For a long time Antimatter consisted of Duncan Patterson and Mick Moss, but now Duncan is out as he left to form the band Íon. Basically, now Antimatter is Mick Moss with session musicians and one important guest on this album is guitarist Danny Cavanagh from Anathema. In my review of the former album Planetary Confinement, I said that "less is more" is the way for Antimatter, and I have no problems recycling that statement since there are no revolutionary changes done with Leaving Eden. This one follows in the same grand manor, but with one big difference, the featured electric guitar from Danny Cavanagh. The screaming guitar in the opening post-grunge track Redemption makes that single track being harder then the entire previous album. The guitar really does the trick and I simply love this track as well as the title track that also gets a boost from the electricity of the guitar.
Still it is calm and soothing music that is feeding on melancholia that Mick Moss brings out, and the way he manage to create atmospheres and tension in the music is probably why I like it as much as I do, even though it is generally calmer music than what I prefer. It can get a wee bit boring though, when Landlocked in a slow pace with drums and acoustic guitars feels more like an intermission than a song and is being followed by a ballad like Conspire. That makes me yawn a bit. However, when the violin takes the lead in Another Face In The Window, which is a slow and naked song, it is just so overwhelmingly beautiful when the melancholia embraces you in this calm yet powerful song that is slowly building up the tension.
I like when Mick Moss is slowly building up the tension in the songs and the wonderful atmospheres it creates. I have never thought of it before but in Freak Show I can see resemblance with Tool as the song builds up, before it explodes into a forceful refrain. Moreover, I wonder if I do not sense a light touch of Pink Floyd here as well, but I am not familiar enough with them to be able to mention the song I am thinking of. There are three songs on Leaving Eden, besides the title track, that rise above the rest, and I would like to add The Immaculate Misconception to the earlier mentioned Redemption and Freak Show. The Immaculate Misconception is an instrumental track that floats forward in a modest pace with the piano as the supporting instrument and the violin and the electric guitar play leads as well as the piano. I recently discovered the band Porcupine Tree thanks to a fellow colleague of mine and with The Immaculate Misconception I can find some comparisons as well. As the song goes on, it is one of those that can make you completely forget about time and space.
Mick Moss has a voice that captures you, reminding of Aaron Lewis from Stain, or with the closing Fighting For A Lost Cause for instance, also Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. There is an evident vulnerability in his voice and he really lives into it, and it further sounds at times as he is about to burst in to tears at any moment, but without becoming whining for that matter. This is not any "pick me up" album for when feeling low, and it feels a bit out of place to be sitting out in the warmth of the spring sun listening to Leaving Eden and taking notes. But when I am completing this review, it is a gray sky filled with rain outside, and then it simply fits perfectly and suddenly all makes sense.
also review of: Planetary