Release DetailsLABEL The End
RELEASED ON 7/26/2005
posted on 7/2005 By:
While already well-known for their distinctive catalog of eclectic and experimental releases, The End has had one of those years for the record books. Even with exceptional offerings from Frantic Bleep, Thine Eyes Bleed, Peccatum, and Ulver, I’m still convinced that few will outshine Antimatter’s latest effort Planetary Confinement. Where Savior had a sort of goth sensibility that was seasoned by strong trip-hop and trance leanings, Lights Out saw them shed a great deal of that electronica element in exchange for a more psychedelic slant. Pushing their musical evolution a few degrees further, the duo of Mick Moss and Duncan Patterson (ex-Anathema) have returned with this summer’s soundtrack to desolation. Their third ethereal installment finds the band roaming down the same haunting path as earlier works; however, they are heading in a drastically different direction this time around.
A purely acoustic album accompanied by piano and strings, Planetary Confinement continues the process of introducing more of an organic air to the fold. Savior had only a handful of these acoustic passages, whereas Lights Out incorporated them into virtually every song. Though it has been a gradual cycle arriving at their present destination, Antimatter have been enhancing their sound ever since the initial note was penned in 1998. While over the course of the past seven years, the band has abandoned certain ideas to allow the materialization of fresh ones, a somber ambiance remains the key framework of their compositions. The atmosphere is a constant, where only the execution has been altered as seen fit. Predominantly directed through the dreamlike soundscapes by delicate female vocals in the past, another aspect that has taken shape more frequently, is the addition of the melancholic male crooning of Mick Moss. The hopelessness in his voice is evident as he trades verses with the languid yearning of Amelie Festa. The two compliment one another perfectly as they each sink deeper into their respective void of depression.
The most exact and to the point description I can give Planetary Confinement would be avantgarde acoustic doom for fans of the lighter side of Opeth, Ulver, and label mates Agalloch. I am personally filled with girlish glee when I listen to Antimatter, and Planetary Confinement is a stable contender for the coveted Album Of The Year award. Upon the unveiling of this disc, Duncan Patterson has since departed to focus on his Ion project. It will be interesting to see where Mick Moss takes the band when flying solo. The word on the street is that Moss has already put the finishing touches on the next Antimatter album, due out in early 2006 - a date that can't come soon enough. Let the drooling begin!
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