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Panic Room

Crossover Prog

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Panic Room Satellite album cover
3.34 | 79 ratings | 11 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Freedom to Breathe (5:33)
2. Picking Up Knives (5:10)
3. I Am a Cat (4:37)
4. The Fall (6:17)
5. Black Noise (3:59)
6. Yasuni (5:14)
7. Sunshine (6:02)
8. Into the Fire (5:00)
9. Dark Star (5:11)
10. Muse (3:43)
11. Satellite (8:05)

Total Time 58:51

Line-up / Musicians

- Anne Marie Helder / vocals, guitars, keyboards
- Jonathan Edwards / keyboards
- Paul Davies / guitars
- Alun Vaughan / bass
- Gavin John Griffiths / drums

Releases information

Published by Firefly Music Ltd. 2010

Thanks to progrockfreak for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy PANIC ROOM Satellite Music

PANIC ROOM Satellite ratings distribution

(79 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

PANIC ROOM Satellite reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Formed around four of six members of Karnataka, Panic Room is a band that surely surpassed their former band in almost every aspect. Paul Davies (guitar), Jonathan Edwards (keyboards) , Gavin John Griffiths (drums), vocalist and multi instrumentist Anne Marie Helder plus new member Alun Vaughan (bass guitars, who previously had a background only with jazz bands) had already release an excellent debut album, The Visionary Position in 2008. So I was really anxious to see what this new album was like. Could they outdo themselves? The answer is yes.

it is very rare to see a team of musicians that seemed to work together so well not only surviving a major crisis when their former group disbanded after their leaders and main songwriters split, but also rarer to find out they manage to make it a blessing in disguise. They had lost none of the their musical tighness, but there is more to it. The band now is more than a sum of its parts. The arrangements are tasteful, and they are playing for the musicīs sake, they are really team players who give their best for what the songs called for everytime. Just great! The new songwriting team of Helder and Edwards already displayed great promise on their debut, but now they show they have grown more mature, more secure and varied as ever. Also Anne Marie Helder, who had joined Karnataka as a harmony singer, is growing more confident on each relase. She has not only a beautiful voice, but also has a versatile, unique and powerful way to deliver the message, making her one of the most charismatic vocalists ever to appear on the prog rock field.

I was glad to be able to get the two CD version of Satellite. The bonus record is short (only 24 minutes) but the four songs are as good as any of the main course. Production is also top notch. There are no fillers and every song is a gem on itself. Itīs hard to point out a highlight since the variety of styles makes it hard to compare them (although I do have a soft spot for the title track, one of their very best songs ever). As on every good prog work I know, the CD takes time to grow on lyou, with each listening showing more subtle detais you didnīt notice before. A great melodic prog rock record that will please anyone who likes this kind of music. Nothing really groundbreaking, avant guarde or too symphonic, ok, but made with passion, talent and conviction. And I love it!

While I havenīt heard the new Karnataka album and line up (only bassist Ian Jones reamaining now as an original member) Iīm glad to know Panic Room more than fulfilled their promising start. Iīm loking forward to hear their new stuff.

Rating: Iīd love to give it a five star rating based on my personal taste, but believe they still havenīt reached their peak. So 4,5 stars is more fitting for this fantastic work. Time will tell if it will become a masterpiece in the eyes of the world, but I wouldnīt be surprised if it eventually make it.

Review by Nightfly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars From the ashes of a major break-up in Karnataka, Panic Room were formed by four ex- members of the Welsh band with Alun Vaughan brought in on bass duties. Now on their second album Panic Room occupy a harder hitting more mainstream rock area than the delicate, ethereal and floaty sounds of their former band. With Anne Marie Helder, who supplied backing vocals and flute to Karnataka's Delicate Flame Of Desire, they have an excellent singer more suited to the material than Rachel Jones' (Karnataka) more airy tones would have been.

I like complex and challenging music as much as the next proghead but sometimes it's nice to have something that cuts straight to the chase with immediately catchy melodies and strong hooks. Satellite fits the bill nicely with its collection of more mainstream/AOR moments none better than opening two tracks Freedom To Breathe and Picking Up Knives and ballads like The Fall and Sunshine. Occasionally things get a little heavier like on the riffy Black Noise and it's all tastefully done on well thought out without being overly complex arrangements. The standard of musicianship is very good with some pleasing guitar and keyboard work and a solid rhythm section including some tasty bass work from Vaughan who I suspect is capable of more than the material here requires.

