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Panic Room - Satellite CD (album) cover

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Panic Room

 

Crossover Prog

3.32 | 62 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

lazland
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Welsh bands will, of course, always pique my interest, and Panic Room have been born from the ashes of the breakup of perhaps the archetypal modern Welsh prog band, Karnataka. I haven't got around to buying their new effort as yet, but I've given this one a few listens now, and it gets better and more satisfying each and every time.

The fulcrum of this band is Anne Marie Helder, who will also be familiar to fans of Mostly Autumn. Her vocals are absolutely fantastic throughout. This is particularly true on the wonderfully melancholic track The Fall. The acoustic guitar and Helder combine beautifully on Sunshine, a track which strikes me as being the perfect love song for a Sunday morning.

The band are, rightly, classified as crossover prog on the site, and a lot of this album is extremely commercial and easy to listen to. This is not to denigrate it at all, quite the opposite.

The musicianship is exceptional throughout. There are some throwaway moments, particularly Picking Up Knives and Black Noise, both of which sound to me to me to be classic filler tracks. They are not bad, just forgettable. However, the bulk of the album is solid throughout, and there are also excerpts of great humour, especially I Am A Cat. The cat, sadly, remains uncredited for his/her contribution!

There are also moments of what we would describe as classic prog, and the highlight here is Dark Star, which features some wonderful organ work by Jonathon Edwards, a la Wakeman in his pomp.

The highlight of the album, though, and worth a solid three stars in itself is the title track. An incredible piece of music, at turns dark, melancholic, and also beautiful, it all builds up to a hugely moving and powerful chorus, showing the singer at her absolute peak. Exceptional bass playing especially from Alun Vaughan, this is, from the start, a true toe tapping prog/pop classic weighing in at over eight minutes long. If only radio stations were prepared to still play singles that long. I dare you not to sing along to Ann Marie with your arms outstretched!

It is sometimes too easy to overrate new albums on the site. I will, therefore, award this album a very solid 3 stars. It is a very good album, and one to consider purchasing for those of you who are prepared to enjoy prog in its more lighter form.

lazland | 3/5 |

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