Distant Satellites (2LP Vinyl)

SKU: KSCOPE866
Label:
KScope Records
Category:
Post Progressive
Add to wishlist 

2LP 180g vinyl in a gatefold sleeve.

"It’s been quite a past few years for the incredible Anathema. Honors have been bestowed upon them, they’ve released an instant classic album in “Weather Systems”, and last year they released one of the best live concert films I’ve ever seen, “Universal”. Anathema is on top of the world, and they are only getting bigger. With all of this on their shoulders, they approach the world once again with their new album, “Distant Satellites”, a fitting name for a massive album. Again, with all of their recent success creating huge expectations, can this band meet such critical reception? Needless to say, Vincent Cavanagh on vocals, Danny Cavanagh on guitar, Jamie Cavanagh on bass, John Douglas on percussion, Daniel Cardoso on drums, and Lee Douglas with her wonderful vocals were all up to the challenge.

“Distant Satellites” is a very different album from “Weather Systems”, or anything else they’ve done, for that matter. It is different, yet somehow instantly familiar. It includes everything that makes them Anathema, but adds new and exciting elements to their already excellent formula. If you’ve never heard Anathema, their formula (in their last few albums, anyways) includes soaring guitars, amazingly catchy melodies, spiritual lyrics, and emotional flow both vocally and structurally. They are the masters of melody, and they remain complex and progressive even while being simple and accessible. They are truly masters of their craft.

This new album, then, is no different in those terms. The melodies return in force, such as the serene beauty of “The Lost Song” parts 1-3. And, yet, there is something different here. The melodic lines are somewhat more complex, less in-your-face, and more organic. This especially shows in the song lengths, most of them being over five minutes. This allows for more growth and more progression. Indeed, then, the melodies on “Distant Satellites”, while not being as instantly lovable or recognizable, are certainly more difficult and possibly will have a longer “shelf life” in my mind. Yes, the orchestrations seem to be lower key, as well, allowing the vocalists to express themselves more personally then ever.

There are other improvements, too. I feel that the musicianship is more fervent and on a higher plateau of difficulty than Anathema has tried. Drummer John Douglas, especially, plays amazingly well from start to finish, accenting the music with awesome pounding and fills. The rest of the band are at their peak, too, with Vincent and Lee being especially great with emotional and meaningful vocal performances.

“Distant Satellites” is different in more meaningful ways, too. Utilizing post-rock/metal structures is nothing new for Anathema, but they really do perfect them here, as on “Dusk”, a dark, climactic song. Yet, there is a sense of continuity between tracks, too. This is obviously the case between the three parts of “The Lost Song”, but it’s also apparent throughout the album, as if Anathema is telling us a story, convincing us of our true selves and our connection with the universe and with each other.

This album is wonderful in the first half, but my excitement reached new heights in the second half. Anathema has taken it upon themselves to change things up a bit. They wanted to progress their sound, but make it all seem so natural. So, in the second half, the album climaxes with one of the best songs, simply called “Anathema”. But then, we are thrown for a loop somewhat, as “You’re Not Alone” features a hefty portion of electronic vibe. It’s great, but the best is still to come.

Next, “Firelight”, a darkly ethereal instrumental track that is completely electronic, is thrust upon us, and is followed up by what may possibly be the best song Anathema has ever produced, “Distant Satellites”. This track combines everything that has ever made Anathema great: soaring melodies, climactic structure, gentle spirituality, amazing vocals, and now an electronic beat that is both complex and catchy. Vibrant, mesmerizing, and pure, this track elates me every time I hear it. It takes this album, and my heart, to new heights. The album finishes with a gentle ballad that just seems so fitting, yet it still has the strong electronic influence.

So, is “Distant Satellites” a winner? In every way! Is it their best album? I don’t know; it has the potential, but it might take time, just like “Weather Systems” did. What I can tell you is that this new album is more mature, more progressive, more interesting and eclectic, and less formulaic then anything Anathema has crafted yet. It does sacrifice some accessibility and some instant likability for these things, but I respect their decision massively, and I fully expect to see “Distant Satellites” at the tops of many lists at the end of 2014." - Progulator

There are no review yet. Be the first!

