MATTER have returned to complete their post-hardcore saga with the release of The Man and The Terror on May 14th. This album completes the story of their debut EP The Man (review) that they released November of last year. The Man and The Terror combines the stories and features the 6 songs from The Man EP and 6 new songs (The Terror). It makes for an epic journey of spirituality and faith.
The first part of the story introduced us to a character that faces his demons and temptation: a man selfish in his own right that follows no rules and believes no God, who possesses riches and power, engulfed in his own greed. The lyrics to the opening track, “Rapture”: “Those who you hate let us hate them more. The tongue and the eye: our weapons of war. Indulgence: our vice. Contentment: our name. Pleasure: the prize. Careless: the game. We serve those who bid with selfish demand. No gods. No kings. No laws. Only man.”
Using Matter guitarist Daniel King’s words from the interview last November, “There is an incredible depth of joy, hope, reconciliation and rest, but there is something undeniably penetrating and transforming about darkness…. It’s nearly imperative that one listens through the album while reading the lyrics at least once.”
The lyrics tell the story of necessary evils, the darkest of despairs, and the questioning of beliefs. Where humans by nature are worshipers, Matter shine a revealing light on the object of their praise, telling the story of the deity as The Terror; one who keeps his sheep in line through fear and despair. It’s a story that tells us that it is not good or evil that cause “sin” in people’s lives, but the disingenuous lives they are led to live.
The second part of the story starts with track 7, “The Terror.” Here is a taste of the story this album tells:
Who? Who are you? You call as if I’ve something to
gain by saving necks that ought to be hanged. In fear of your death, you
turn from your ways, but do you fear me or the gallows you face? And
know, it’s not the same. There’s only one fear that sets a man free, true
terror you found, but do you believe? I am the flare behind every star. I am
the pulse that drives every heart. The pendulum swings as I keep the time,
if I skip a beat, a universe dies. You think you know fear, ‘cause you know
deceit? You think you taste wrath, ‘cause you taste defeat? You think sin
was birthed, and ruined my plans? You think death was stolen from out of
my hands? You think me a fool, when you can’t explain, how thoughts of a
God are searched for in vain? Well, whois this man who calls on my name
when I first called him son, and he first called me shame? You need not
sew, the tale I know—your silence speaks truth well enough. And the terror
you found, but friend hear me now, most of all: learn my love.
The journey continues to unravel and the character must face his past demons–“Art of War”– his own failings–“New Eyes”– and encourage others who must now go through the same journey he did–“Atlas.” The last track, “(Rapture),” is an intentional reinvention of the first track of the album, “Rapture,” where the character now faces eternity with excitement and fearful, but honest, humility.
Besides the message that lies in the lyrics this is a great hardcore record for any fan of Thrice, Brand New, and Defeater. The songs are brutally executed, and you can feel the passion behind each syllable.
ADDED BONUS: Every physical copy of the CD was hand made by the band: