Duncan Patterson’s ALTERNATIVE 4 Signs with Prophecy Productions

Duncan Patterson‘s latest project, ALTERNATIVE 4 has announced its signing with Prophecy Productions. With the band name derived from the ANATHEMA album from 1998, the musical and atmospheric direction of this band is given: a solid rock foundation enriched with painful piano and string arrangements, sometimes on the verge of ambient music, sometimes offering the big influence of the rather dark and abysmal side of PINK FLOYD. All this can already be witnessed on last year’s debut album The Brink.

Duncan Patterson is an icon of melancholic alternative rock music. With his crucial songwriting role on ANATHEMA‘s Eternity and Alternative 4 he freed the Liverpool doomsters of their tight metal corset, he founded the likewise renowned ANTIMATTER whose first albums he shaped significantly, and he explored ethereal melancholia on two ION albums thus far.

Duncan Patterson on the new cooperation: “It’s good to be back onboard a label who have always had respect for my work, regardless of how obscure or ‘uncommercial’ it often turns out. In todays musical climate it is difficult to find a decent label who are genuinely focused more on the artistic/innovative side than anything else. For me that is essential as I’ve no plans to start playing and writing fashionable music as a career move, not unless I do it accidentally that is.”

The upcoming album will be entitled The Obscurants and will probably be recorded in late 2012.

ANTIMATTER – Alternative Matter

Music is such a powerful form of expression, one that can blow your mind and speak to the soul. ANTIMATTER is one such band that operates at the deepest levels. It’s a given that the band’s releases have all been winners and this anniversary compilation is no different. Band mastermind Mick Moss combed through the archives to include demos, alternative versions, live versions, and remixes of the band’s music pre-Leaving Eden, many of which include the work of former bandmate, Duncan Patterson. Even their excellent cover of DEAD CAN DANCE‘s “Black Sun” made it and is the compilation’s opening track. Alternative Matter traverses the sonic palette of the band, which includes acoustic guitar/bass, female vocals, male vocals, synthesizers/programming, and violins. The songs are just as sublime, melancholic, and atmospheric as they always were.

Though ANTIMATTER fans have heard most of these songs in their original or live forms, they somehow stay fresh and vibrant in their alternate forms here. When it comes down to it, that is really a compliment to the quality of the songwriting. There are no stand out tracks as they are all fantastic. Fans will each have their favorites. With 22 tracks on the digipack double CD version, there is more than enough content to enjoy for quite some time. The premium artbook version has more than 100 pages, three CDs and one DVD. Wow.

Due to Alternative Matter‘s career spanning content, it is a great representation of ANTIMATTER‘s earlier years. Thus, a fine compilation for old and new fans of the band that will leave a lasting impression. It is also celebration of one of the underground’s best and criminally underrated bands. (Prophecy Productions)

ION – Madre, Protegenos

The diversity of metal artists often carries out far beyond the boundaries of metal itself. Influences become explorations, and one Duncan Patterson is a prime example of that. The former ANATHEMA member, who’s post-ANATHEMA musical output surfaced via the eclectic ANTIMATTER, has found himself exploring his own most personal creation in ION. ION‘s debut Madre, Protegenos retains the dark perspective of ANATHEMA and the sparseness of ANTIMATTER, never encapsulating either the heaviness of ANATHEMA or the electronics of ANTIMATTER. Madre, Protegenos is an ethereal collection of new age, world music. Tracks take a minimalistic approach, primarily driven by acoustic guitars, light percussion, and elegant “folksy” female vocals. Wind instruments occasionally dress the musical “white space” with just the necessary amount. Madre, Protegenos is a soundtrack-worthy exploration of eclectic music that is true to its intended form. There is no better example of metal’s diversity than Duncan Patterson‘s ION. (Equilibrium Music)