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Satellite - Into The Night CD (album) cover





3.87 | 256 ratings

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3 stars I suppose that the signs were there in "Evening Games". A few passages in the epic title cut were cold and sharp edged, and both "Rush" and "Why" brilliantly toed the line between the harsh and the gentle, but ultimately "Evening Games" achieved a brilliant yin/yang blend that defied the trends and kept Satellite unique. They eschewed the overly self conscious approaches taken by their British peers, and produced two albums worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Collage, their progenitor. Then, Mr Szadowski, fairly bursting with aggressive energy, formed yet another project Peter Pan whose debut album "Days" is the essence of frenetic. It showed a style geared to heavy guitars and more than a nod to prog metal. So to find that Into the Night is far edgier and more guitar oriented than its two predecessors should not come as a surprise, but the degree to which metallic solos and droning riffs dominate the proceedings is striking. What was an occasional strength of the group has become merely trite, and, while as a neo prog band they were top in the class, Satellite now competes with outfits that were launched some time ago and really know how to achieve escape velocity.

The best material is found in the first few songs, the beautiful title track and Downtown Skyline with its Collage-like synths especially. Don't Walk Away in Silence is another fine number which reigns in excesses by and large. The three part Dreams does have many good moments much in the manner of Evening Overture from the prior album, but it is overly long and repeats themes a bit too often. It does not measure up to the other Satellite epics. While up till now most fans would concede that Satellite is the superior offshoot of Collage when compared with Mirek Gil's solo work and his latest project "Believe", the opening riff of "Heaven Can Wait" is a blatant ripoff of Mirek Gil's guitar style and virtually note for note of the start to "Liar" off the Believe album. But Sarhan doesn't have the warmth of Mr Gil, which didn't matter a whole lot before because he was kept in check a lot better. Now he seems to have a bit too much free rein and it isn't pretty. "Lights" has an infectious beat but again takes a turn for the worse as it goes along. Both bonus tracks are decent but pale in comparison to what we know Satellite can do, the choruses being unimaginative and lacking melodic flair. Moreover, the lyrics just don't resonate the way they did on the first 2 albums, especially "Evening Games". Szadowski seems to be out of inspiration in that department.

From my perspective as big fan of the first two installments and of Collage, Satellite has given up their niche in progressive rock, and to hear them trying to sound like Porcupine Tree or even Riverside is a bitter pill to swallow. But it's still Satellite, and for half an album amply shows the brilliance for which they are known. The rest of the time they launch an all out assault on the subtle while rotating in a geo stationary orbit.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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