Title: Fear Of Unique Identity
Genre: Melancholic Rock
Release Date: 23rd November 2012
Label: Prophecy Productions
British band ANTIMATTER released its fifth album ‘Fear of Unique Identity’, putting an end to the quite a long wait since previous release in 2007. The genre the band uses to mark their work is simply stated as melancholic rock. The overall sound and attitude certainly remind progressive bands such as ANATHEMA. Most of the album done singularly by Mick Moss, with three more musicians as guests: drummer Colin Fromont, Latvian vocalist Vic Anselmo and violinist David Hall.
To be honest, it was a tad challenging to review this record: I am not a huge specialist in melancholic rock, so it was not possible to jump on it, "chew" the tracks and lay out review in half an hour, precisely nailing several hits, and blaming few hiccups here and there. I had a trip coming, with lengthy train and plane rides, so I took the record along. It was a right thing to do. You cannot consume this record fast. It needs to be observed, carried along, listened slowly and calmly while strolling on streets or riding that commuting train from Arlanda to central Stockholm. Darkish colours of the city, which gave once a descent background to grim ‘Girl With a Dragon Tattoo’, would fit well as visual counterpart. This record requires a good headphones with descent low frequency response: without that, half of inner energy and colour is lost.
As usual, there are tracks that stand out more than others. Could not however help myself, the first part of the disk is hardly appealing to me. Unusually, the whole second half of the tracklist was more attractive. For me the good stuff starts from ‘Here Come The Men’. Beautiful minor guitar, duo of female and male voices, perfectly phrased verse lines, particularly rhythmic chorus made this one my favourite. ‘Uniformed and Black’ keeps up with a nice rhythm and pleasant timbre, though faster and simpler than in ‘The Men’. Next, the atmospheric ‘Wide Awake’, making use of truly "wide" sound and dramatic, distorted guitar. I could not really say anything in particular about lyrics, for most part. It is poetic, paraphrasing and philosophical.
Probably author's intent is to hit most of listeners and allow them to draw their own, personalised impression based on their own experience, but I personally feel that ideas expressed could be articulated a bit more, to allow the author's view of things. Melodics is something that is not a common thing to find in contemporary music, but it is present here, which is very pleasant. Closing piece ‘A Place In The Sun’ is carefully crafted to every single detail, with no annoying parts. I like the every detail of this dark and beautiful melody, complemented by precisely performed lyrics. Suitably for the last track, a tired, minor voice narrating the listener about metaphorical end of day, which bring, or not bring, some reward. But the whole mood is far from brave gospel. It's something that is not to be happy about, some matter of fact.
This is a descent, masterful release, certainly recommended for fans of ANATHEMA and for a very nice concert atmosphere. Check out the music video for ‘Uniformed and Black’ here:
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
10. Fear Of A Unique Identity (Acoustic Mix) (Digipack and Artbook Only)
11. Monochrome (Alternate Demo) (Digipack and Artbook Only)
12. The Parade (Remix) (Artbook Only)
13. Here Come The Men (Violin Mix) (Artbook Only)
14. Firewalking (Remix) (Artbook Only)
15. A Place In The Sun (Demo) (Artbook Only)
Mick Moss (vocals, lead guitar, acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, synthesizers, piano, programming, samples, producer, mixer)
Guest appearances: Colin Fromont (drums), Vic Anselmo (vocals), David Hall (violin)
http://www.antimatteronline.com / https://www.facebook.com/antimatteronline
Total: 7.5 / 10