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Satellite - Into The Night CD (album) cover

INTO THE NIGHT

Satellite

 

Neo-Prog

3.95 | 211 ratings

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russellk
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This album seems to have little of the subtlety of the other SATELLITE album I've listened to, 'A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset.' Sadly I've not yet acquired their second CD, which is a bit like reading a trilogy while missing out the second book. Nevertheless, I have some thoughts on this album.

Embarking on a trilogy is fraught with danger. (I know this from a writing point of view.) One's style might change, or one simply gets bored with the subject and wishes to move on. The former seems to have happened between 'A Street ...' and 'Into The Night', although I understand that the middle CD is heavier than either the first or third. This is a real pity, as these ears really valued the lyricism derived from the combination of synth and guitar present on the former album. Here beauty is replaced by a sloppy combination of crashing rhythms set much further forward in the mix, and guitars bordering on metal. The gorgeous hooks that made 'A Street' so memorable have gone.

Well, so it's not a copy of their first album. That's a good thing. What, then, is it?

Well, it draws together elements of metal and neo-prog, underlining them with a heightened urgency. The album borders on heavy prog. 'Dreams', the 13 minute epic, displays these wares rather effectively, though the frenetic rhythms in the second part of the song I find rather annoying. The climax of the third part, however, is very special. Unfortunately it doesn't quite gel as a song, and appears far too early in the album. Pruned a little, this would have made an excellent closing track.

The heavy wall-of-sound instrumentation spills over into the rest of the album, so much so that SATELLITE are compelled to add an 'in between' track, 'Lights', just to give the listener a rest from the noise. See, the problem here is that the high volume gives the band little scope for the dynamic range they're capable of, which robs their songs of much of the character they could have had.

There are touches of electronica ('Don't Go Away In Silence', for example, is rather AUTECHRE-ish in parts) that help give tracks personality, but in reality all is dominated by the crushing guitars and incessant rhythm. 'Heaven Can Wait' is helped by an excellent riff, and we get to actually hear the keyboards for a change. But it overstays its welcome by a considerable margin. And what's this closing track? Does anyone else feel as jarred as I do that this album of sharp edges is concluded by a track that is initially lounge-funk smooth? Nice solo though.

What a pity. The changes may have made the band louder, but they've also made the band sound like so many others. The components are all there, but compositionally it is more like eating raw egg than an omelette. Having once found their voice, SATELLITE appear to have given it away again.

russellk | 3/5 |

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