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Antimatter: Fear Of A Unique Identity

Collection of sad songs for the new prog generation

Given the increasing popularity of Katatonia and Anathema, Mick Moss may be beginning to wonder if his long-standing underdog status may just have been an extended precursor to untold glory.

Fear Of A Unique Identity could hardly sound more perfectly crafted to tap into contemporary rock and prog fans’ endless appetite for widescreen melancholy, and yet this is what Antimatter have specialised in all along. It certainly helps that these are among the finest songs Mick has ever written.

Opener Paranova is simply gorgeous, its brooding blend of shimmering guitars, sombre electronics and its author’s quietly anguished vocal wrestling vivid emotional blood from a monochrome sonic stone.

If art-rock legend David Sylvian had grown up listening to Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd instead of David Bowie then perhaps he would be writing enjoyably gruelling epics like Firewalking or tense ballads like Here Come The Men. But Mick is his own man and although rays of light seldom threaten to break through his black cloud, this is an absorbing and believable dark night of the soul.

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.