Antimatter
Black Market Enlightenment


5.0
classic

Review

by DarkNoctus USER (45 Reviews)
November 1st, 2020 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: dark, atmospheric rock for those who want to stare directly into the void and see themselves in the reflection

There are many recordings in the realm of rock and metal that deal with depression and trauma from the angle of understanding and comfort, wishing to relate with your struggles and console you. Black Market Enlightenment does not do this. This is a recording that makes you see the depths of your own despair in their most brazen reality. The raw struggle that Mick Moss, vocalist and sole songwriter renders onto this recording is so tangible that that it makes you realise your own insecurities in their most terrifying form. It is a dense, alienating and compelling work that sucks you into its paranoid world.

Perhaps you're wondering why a review of this album is coming two years afters its release. Put simply, it's how long it took for me to come out of my own mental trap that this album so aptly describes, and it accompanied me through both my fall and long, long climb back. It made me realise how far I had fallen into my disassociation with tracks like 'Wish I Was Here', so poetically describing how it feels to perceive the world around me but feel as if I'm not experiencing it or a part of it. The mood of the track is so enigmatic in that it neither feels uplifting or downtrodden but its evocative use of massive distorted chords and ebow make their contemporaries Anathema look like fools. Its flow so fluidly weaving between a diverse set of brass, strong bass presence and huge rock explosions with an incredible vocal flourish from Mick and guest Carla Lewis.

'The Third Arm' opens the album with its dark, foreboding mood and devastating climax - ebow utilised to great effect with a slow moving, snare-heavy drum beat. It made me realise my own self-destructive behaviours that were driving others away from me and the chances that I had squandered. 'Liquid Light' follows a similar structure, closing out the album, equally devastating and uncompromisingly referring to the names of dead musicians who fell into substance abuse from mental health issues. It made be so immensely paranoid of my own mental health and how deeply I was spiralling. The whole album is a dense, sobering suite that makes you question your own mind.

Many dense recordings face the challenge of not feeling varied but Antimatter do a better job than most bands. The vast array of instrumentation helps the palette, and it's honestly an impressive feat to fit saxaphone, flute, qamancha and a vast array of synth onto one album and have none of it feel unsightly. It does begin to blend together but it's hard to criticise this too much when back to front the quality never falters. Structurally each track tries a different approach, and the thick, warm nature of the instrumentation and mix can make it difficult to follow each song, it makes it no less sonically pleasing just to be taken along for the ride.

This is Antimatter at their most honest, brazen and poignant. In comparison, bands like Anathema feels like a hug from a friend. I'd struggle to suggest many albums of its kind that can match this album in its harrowing, sobering nature. This is dark, atmospheric rock for those who want to stare directly into the void and see themselves in the reflection. A record that I can now listen to knowing I've been as low as I feel I can go and made it back. Tread carefully.



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user ratings (64)
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
DarkNoctus
November 1st 2020


11418 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

hey sup

Digging: Asphyx - Necroceros

Observer
Emeritus
November 1st 2020


8825 Comments


Looking at your rec section, The constant by Aoria is so good. Sad we'll prob never get another album by them

Great review, got rec'd these guys for Katatonia-like bands but have yet to try.

Digging: Kruder and Dorfmeister - DJ-Kicks: Kruder & Dorfmeister

DarkNoctus
November 1st 2020


11418 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

yeah i messaged aoria like a year back saying 'hey your record is amazing will you make another' and they were like thanks but probably not



really sad, it's such a good record

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
November 2nd 2020


23524 Comments


Yeah that rec section got me interested, as well as your write up!

Digging: Moonspell - Hermitage

DarkNoctus
November 2nd 2020


11418 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

thanks. it's admittedly not the most descriptive write-up but i wanted a place to get my feelings towards this record out of my system and this seemed as good a place as any.

Evok
November 2nd 2020


8334 Comments


Cannot wait to hear this. Smashing review!

Observer
Emeritus
November 2nd 2020


8825 Comments


Yeah I figured Aoria was a dead project, but still. More people digging sad rock should hear it. Also, got a feeling you might enjoy my dig btw.

My first listen to this was conflicted, but ill give it more time. Im gonna have to warm up to his vocals more.

DarkNoctus
November 2nd 2020


11418 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

i'll give your dig a spin!



yeah his vocals take some time to click but when they do...



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