A limited edition is available, only from the band website I believe, which contains a bonus disc of an extra twenty five minutes of material. It's worth getting hold of as this is not the dodgy outtakes that usually make up these discs, but four songs that can sit head and shoulders with the songs on the main album. Overall then, a strong and enjoyable collection of songs, which has received many plays from me already.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Three main points: 1)I like old Karnataka 2)I like new Karnataka 3)Will I like new Panic Room as well ?

We shall see, hear or whatever you use as main sense for appreciating and enjoying music.

Actually, this album is as far as I feel, more poppy than "Gathering Light". After all, this one is in Crossover Prog for a reason while other one is Prog Folk. Certainly the worse way to go and for me to like. Melodies that are too melodic, songs that are too simple for my taste (and believe me, I do love good simple songs from time to time) such as I Am the Cat. Not that I hate cats, I love them, but what I don't like are the guitars. Singing is also big difficulty for me.

From some reasons, these track doesn't work for me.

3(-), there are bright sunshine moments in this average world.

Review by lazland
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.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Panic Room's second spout is a quality segue to Visionary Position, an entertaining perhaps even poppy debut by the former Karnatakans , displaying a strong tendency to have some fun which is sometimes in rare supply in the wonderful world of serious prog. I mean we can't always feed on odd time sigs and rapid-fire chops, we all need some comfort food music from time to time.

Strangely for this rather volatile group, there have been no line up changes in getting this "Satellite" released, so all the usual suspects are in place and seemingly comfortable. No one more so than Anne-Marie Helder who has finally the "Freedom to Breathe" which happens to be the opening track, a fine upbeat rocker that pulsates with a new found energy and an exhilarating disposition. Her vocals are riveting and the material is of fine upbringing. "Picking Up Knives" is another stalwart vocal, a thumping rhythm and some snarly guitar lines from Mr. Davies but its really the Helder show here, she can sing like the wind! To prove the point, the feline purring on the next track "I Am a Cat" is a sensational expose of her lung's talents with slinky guitar, lippy meows and elastic drums providing the musical catnip. All good fun. The romantic "The Fall" is a solid bluesy ballad of complete rapture, showcasing their proggy tendencies even though this is a love song (yipes!) and Anne-Marie delivers a credible and passionate performance, really charming. "Black Noise" is raunchy, a tougher crunch within the guitar phrasings assaulting the ears, with an unmistakable tinge of hard-rock that is pleasing, in a sly way. When the mellotron kicks in post-chorus, there is this revelation of quality; you just know that this is good stuff! The tingling synth solo just confirms it. "Yasuni" is back to gentler climes, with some tortuous axe workouts in the background and elevated vocalizings once again, keeping the interest level high and observant by utilizing various contrasts to keep the beat going. The shimmering "Sunshine" is perhaps the loveliest track here, straight out of the British folk tradition with an arousing hushed voice, sweet harmonics and serene backdrop, evoking breezy summer days where love is in the magical air, among the redolent flowers and the green meadows of Albion. This is a perfect track to introduce to the prog leery lady in your life, seducing her into your unique musical world. Play this as she awakens from her golden slumber armed with a perfect breakfast in bed and well, you can guess the rest... Dazzling composition. The band does not relent as they kick into "Into the Fire", a sublime piece of upbeat balladry once again, confirming the talents of this interesting band. The songs keep rolling in, unafraid and sincere. That alone deserves the highest praise. To prove that they have it right and keep things within baited breath, a brooding church organ flings into action on the murky "Dark Star", a track that will please the gloomy fans who think of the devil from time to time. Atmosphere galore and ultra entertaining. "Muse" is back to piano driven folk music, a wispy lilt that holds no quarrel and drips sweetly like fine brandy. Anne-Marie's wailing is breathtaking, a moment of reflection before unleashing the epic finale title track, arguably the piece de resistance on this recording. A rumbling fretless bass launches "Satellite" quite convincingly, providing the platform to scour the skies with a soaring and majestic chorus that twinkles in the starry night, a sense of restraint and composure that is most beguiling, Davies building up slowly a spiraling solo . The first time I heard this, I knew I was in the presence of something special. And it is. I have been humming this for a while now. Silly me.

Panic Room is not all sweetness and fragility, they are about sunlight and shadows, and as long as they propose such entertaining music, I intend to follow them. Just one question, where is Jody Foster in all of this?

