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Satellite - Nostalgia CD (album) cover

NOSTALGIA

Satellite

 

Neo-Prog

3.58 | 152 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Reliving the good old days

After Satellite's superb 2007 album "Into the night", expectations are naturally high for this new release for 2009. The line up remains unchanged, with the intriguingly named Amarok adding some extra keyboard sounds and a late guitar solo. The album was recorded in the home studio of drummer Wojtek Szadkowski, who writes all the material including the English language lyrics. The album is loosely linked by a concept of "coming to terms with the past, about the need for a change, starting anew, distancing oneself to one's own past". Such a concept fits in well with the style of the music, which harks back to the heydays of prog from a contemporary perspective.

With just seven tracks on the standard edition of the album (the digipak has 2 more), each piece is developed well with every track running to between 7 and 10 minutes.

As the opening fanfare of the 9 minute "Every desert got its ocean" bursts confidently forth we are immediately reassured that the band have lost none of their passion and energy. The structure of the song is reminiscent of Yes during their "Fragile" days, with a powerhouse sound supporting symphonic keyboards and virtuoso lead guitar. Even the vocals have a retro feel to them, the overall result being a wonderful blend of neo-prog and classic symphonic prog.

The following "Repaint the sky" softens the mood slightly, the track having hints of the early post Gabriel Genesis era, especially in the Banks like keyboards. "Afraid of what we say" starts out with Phil Collins style relationship lyrics, but soon develops into a wonderful guitar led instrumental blending Santana, Clapton and Hackett. Szadkowski's drumming is a real feature of the piece as it alternates between synth and guitar.

"I want you to know", which is the track which lyrically supplies the album with its title, is essentially built around a simple piano motif. The song resembles the work of Neal Morse, both with Spock's Beard and solo, with even the vocals sounding distinctly Morse like. I love the bass work on this track in particular; it complements the guitar solo perfectly. "Over horizon" reverts to the Genesis style, but interestingly this track is actually more like Ray Wilson's period with that band. The track is however allowed to reveal itself far better than Genesis achieved anywhere on "Calling all stations". The song, which is the most commercial of the set but still runs to over 8 minutes, contains the wonderful lyric "If you scrumble for love", whatever that means!

"Am I losing touch" is very much along the same lines as the opening "Every desert got its ocean", the piece moving through numerous sounds and styles to form a epic and exciting whole. The Yes similarities can be heard again here, especially in the brief vocalised harmonies. The closing "Is it over" winds down the mood for a reflective ballad with a fine guitar solo to finish.

This is an easy album for me to enjoy and to recommend. This is my sort of music to begin with. The fact that the album contains such fine examples of the style simply renders it indispensable in my book. With this their fourth album, Satellite have established themselves as the current leaders in their field and raised the bar a bit higher in the process. Those who enjoy their prog most when it has plenty of lead guitar, lush keyboard sounds, and most importantly supreme melodies are advised to indulge in a little "Nostalgia" without delay.

With thanks to Metal Mind Productions for facilitating this review.

Easy Livin | 5/5 |

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