I said not that long ago how the concert offer in this city has so far been slim to say the least. Well, now it’s been two in the span of only a few days. That’ll shut me up wouldn’t it! But anyway since it’s obvious at this point that things are heating up I really won’t drivel any more of that. So moving on, Antimatter from UK have returned to play in Belgrade, full on electric this time round, following the previous unplugged performances. Let’s just bear in mind at this point that I know very little of them as this band hasn’t really been on my radar, ever, for whatever reason.
But I’d definitely like to direct your attention to The Father of Serpents, who took the stage first. Again, they started before I’d be there, sorry guys I really need to stop being late to everything… Right, one might break out that overused trope of “breath of fresh air” but this doesn’t do these guys justice. These are all experienced musicians with plenty of previous band playing between them, including names like Awaiting Fear and Rain Delay, very well-known to the local scene back in the day.
The show had everything on the checklist: slow tempo, heavy riffs, switching between clean and harsh vocals, you name it. And while at first I figured I’m a simpleton biased old doomer who will pounce on pretty much any attempt of channeling Paradise Lost, there certainly wasn’t a lack of flair on the stage. Also, the violin sections were a nice touch. I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff admittedly but you can’t deny any of this.
Taking their bow and walking out, we were provided momentary rest before we’d see Antimatter. Like I said, I had quite a limited knowledge about this band so I only had a general idea of what to expect. The initial feeling I had was that I heard all of this before, the kind of stuff you put on in the background while you do whatever you do. The musicianship was there, the lighting was there, and yet I couldn’t shake off the feeling that it’s nothing to write home about.
But, as it went on, it hit me, they’re not about that. It was about conveying a message. The half-dead crowd wasn’t half-dead, they were paying attention. This isn’t some groundbreaking discovery but this is the kind of stuff I rarely notice anymore because there have been so many bands that I’ve heard, that I’ve analyzed and consumed one way or another. This feeling of “discovering a new band” (well, not really since it technically wasn’t the case) is something that I really can’t recommend enough. You can raise some eyebrows regarding my lack of involvement thus far but the fact remains. The total set length was a good 90 minutes, which I definitely will always comment on. You can’t help but feel at least slightly scammed when the band picks up and scoots out an hour and change later.
Lastly, I won’t repeat myself regarding the technicalities of the sound, the venue and stuff. Elektropionir isn’t great for any of this so I decided to stick to my general plan to try and stay back where the sound is generally cleaner and the crowd significantly less densely packed. The venue itself wasn’t densely packed in any part and the sound was indeed cleaner than usual. All this obviously added to the intimacy.
PS: Many thanks to Jovan Ristić for the pics. Be sure to check the whole gallery here!