“dark_matter are a non-vocal trio from Limerick who subtly blend prog rock with lumps of thrash and goth-metal on their debut EP Adrift, They manufacture a teasing atmosphere on “Neptune” via buzz guitars against a synth-string backdrop. The majestic “The Persistence of Memory” integrates a flute-like trad melody into a cauldron of beautiful noise after a tame build up. “Compression Syndrome”steers closer to the group’s metal roots , with a ton of heavy riffage mixed with a polite synth and sombre piano. There’s a resurgence in the metal scene in Ireland as elsewhere, and we need more like dark_matter to kick out the jams”

Spacey, atmospheric, synth led metal – the world doesn’t have enough of it.
The style enjoyed a brief radar blip of popularity in the 90s, when bands like Holy Records’ SUP and Supernal Records’ M87 cast their eyes upwards for inspiration.
More recently, and closer to home, Ireland’s Acrid released ‘Caveman’ a few years back. It was an impressive demo full of starry ambience.
Dark Matter, from Limerick, have strapped themselves into the pod to continue this journey outside the earth’s orbit, and do a reasonable job of it too.
There are nods to post rock in here, particularly in ‘The Persistence Of Memory’s clean guitar. Luckily though, they dont dwell on it. ‘Compession Syndrome’ affirms that this is metal through and through, with it’s moody, chunking build up.
Though it’s decent, I wish it was just a touch more developed and a bit more adventurous. The three piece know how to write a decent melody, yes. These riff led songs though could really benefit from some of the excitement that, for example, listening to a bit of Dutch nerd-metallers Textures could spur on.
In other words this demo needs a bit more vivacity.
Still, it’s intriguing. Particularly cool is the wandering bass in ‘Monolith’. It meanders strangely under a windy clean picked section, before resolving into some unexpected but powerful chords. Excellent stuff.
Similarly, their keyboard sounds – deliberately synth pad in style – remind even of the godlike Ship Of Fools and their trippy, totally unacknowledged heyday.
It’ll be interesting to see how Dark Matter develop this, particularly if they plan on live shows (in which projections could certainly be cool). If anything, more variety and a little more pizazz is needed. They’ve got the basics down however, and that’s a decent start.
Readers may remember a review of the incredible Shadowcast Sun demo from a few months ago. They did this kind of music almost perfectly. With a bit more invention, Dark Matter mightn’t be far behind them.

Ambient/prog instrumental band formed from the remnants of two other very different bands, Full Shred and Giora.The Limerick based 3-piece, dark_matter, harness elements from various genres and come together as a spacey, ambient and atmospheric metal act. Their debut EP, ‘_adrift_ ’, was released towards the end of 2010.
There is an obvious prog style to the music on this EP right from the start as opening track,‘Neptune’plays out. A short track coming in at under two minutes, it’s a great intro to the EP and the band. ‘The Persistence Of Memory’ is really when the bands true colours shine through. When the synthesizer effects kick in at the beginning you might feel yourself start to cringe, but the band seem to know when they’re on the verge of going just that little bit too far and reign it back in. Not long in a slow heavy guitar riff breaks through with nice lead touches and plucking added to great atmospheric effect. The tempo picks up briefly towards the end keeping the track from treading water.
‘Compression Syndrome’ opens with a straight up mid-tempo thrashy riff. But the bands prog leanings slip right back into the mix before too long. The most metallic of the four tracks that showcases all three players with driving heavy bass, varied and powerful drumming, solid yet never boring guitars and just the right amount of keyboards/synths to give it that proggy edge. Closing track ‘Monolith’shows a band that is simply comfortable in what they’re doing. It’s a varied track with plenty of input from all members, mixing things up enough to make the seven minute track fly by before you realize, and excellent guitar leads that never seem to come all the way to the fore, but accompany the keyboards step for step.
The EP is essentially a demo which was recorded and engineered by drummer Dave O’Dowd, with mixing done on a collaborative basis between all three members. And even though the production quality is slightly lacking, it is still well above average and doesn’t detract from your enjoyment of the EP. There is great potential on offer here. These lads have a goal and vision of what they’re trying to achieve. And given more time and experience I have no doubt they can get there. (rated 8.5/10)

Being always weary of those ‘do it yourself’ new bands, we had some skepticism about the claims made on dark_matter’s press package info sheet. However, dark_matter greatly surprised us with great quality music and an impressive sound on this very short-but-sweet EP release. For over four tracks, the band delivers trippy and spaced-out compositions that stick in your head for days.
With the opening track “Neptune”, we are treated to some of the best ethereal keyboards we’ve heard in quite a while. They are perfectly paired with nice riffing and drumming, something that many bands that rely too much on their keyboards to be overly atmospheric can’t seem to get right. After the short intro track, “the_persistence_of_memory” delivers more powerful guitars paired with electronic and space rock elements that will transport you to a different level of consciousness (or your money back). We love that there are absolutely no vocals ruining the beauty of the music in this release.
“compression_syndrome” is the heaviest song of the release and nicely changes the pace of things slowly building up, unlike the previous songs. The closer of this EP is a song called “monolith” and as its name mentions, this song is a monolithic 7 minute track of electronic elements and beautiful atmospheric sections. If you just added some female vocals to this piece, we would have an amazing Gothic Metal song. This song gets even more emotional and dramatic near its conclusion, creating a very effective feeling of closure for this release.
Once again, we have to say that we are blown away by such a beautiful release by dark_matter. This band knows exactly what they are doing and they excel at it. The atmospheric elements alone create such a powerful release and when paired with the rock/Metal elements, they blend perfectly to create intricate and effective songs. Head over to the band’s myspace and get this amazing release before it’s too late. (rated 90/100)
-Infernal Masquerade

While trying to pin down exactly how to describe Adrift, the phrase that keeps resonating in my mind is “free-flowing, unrestricted creativity”. I say this because the structures of the songs seem to have an ethereal, limitless quality to them, that each of these four tracks could go on as long as they wanted into oblivion. It’s been too long since the world (or at least myself) heard ambient, instrumental metal of this nature, the kind that blends genres and experiments with different sounds without trying to fit into any particular category. What I admire about each song is its dynamic nature, in that the keyboard and guitar melodies and atmospheric synths and heavy riffs are rarely predictable.
Some refining is necessary to smooth out the edges and transitions, but ultimately this is good stuff. There is no doubt the three-man Irish group have a unique creative vision that I personally wish to see blossom in future releases. Adrift is only the beginning.

Dark Matter begin, plying their ambient, technical space-metal to jaw-dropping effect and filling a near-packed [Dolans] Warehouse with atmosphere, and while never giving way to their post-rock urges, can create soundscapes with the preciseness and relation between instrument of that genre’s greats. And when they kick it into high gear, the result is phenomenal, epic riffing and mastery of composition and performance, setting apart a truly forward-thinking outfit
-Molten Magazine(Seige Of Limerick VI set review)