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Anathema - Distant Satellites CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.65 | 463 ratings

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Peacock Feather
4 stars For the tenth album in their career, the Liverpudlians approached the status of inveterate prophets in the field of the so-called "post-progressive". The sea and cloud spheres have already been passed on the previous 2 full-length albums, and it's time to conquer space and its reliable, but so Distant Satellites.

It would seem that the time has come to explore new ways to communicate your philosophy and experiment with them, but no matter! The band seemed to intuitively feel that it still has something to say since the days of Weather Systems, and the first 2 songs already evoke a direct association with the Untouchable dilogy. Yes, structurally, the first 2 parts of The Lost Song really repeat the masterpiece dilogy. Does this mean that it is necessary to brand Anathema for self-plagiarism? Not a damn thing! I don't know how they do it, but The Lost Song has something different from the Untouchable, plus, I think it was on this album that the duo Vinnie and Lee finally found the optimal balance for the group in terms of vocal parts. Only one thing is unclear: why do we need a frankly useless and unnecessary third part? Well, to hell with it, actually.

In general, it is still a big mystery to me how this band still does not have the same popularity as its colleagues from Muse and Radiohead. The desire of the band itself not to be so mainstream? To be honest, for me, hits like Ariel, which is dedicated to Danny's newborn daughter, or the tense Dusk, would be just monumental rock hits of the 2010s, in an age when the aforementioned bands are now releasing outright hack work, blood from the nose is needed by bands like Anathema. And the title track for the band was just a wonderful epitaph, in which the guys finally expressed everything they wanted to say in these 11 years since the release of A Natural Disaster, and crowned it all with a magnificent and sensual solo.

After such a catharsis already in the middle of the album, the band begins to think about how to finally explore these attractive outer spaces with a mixture of "cold" and technological, but such attractive electronics. And if the very bold You're Not Alone (the most unusual song of the new Anathema) demonstrates rather a chaotic flight on a rocket and going into space, then the title track for the album already demonstrates these cosmic deposits in full. It is amazing how, even in the experimental and transitional field, Anathema shows his mastery in conveying the atmosphere and his notorious "philosophy". And Distant Satellites is a great example of this: Vinnie's sensual vocals, beautiful synth passages, juicy trip-hop beat-everything works at 100% and delivers exorbitant pleasure as much as the most beautiful hits of Anathema. Take Shelter is just a great finalizer of this album, even if it loses a little bit of the title track in the impact on the listener. Although many fans did not appreciate the band's electronic endeavors, I welcomed them with great and undisguised pleasure.

Distant Satellites is a transitional album in all respects, which is slightly inferior to its two predecessors, but it is still an excellent release with its own special atmosphere and a solid set of songs, among which "electronic" things stand out strongly. It's just a pity that they won't get a good development in future. Fortunately, this does not concern the Distant Satellites themselves in any way.

Peacock Feather | 4/5 |


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