Antimatter
Black Market Enlightenment


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg STAFF
February 6th, 2019 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An old friend from the past

There are certain albums (and songs) which, even though I hold dear to my heart, simply refuse to jam anymore; these aren’t many, but still, it hurts to be unable to experience the joy of listening to something that you used to love. One of those cases is Alternative 4 and the reason that I can’t bring myself to listen to it anymore has less to do with the music and more with everything else surrounding Anathema’s, arguably, masterpiece. Unfortunately, the Liverpudlians never tried to replicate it since it was mostly Duncan Patterson’s baby and also because the recording of A4 was a miserable time for them. Nevertheless, the colossal Judgement sweetened the pill and marked the beginning of a new era for one of the pioneers of doom/death metal… an era which saw them move further and farther away from metal.

Now, you may wonder where does the above rant fit in this review, and the reason is simply because, emotionally, Black Market Enlightenment fills the void created by the aforementioned albums; a void never filled by Anathema. To make a long story short, Antimatter’s seventh LP is similar to a modernized version of Judgement instrumentation with vocals that bring to mind Vinnie Cavanagh’s haunting performance on Alternative 4. For example, the 3:10 mark of opener “The Third Arm” screams Judgement in every good way, while the use of the guitar on parts of “This is not Utopia” might bring to your mind Pink Floyd. In fact, the way Mick Moss uses the lead guitar in order to create tension and boost the emotional charge of each song, is exemplary. In addition, the use of saxophone and qamancha on “Sanctification” and “Existential” help in the dynamics department and even add a cinematic aspect to the music.

Despite the previous correlations, Black Market Enlightenment has more than enough of its own character in order to avoid being characterized as a derivative; and how can it not have so much character when the lyrics are so personal, dealing with Moss’ issues such as substance abuse and existential crisis" It is obvious that this album is a cathartic experience for the creator. As a result, his emotional delivery is not a coincidence, nor the fact that even though the songwriting is extremely solid, his vocals are arguably the highlight here.

Overall, Antimatter’s latest release is consistent and varied; consistent due to the strong songwriting throughout, and varied as it blends atmospheric rock, doom metal, and progressive rock while enhancing them with electronic and oriental elements. Therefore, it is not only a melancholic trip down memory lane for those who experienced atmospheric rock in the ‘90s, but also a guide for playing emotionally-charged rock with substance.




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user ratings (51)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2019


11743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Better late than never, I guess. Mandatory listen for those who enjoy Anathema's Alternative 4 and Judgement.

Digging: Estas Tonne - Internal Flight

Hawks
February 6th 2019


73083 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

NICE.

Digging: Dead Can Dance - The Serpent's Egg

TheNotrap
February 6th 2019


11604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review, as always.



I'm not a die-hard Anathema fan but I'm going to check this out.

Digging: Humanity's Last Breath - Abyssal

ProjectFreak
February 6th 2019


3845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Intrigued. I always find later Anathema work has at least one or two stellar songs, so I'm giving this a spin. I'm liking it so far.



edit: yeah Existential rips, this is really good

DungeonBoy
February 6th 2019


6399 Comments


Is that octo-crash test dummy holding a spliff? Always enjoy your reviews dude, never checked this band out but remember always seeing their stuff in metal publications back in the hey day. Listening now

Digging: Guild Of Lore - Storm Haven

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2019


11743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Notrap and Dungeon, appreciate the kind words.



Yeah, the dummy is indeed holding a spliff and if I'm not mistaken, it is inspired by Mick Moss (the dude behind Antimatter) and his struggles with substance abuse.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2019


8396 Comments


Huge fan of the first two albums here, dropped the band after Planetary Confinement, but hearing this one, I see that Moss has expanded a lot since then.

Good review as always Manos, one tiny suggestion though;

Anathema’s, arguably, masterpiece

Anathema's emphatic masterpiece

Digging: Meridian (CHE) - The Seventh Sun

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 6th 2019


11743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha won't argue with that

TheNotrap
February 6th 2019


11604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Partners in Crime is a great song

DarkNoctus
February 6th 2019


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

thank you for reviewing this



so, so good

teamster
February 6th 2019


4279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

So close to fiving this. I bet I’ve played this album in its entirety 10 times the last week. Excellent review and thanks.

Digging: This Gift Is A Curse - A Throne of Ash

DarkNoctus
February 6th 2019


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeah i had a straight 2 months of being utterly obsessed with this record, it was so in-tune with me emotionally.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 7th 2019


11743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Appreciate it, guys. Yeah, one of the reasons that I decided to review this one is because I've been jamming it so often lately; never expected an album to give me those A4/Judgement vibes.

DarkNoctus
February 7th 2019


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

the weird thing is i can't get into anything else antimatter has done but this album absolutely bulldozed me in a way an album hasn't done for so long. emotionally pulverizing. by the time i get to 'liquid light' and that climax hits i'm in such a numb yet pensive state.

TheNotrap
February 7th 2019


11604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Watch another chance to maaaakeee things right

ProjectFreak
February 7th 2019


3845 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this sort of moody prog rock usually tends to bore me about halfway through the album but I'm really digging this. every song is pretty solid on its own, and it doesn't feel too repetitive. at least a 3.8ish, might be more in time

PistolPete
February 7th 2019


5022 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Was gonna harp on how Riverside hadn't been mentioned but then saw it in your "recommended" section below.



Great review, checking this out for sure.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
February 8th 2019


11743 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha thanks!



I have actually only checked Riverside's first two albums and even though I remember them sharing similarities, I wasn't so comfortable mentioning them in the review.

Faraudo
February 8th 2019


3081 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is fucking massive.

Digging: Slipknot - We Are Not Your Kind

teamster
February 9th 2019


4279 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The music video for The Third Arm .... yikes....



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