum
08. The Parade
09. A Place in the Sun
|Mick Moss (vocals, guitars, bass, synthesizers, piano)
Colin Fromont (drums)
Vic Anselmo (vocals)
David Hall (violin)