4 frightful orbits

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars Knowing that the band was formed by former Karnataka and former Mostly Autumn members can already give an idea of what this album can contain. I have to say that I hear more similarities with MA than with Karnataka as I could have expected but it may be just my subjective feeling.

Not a bad album at all. I've been a little surprised reading in another review that the track that doesn't work for the reviewer is the one that I have liked more than the others: "I Am A Cat", which demonstrates how subjective the perception of music can be.

The album starts with a rock guitar riff. "Freedom To Breathe" is a good rock song on which the former MA Anne Marie Helder shows her vocal extension. Paul Davies is not mimic of David Gilmour. At the end this song reminds me a bit to Magenta.

"Picking Up Knives" is bluesy. Anne's voice works very well on this track which leaves some room to piano and bass. A radio friendly song good, I think, for driving.

Now it's the turn of the already mentioned "I Am A Cat". Meows are done by the guitar. the song is a sort of grotesque waltz. with a nice chorus of the kind which remains fixed in the head for some time.

"The Fall" is a good title for a song which fails to keep me interested. It's too far from my tastes, just melodic chill-out. It doesn't mean that somebody else can't like it. Not my pot.

Instead, I like the bass on the following "Black Noise". On this song Anne sounds a bit like Heather Findlay on "Caught In A Fold". This is another rocking song which unfortunately has another chill-out in the middle that I like less, however Anne's voice is excellent and in its complex the song is surely not bad even if far from being a masterpiece.

"Yasuni" is an important song. "In a land in the Amazon There is a sound Like the burning of Eden Down to the ground ". Unfortunately in that reserve which is considered the place most rich of biodicversity in the world somebody has found petrol. A song with a little newage flavor.

I remember a short time lived Italian duo called "Nocturna". This "Sunshine" is a song which reminds me to them. btw, that duo was considered newage.

I think that putting too many slow-time melodic songs in sequence sometimes doesn't work. When "Into The Fire" comes I'm in general a bit tired of all this sweetness. Taken alone this is an excellent song. Easy chords and very radio friendly but makes its work.

"Dark Star" is opened by a church organ which closes the sequence of sugar and honey of the previous songs. It's a melodic song, as well as the rest of the album, but this is more tasty, the chord passages are not trivial and the mood is dramatic. Close to the Mostly Autumn of the "Passengers" period.

"Muse" is another nice pop song. I think to Christina Boothe's solo debut album. Keys and voice.

The title track closes the album. It's also the longest song and even if length doesn't necessarily mean "progressive", this is a song which can qualify a band for this site. It switches on a flag in my mind, but I can't identify exactly what it is. It's the sensation that I often feel when a song contains elements which are common with others. I have felt this sensation the first time I've listened to Mostly Autumn's "The Gap Is Too Wide". I was trying to remember when I had listened something I had never listened to before. A very good closer for an average album.

Good but non essential, with some weaknesses in the middle but also some very good songs

Latest members reviews

3 stars I'm writing this review from the perspective of a big Panic Room fan. Other Panic Room reviews suggest that the band's music walks the line between classic rock and progressive rock. That's an excellent description of this album. The album is also very melodic, expertly played, and beautifully pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#1267369) | Posted by thwok | Thursday, September 4, 2014 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Hmmmmmmmmm..... I normally bypass the numerous lengthy features Classic Rock Present Prog have on the female vocalist fronts British AOR/Neo Prog bands. I am not an admirer of this scene whatsoever. Panic Room is one band in this scene and somehow, this album has ended up in my home. Th ... (read more)

Report this review (#352936) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, December 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Light Prog Rock/Pop from Wales: great production and excellent musicianship throughout the album, but most of the songs on the album remain rather forgettable. There is one great song, though: Dark Star ? it kicks off with a great organ work soon reinforced by some great guitar riffs. Anne Marie ... (read more)

Report this review (#319646) | Posted by lukretio | Sunday, November 14, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Satellite is the first, and possibly only album, I have looked into for the band Panic Room. After reading positive reviews, I was looking forward to this album. Boy, was I in for a ride... Let me give you the good news first. The musicianship on this album is very good. The songs are played ... (read more)

Report this review (#308001) | Posted by LastDaysofParadise | Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The history of Karnataka and its dissolution in 2004 is well documented - suffice it to say here that there are now no less than four excellent bands based around the six original group members, an indication in itself of the phenomenal depth of talent that this former band had within its mids ... (read more)

Report this review (#263689) | Posted by progrockfreak | Sunday, January 31, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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