|Title:||The Judas Table|
We have gotten to know Mick Moss and his poetry through the years, both as Antimatter and as a part of other projects (such as the great Sleeping Pulse). For all those who listen to the English musician’s works, the near-silence following the masterpiece Leaving Eden (2007) and the news about his personal tribulations were a tough blow, and over those years there was only one official release published by Prophecy Productions in 2010, the collection Alternative Matter. The studio comeback in 2012 for Fear Of A Unique Identity finally signaled Moss’ return to composing music and his clear intention to once again tour Europe’s most intimate venues, after an almost complete silence of about one year and a half.
The musical eruption that Mick Moss has experienced over the past few years has also given us lots of “feels” via live shows (such as the solo concert he did in Prato last year), so I really can’t hide how eager I was to listen to The Judas Table. There was a lot of talking straight when the artwork (designed by the artist Mario Sánchez Nevado) came out, and it seemed to have split the audience because of its clear discontinuity with the previous releases. Apart from the subject — two hairless people entangled in a forced embrance (both of them wear straitjackets), as their lips are literally fused together in a passionate kiss, on a red background — it was the first time that an Antimatter cover image is so colorful and we can actually see some human expressions in it (while in Saviour and Fear Of A Unique Identity the characters were almost totally impersonal and monodimensional). This transformation is also reflected in the music.
Once again Antimatter experienced a musical evolution: sure they are still mainly an expression of Mick Moss, but this time around they feel even more as an “actual band” if compared to Fear Of A Unique Identity. Some of the musicians that had already worked with him in the past (such as bassist Ste Hughes and violinist Rachel Brewster) came back to the line-up and added some of their touches to the record (as in the great “Little Piggy”). The band’s sound became more complex, even featuring some metal elements (in the second half of “Stillborn Empires”), apart from a handful of the renowned melancholic ballads founded on acoustic guitars that Moss has gotten us so used to (“Comrades” and “Hole”). There is pretty much everything on here, also a heartfelt guitar solo by Glenn Bridge on “Can Of Worms” (and several others played by different guitarists as well throughout the album). However, the main thread of this work is still Mick Moss’ voice, somewhat reassuring in the world rife with doubt that has always been the stage of Antimatter‘s reflections. “Goodbye” is an adequate closure performed by Moss with just vocals and guitar, reminiscent of the songs written before the band’s “rock” period.
The band confirmed its status as one of the safest bets in terms of quality on Prophecy Productions’ roster, proceeding on their exploration of different atmospheres without losing their emotional grip. One of my most anticipated releases this year, also because Antimatter have just started a new European tour that will hopefully take them everywhere, and we will try and be there for you.