Antimatter - Planetary Confinement - The End Records
9 Songs
Running Time: 47:15

When is the defining moment of a band's career? Is it that first rush of pure emotion born from signing a recording contract? Is it that first world tour, and the realization that yes, people appreciate your music? Or could it be the music itself, and that one album that reaches out and touches people where they live? In the past, Antimatter has kept their fans at arm's length, crafting two somber albums that stood with one foot on each side of the border between longing and lost hope.

Planetary Confinement, however, finds Antimatter far past that border, deep in the realms of loneliness and despair. Solo piano piece, 'Planetary Confinement' is the perfect prelude to the pleading 'Weight Of The World'. As much as this song seeks compassion, it is very much a cold acknowledgement of the gulf between a lost soul and the rest of humanity. The gossamer quality to Amelie Festa's voice on 'Line Of Fire' lends even more fragility to this album, which is primarily acoustic. The sparse, bare presentation of the acoustic guitar peels back the layers of sound, leaving nothing but an open field and empty space. Vocally, 'Epitaph' is the sound of a voice miles away being heard for the last time. The line "A portrait, an epitaph." is a picture of the whole album, really. As real, and as lifelike as a painting of a loved one or landscape may be, through it we cannot touch the skin. We cannot feel the grass under our feet. It's a cold ache, and that is our 'Epitaph'. Trouble is one of those bands whose material has been rendered "untouchable". The sorrowed mania of addiction which consumes Trouble's 'Mr. White' (here covered acoustically, and beautifully featuring Amelie once more) falls headlong into the scathing 'A Portrait Of The Young Man As An Artist'. Easily the most blunt, straightforward song Antimatter have ever composed, 'A Portrait...' (the title is a clever rewording of a James Joyce work) pulls no punches, and shies away from the more poetic tones of the rest of the album's lyrics. Likely, this speaks more to Nick's belief that the subject of the song couldn't be intelligent enough to understand subtlety. 'Relapse' sees Patterson lost in regret, using diminished keys to accent the full-bodied sound of acoustic guitars. The last song with vocals on Planetary Confinement, 'Legions' seems as much a send-off as an encouragement to overcome, which leads us to the desolate beauty of 'Eternity Part 24'. With quiet keys, muted strings, and distant birdsongs, thus ends Planetary Confinement (and Duncan Patterson's tenure in Antimatter).

Remember those defining moments I spoke of before? This is one. Stark, bleeding tears and melancholy, Planetary Confinement is an album for the unlit hours. Dark night of the soul, indeed.

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