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Satellite - Into The Night CD (album) cover





3.87 | 256 ratings

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5 stars Santa's second 2007 Xmas gift (after Singularity's amazing new one) is the third sequel in the Satellite saga that simply confirms this Polish band's place on the Prog leader board, up there with Porcupine Tree, IQ, Dream Theater, the Flower Kings, After Crying etc.It takes a trio of great recordings to merit the lofty praise and these ex-Collage castoffs richly deserve their place. Their upbeat debut disc "A Street Between.." certainly made a strong worldwide impression on many a prog aficionado, with loads of highly melodic tracks featuring sublime lead guitars, cascading keyboard work, transcendent percussive work and emotive vocal. The second chapter equally hit the bell with a darker, more somber series of songs that wandered into less commercial territory, very much to our pleasure. "Into the Night" is very much a consolidation of both their winning formulas, a well-balanced musical adventure that borders on perfection. Again the Harry Potterish artwork is among the finest you will see anywhere, the production top-notch and under the uncanny leadership of drummer-composer extraordinaire Wojtek Szadkowski, Satellite has hit its stride with a breathtaking set of songs that combine the sweet and the tart, introducing thundering new bassist Jarek Michalski (who recently played on the Peter Pan debut, another Szadkowski side project that emphasizes a more energetic sound) who really etches a much stronger presence than previous bassists. Ex-Collage members Krysztof Palczewski on keyboards and Robert Amirian on lead vocals are now totally integral to the Satellite sound, having worked with Wojtek for ages. Master guitarist Sarhan Kubeisi has managed the unthinkable: forgetting the stellar Mirek Gil, whose own Believe project is nevertheless deserving of attention. Sarhan's style hints at all the usual prog suspects, yet his sound is quite original and by now immediately recognizable: bluesy, inventive and poignant without drawing comparisons to the Gilmour-Latimer school of guitar delivery. The title track dispels any threat of a ho hum "laissez faire" attitude, as it goes straight for the jugular with a sweeping mellotron infested romp that leaves no prisoners, everything well-oiled smooth prog perfection. This is powerful, passionate, sophisticated progressive bliss that winks respectfully at KC's "Epitath". "Dreams" is a massive three part epic that provides that "harder" edge and room for all the conspirators to stretch out their considerable talents, as the hysterical guitar howls, the brutal bass growls and the pounding drum prowls. Just like in a typical dream, there are shifting moods, swinging rhythms, unexpected swerves, flashbacks and sudden variations, displaying a decidedly non neo-prog creativity that suits these musicians to a tee. Wojtek's throbbing drum work in particular proves his top-notch reputation and Sarhan does a fine Manzanera freak-out guitar solo that sends shivers of glee down the dorsal. "Downtown Skyline" aka The Angel's Song serves up some fine obtuse flavors with odd atmospherics and an eerie undercurrent of doom, another reminder that they are no lightweight purveyors of bland neo-prog. Halfway through and not even one bum note, damn this is good! "Lights" is a brief instrumental interlude, providing a much needed emotional break, an interesting combination of swirling sonics and piano twinkles. Here it comes, "Don't Walk Away in Silence" is a classic Szadkowski composition, very much in the mold of Collage's stellar "Living in the Moonlight" or the more recent "Beautiful World", a bluesy, emotionally charged plea that exudes power, passion and utter musicality, in large part due to the plaintive vocals and the desperate lead guitar solos that keep the pace ablaze. How can anyone not like this is beyond my capacity to comprehend, it's that timeless. Three words: Simply beautiful prog. The grandiose finale hints again at the Court of the Crimson King. The 9 minute "Heaven Can Wait" returns to harder themes, serving up huge choruses with organs glowing and guitars screaming. Palczewski's piano work astounds once again, bridging the rage and fury back into the fold, caressing the senses with unexpected ecstasy. Almost done and still no dud, damn this is good stuff! The dazzling finale is "Forgiven and Forgotten", a poignantly breezy affair overflowing with feeling, extremely smooth ("Cool fingertips on your skin"), with an almost tropical/Egyptian tinge that ushers in deep symphonics and a killer gut wrenching guitar solo that moves like a sandstorm, a perfect musical farewell. Hey, this is an outright masterpiece, on par or even better than "Moonshine". This Satellite can spin around me forever, be in my proggy orbit eternally and become another progressive reason to live and love life. Thank You Santa! 5 polished orbits
tszirmay | 5/5 |


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