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25 Yard Screamer


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25 Yard Screamer Natural Satellite album cover
2.67 | 14 ratings | 2 reviews | 7% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Storyteller (7:57)
2. Devastate (5:38)
3. The Silent Rising (15:28)
4. A Space Where Someone Should Be (9:17)
5. While We Are (6:26)
6. Never in the Detail (6:42)
7. Coda Jeremiah (14:20)

Total Time 65:48

Line-up / Musicians

- Nick James / vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, keyboards
- Matt Clarke / bass
- Donal Owen / drums

- Jeff Rees / lead guitar (6)
- Rob Reed / keyboards
- Abbi James / backing vocals, spoken word
- Aled Bryn Pennock / spoken word

Releases information

CD White Knight Records (2019, UK)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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25 YARD SCREAMER Natural Satellite ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(14%)
Good, but non-essential (64%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

25 YARD SCREAMER Natural Satellite reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars 25 YARD SCREAMER is a Neo-prog band from Wales that was founded in 2002 when Nick JAMES (vocals, keyboards and guitars) found two musicians to play a gig with. Their names were Matt CLARKE (bass) and Donal OWEN (drums). They hit it off so well, they started making albums in 2003. In August of 2019, they released their 7th full length studio album called "Natural Satellite". The original trio is involved in this album but also recruited Rob Reed to help with keyboards and a few others to help with vocals. The album has 7 tracks that together last over 65 minutes.

"The Storyteller" (7:59) starts it all off with a bass line creating a mysterious sound that quickly sees the full band kicking into gear with guitars and synths playing melodic lines and then pulling back when the vocals come in only to increase in intensity for the choruses and this is the basic pattern this song follows. The melody sounds very Neo-proggish following that modern prog sound. The vocalist can handle some impressive interval jumps, but his style does take a little getting used to. The instrumental passages are well done with the right amount of progressiveness leaning just a bit on the heavy side, but still level enough to keep them in the Neo-prog realm. Post-Fish-era MARILLION definitely comes to mind as that is the sound they are trying for.

"Devastate" (5:40) starts with acoustic guitar and vocals for a more ballad-like beginning during the verses and then getting more intense for the choruses. The guitars are more dark and give a foreboding atmosphere, but the keys keep it on the lighter side and the instrumental break is a nice, smooth section driven heavily by bass and piano. When the vocals return, the background is heavy and the vocals have a muffled effect.

"The Silent Rising" (15:30) is divided up into 6 parts. As expected, the first part (called "The Silent Rising" continues with the soft verse, heavy chorus pattern of the preceding songs, but the instrument mix is well balanced. Pt. 2 is called "Patterns and Thoughts" and introduces another theme that seems more like a bridge. The vocals are put through a muffled effect and the music takes a dark turn, but still remains moderately light yet hinting to heavier things to come. The bad thing here is that this muffling only weakens the vocals, which really doesn't do anything for the sound of the track. Pt. 3 is called "Lingering" and is an instrumental section. A thumping, slow bass and drum play underneath a keyboard melody later changing to acoustic guitar, but the music doesn't really develop much like you might expect. This leads right into Pt. 4 "A Worthless Book?" which still doesn't really develop into anything that exciting, in fact it is quite light weight, which is too bad since this is supposed to be a centerpiece of the album. Pt. 5 "Onwards" manages to finally push the track forward as heavier guitars start to generate a little more power for this instrumental section, but it doesn't really leave anything memorable behind. Pt. 6 is named "Charitable Expectation" and is also all instrumental, but it only expands the themes of previous parts, which things do start to get interesting at this point, but unfortunately, it's too little, too late.

"A Space Where Someone Should Be" (9:19) utilizes 2 guest vocalists, male and female, who provide a spoken word passage spoken in tandem with echoing, dreamlike effects, but it's not really effective in bringing about the feeling I think they are trying for here. A simple piano and moderate beat plays behind the spoken word which continues on. Singing vocals come in after the 3 minute mark, but the melody is quite uninteresting and short. The instruments then attempt to build some tension, but this is quickly lost with emotion-less singing. The lyrics want to generate hope in human potential and power, but the melody and singing style only make you want to yawn. Just before 7 minutes, the singing stops and echoing guitar and keys work together with looped spoken word passages to try for something atmospheric, but only accomplishes a meandering section that fails to develop much.

"While We Are" sees Nick using his falsetto voice as he tries to invoke vulnerability, but ends up sounding whiny. By now, not even the instrumental background seems to have lost the desire to save the music, it all just sounds kind of tired and uninspired. The lyrics again want to work for creating a revolution against the mundane and evil governments, et al. Instead it doesn't invoke these feelings in me at all but I might be inspired to lie down and act like a speed bump for the invading tanks and what not. "Never in the Detail" also seems quite uninteresting until you get to a surprisingly rousing guitar solo in the middle of the track, which finally does reach for the heavier sounds of Porcupine Tree and this is probably the best part of the album, unfortunately, it is hidden as the instrumental break in the middle of another mediocre track. "Coda Jerimiah" (14:20) wants to be epic. But remember that the previous epic on the album brought in a continual downward spiral for the album. This time you might not be expecting as much after being disappointed by most of the tracks here. Again, they reach for the muffled vocal effect and any power in the track is suddenly lost, just like before. And, as before, the real power of the track comes at the end, once again, too little, too late.

The album started out promising on the first two tracks, and even though the vocals might take some getting used to, it was headed for 4 star territory. The album suffers a big loss in the first long epic, however, and things continue to go down hill with only a few sparks that seem to come out of nowhere and then get lost in the tracks that get continually weaker. The power of humanity to enact change for the positive seems to be trivialized in the music that lacks emotion and tension and once the album takes that downward turn, it can't seem to redeem itself. The whole thing ends up managing to get 2 stars.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars The Welsh trio are back with their seventh studio album, and I was quite intrigued when I was sent this as I wasn't exactly kind about their last album and the recording quality. I note there are a few guests on this one, including none other than keyboard player Rob Reed (Cyan, Ezra, Magenta etc) on opening cut ' The Storyteller', and he certainly makes his presence felt with a strong contribution which no doubt adds to what is the best song on the album in a dreamy manner, which is quite at contrast to the far more rocky 'Devastate' which follows. This is solid neo prog, with strong vocals, and plenty of crunch which I am sure transfers well to the live environment but there is also plenty of contrast with acoustic guitar, fuzzed and distorted bass and a drummer who is throwing some interesting patterns.

The first two songs are probably the best on the album but the rest shouldn't be discounted out of hand, as there is a lot of emotion going on, and I ended up feeling here was a band who in many ways are inspired by Hogarth-era Marillion and Wilson, and it is the fans of these guys who are going to get the most out of it. Although I have seen Marillion many times with Hogarth I much prefer the earlier work, and the same has to be said for Wilson, and for me the reason I don't absolutely love this album is much more to do with my own personal taste than what is being presented to us to consume. I have only heard the two albums from 25 Yard Screamer, and this is the far superior of the two. I will follow their future releases with interest, as I am intrigued to see where they go next, but for now this is something to be investigated by those who enjoy this style of prog.

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