Title: The Judas Table
Genre: Dark Rock/ Progressive Rock
Release Date: 9th October 2015
Label: Prophecy Productions
Founded in 1998 by Mick Moss and former ANATHEMA band member Duncan Patterson, the British band described itself to be the saddest band of the world. The music embraces elements of Dark Rock, Progressive Rock, Alternative Rock, also some Trip Hop. Together they produced three albums before Duncan left the band in 2005 after finishing ‘Planetary Confinement’ in order to pursue his own project ION. Thus Mick decided to work alone with ANTIMATTER and released in 2007 the critically acclaimed album ‘Leaving Eden’. With the just launched ‘The Judas Table’, six studio albums, two live albums and three compilation albums are released.
Good news for the friends of cultivated sadness: the saddest band on earth hasn’t still become any happier. Already the excellent cover work gives you an impression what this album is about. It displays an androgynous couple kissing. They seem to melt together with this kiss but as they are bonded together, the onlooker cannot be sure if this couple is kissing by choice or just forced by the situation they are in. This melting image could also imply that one is sucking the life/ energy out of the other which would also fit perfectly to the leitmotif of the lyrics.
Was the former album ‘Fear of a unique identity’ more about the problems of the individual person in this society, the topics of this album are more of personal experiences with other people in close relationships. As the title implies it deals mainly with betrayal, being sacrificed for the benefit of the other. With the lyrics of this album Mick Moss gives the listener an intimate insight of his struggle of being caught in traps close relationships laid, the feelings of being abused for their needs, being betrayed, made responsible for their own failures and thus feeling bad and even guilty before he finally sees through the snares and is able to free himself from this. In a distinguished way he exposes the psychological tricks others use to make one feel bad or being the reason that the relationship went wrong. Though the songs are about personal experiences and observations surely many people can relate to them as well.
Most of the songs are serene, carried by the soulful melancholic vocals of Mick accompanied by the acoustic guitar and accentuated drums. But of course it is still a Dark Rock album as the e- guitar shows up to increase the tension. At ‘Killer’ synth sounds lay an appealing melodic sound carpet. ‘Comrades’ then is again dominated by the acoustic guitar with some touching accents set by the violin, played by Rachel Brewster. The whole arrangements are carefully set in order to give the lyrics the space it deserves. The music underlines the atmosphere of each song perfectly. My personal favourite song is ‘Stillborn empires’, musically for its turns that creates some tensions and because of the lyrics about being treated cruelly by someone just because this person had experienced such treatment from childhood on and learnt to be this mean as well. Peculiar interesting for me is the last line, being quite meaningful with stating as a résumé ‘It was a business doing pleasure with you’ instead of ‘It was a pleasure doing business with you’.
With the last song ‘Goodbye’ we have a kind of bitter and partly resigned summary of these oppressing experiences and people but also an emancipation from these ties and people that are not good for ones wellbeing. Concluding I can say this is definitely a fantastic album consisting of deep and thoughtful lyrics, carried by the intense vocals of Mick Moss and underlined by beautiful melodies with carefully and smartly set accents. The album is available as standard version, vinyl, download version but you can also only download each song of this album.
01. Black eyed man
04. Stillborn empires
05. Little piggy
07. Can of worms
09. The Judas table
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Total: 10 / 10