Antimatter - _Planetary Confinement_
(Prophecy Productions, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (8 out of 10)
Antimatter consists of Mick Moss and ex-Anathema bassist Duncan Patterson, plus a number of guest musicians, and they are dedicated to creating emotional, tranquil music with a sombre tinge to it. Given this description, which I was aware of from the beginning, and the fact Anathema were one of my absolute favourite bands when Patterson left after _Alternative 4_ and created Antimatter (Anathema still are one of my favourite bands these days, but to a lesser extent), even I am surprised it took me some five years and three full-length albums to finally spend some time on one of their records. Yet I have done so with _Planetary Confinement_, perhaps encouraged by the moody and invitingly melancholy cover art.

Furthermore, while casually browsing the band's website, I started reading parts of one of the interviews featured there, taken from an unnamed Turkish source. There Patterson agreed with the interviewer about a "lack of vision" in Anathema after his departure, even though he had "never heard" _Judgement_ (their next album) apart from "a couple of tracks live and on jukeboxes" -- "some good riffs in parts but the lyrics are terrible", he stated. I couldn't help but feel more curious than before to hear the music and lyrics that Patterson was making now that might substantiate such bold claims.

There must be a whole heap of parables out there about searching for something and finding something else that turns out to be so much more interesting instead -- yet I can't seem to come up with one right now. The fact remains, however, that my curiosity to hear Patterson's current work led me to find Moss's frankly quite superior compositions -- at least for my taste. "The Weight of the World" and "Epitaph" are brilliant pieces of truly emotional music, without any of the gimmicks or commercial leanings often associated with it; "A Portrait of the Young Man as an Artist" and "Legions" also fare very well. On Patterson's side of things, "Relapse" is very good indeed, but I fail to connect to his other songs in a similar way -- including the cover of Trouble's "Mr. White" and the interesting but excessively drawn out "Eternity Part 23".

_Planetary Confinement_ successively features one song by each composer / performer, Patterson having recorded his in Ireland and Moss in Liverpool, England. Patterson's songs feature the soft singing of Amélie Festa, with a combination of mostly subdued acoustic guitar and keyboards to support it. Moss opts for a more upfront acoustic guitar and violin, with his own emotional, mature voice fleshing out the songs. Alternating the two approaches throughout the record results in some patchy transitions, and perhaps presenting this more as a split effort of sorts would have been a more advantageous option for the listeners. Nevertheless, both composers have some merit, and while an EP featuring only Moss's tracks would have achieved a 9 out of 10, _Planetary Confinement_ as a whole remains very worthwhile.

Duncan Patterson has since left Antimatter to focus on his other projects. Mick Moss has a new Antimatter release planned for 2006 though, titled _Leaving Eden_ and featuring Anathema's Danny Cavanagh.

Contact: http://www.antimatter.tk

(article published 12/9/2005)


ALBUMS
6/23/2007 P Azevedo 8.5 Antimatter - Leaving Eden
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