Product Review

You must login or register to post reviews.
Laser Pic

customers also bought

SEE ALL
  • "The Pineapple Thief began their journey in 1999, and had a rocky road ahead of them on their way to the top. However, their music has developed leaps and bounds since their first release and this new one is no different. ‘All The Wars’ is an album that deals with the conflicts we face in life and in the world, and it does so fantastically.This record could definitely be described as a sombre album. Don’t let this put you off, instead prepare for the emotional whirlwind of a lifetime as the lyrics suck you in to the story of the album, allowing you to explore with the band the deep sense of conflict with the world that this album presents. The rising and falling elements of the songs toy with you, demanding that you feel the same emotions that the vocalist himself portrays. Songs such as ‘Last Man Standing’ for example, allow you a glimpse into the deep-routed anger of the protagonist of the song. The slow, drawn out build-up of the guitar and drums explode into a deafening outburst of emotion, which is then, almost as quick as it came, suddenly cut off and we return to slower paces. This band knows how to make you feel, and they know how to manipulate your emotions with their instruments, making you rise and fall just as easily as their crescendos. Accompanying such explosive songs are some slower paced ones, such as ‘Reaching Out’. This track is much softer, as the instruments combine together to create a melodic, easy-listening feel.‘All The Wars’ is an album that comes highly recommended to any lovers of rock, and it will definitely still be on your playlist in ten years’ time. The Pineapple Thief’s rise to fame hasn’t been an easy one, but with the release of their latest offering it will be cemented." - Sound Sphere Mag
    $9.00
  • Fantastic remastered set from Metal Blade sees this legendary band getting the treatment they deserve. This slipcased set features remastered versions of A Social Grace and Mosquito and a bonus DVD (PAL format) containing two videos and some live bootleg concert footage from 1991. Mosquito comes with new cover art from Travis Smith. Both discs come with new liner notes courtesy of the distinguished Ula Gehret.It's certainly hard to describe Psychotic Waltz's music since it changed a bit from album to album. The best term I ever heard used for them was "psychedelic metal" and for the most part that is appropriate. The music has technical underpinnings courtesy of the intense lead guitar interplay between Dan Rock and Brian McAlpin. Buddy Lackey's vocals were very stylized and unique but really a pleasure to listen to. His occassional use of flute added an interesting touch. There was a doom laden veneer to the music - not that it was slow but there was this feeling that the world was going to cave in on these guys at any moment - there was that level of urgency they were able to put across with their music.ESSENTIAL!
    $33.00
  • With vocalist Peter Nicholls back in the fold IQ made a fine return to proggier times with this concept album.
    $15.00
  • Rare and fairly brilliant material from the period 6/72 to 1/75. Unfortunately none of this was recorded in the studio so the songs solely exists as this fairly miserable sounding live historical document.
    $16.00
  • "A 5-track mini-album ‘little brother’ to the splendid Not The Weapon But The Hand, Arc Light features 4 new tracks and a new version of Intergalactic featuring Aziz Ibrahim (Stone Roses, Ian Brown) on guitar.Not The Weapon But The Hand was the 2012 debut album from the cult hero collaborative. It featured appearances from Danny Thompson on double bass, Chris Maitland (ex Porcupine Tree) on drums and Dave Gregory (XTC) on guitar, bass and string arrangementSteve Hogarth is best known as the frontman of Marillion, the progressive rock legends that he joined in 1989, following spells in The Europeans and How We Live. In addition to the 12 albums Marillion have released in this time he has also recorded and toured as a solo artist, under the name ‘h’.In recent years Richard Barbieri has been a core member of Porcupine Tree playing keyboards on all the band’s albums since 1993 as well as releasing two solo albums, Things Buried and Stranger Inside. Prior to this, it was in the new-wave pioneers Japan that he originally came to prominence, helping to create the ground-breaking synthesiser sound that defined the band and influenced the likes of The Human League, Duran Duran, Gary Numan, Talk Talk and a whole raft of artists to follow."
    $12.00
  • Newly remastered set includes a bonus disc with a live recording at the The Palace in Hollywood from 1/23/92. Also included is pre-production demos. To sweeten the pot Metal Blade includes a DVD witha complete gig from New Haven, Ct on 2/13/92 as well as a "making of Parallels" documentary and 2 video clips. Cheap too!!
    $15.00
  • Great double live album available at a budget price.
    $11.00
  • Domestic jewel box version includes the bonus track "I Wish I Could"."At the very least, THRESHOLD may well be the UK's answer to DREAM THEATRE; progging on since 1988, 2014 sees a follow-up to 2012's "March of Progress", titled "For the Journey". Their brand of Prog Metal (let's face it, every band does it differently) involves less of a focus on instrumental technical showy-offy-ness, and emphasizes the heaviness of individual riffs, and the soaring atmospherics and ambience."Watchtower on the Moon" is teetering on the edge between classic prog motifs, and spacey, futuristic, sci-fi permutations. Upbeat, with a (largely) followable jive, a strong, groovy riff carries the first half of the track, slightly downplayed to best put the vocals out there, and what stellar vocals they are. The blend of delivery of catchy hooks, power and diction, that programs the 'Prog' name with unadulterated listenability. Interestingly enough, as the song evolves, instrumentals are brought to the forefront, and the fabrics of time signatures are toyed with, allowing melodic interplay between guitar and keyboard to flourish. "Turned to Dust" is quite the heavy piece, if not the heaviest on the album; the riffs punch through with a percussive power belied by the flamboyant melody arrangements, and also happens to contain my favorite chorus on the album."Autumn Red" is a smooth, liquid display Prog excellence, the chisel struck by the juxtaposingly heavy riffs; the "keyboards from the 70s' used to great effect, perhaps raking up nostalgia in the PINK FLOYD fans among us. Lyric enthusiasts among us will be drawn to this track; as I perhaps didn't emphasize enough, Damian is the man for the job, delivering poetry into a new artform; pure, melodic diction that embosses the expansive tapestry set by the band. "Siren Sky" is easily my favorite piece; perhaps one of the more "metal" track on the album. The first instance of riffage surged forth tall waves of pure 'epic'. Never a dull moment on this track, the riffs prepared on the piece are emotive like no other on the album; I'm legitimately without words.Easily in my top 3 of this year's Progressive releases, it is no wonder that veterans of the genre are behind this mastery." - Metal Temple
    $11.00
  • It is extremely difficult to put one specific label on the Degree Absolute material. While having firm roots in progressive metal, DA strays from the path quite frequently, exploring the worlds of jazz and ambient music, as well as doom, thrash, and technical metal. If it was possible to compare the music of DA to the music of other well-known bands, one could say that it is based somewhere between Fates Warning's semi-progressive melodies and WatchTower's technical playing skills.The Degree Absolute project began when multi-instrumentalist Aaron Bell came to the conclusion that his song ideas and concepts could not be realized in a typical band situation. After attempting to bring his original material into different local bands with disappointing results, he decided that a new project, void of any of the compromises associated with a true band, was necessary.To fill the bassist position, Aaron immediately contacted Dave Lindeman. They had worked together in a local band, Chaos Game, and Aaron thought Dave would be perfect for the role. Dave is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, where he majored in music synthesis. He has performed in various capacities as a bassist in the Boston area, both as a studio musician and in live settings.The addition of Doug Beary on drums completed the Degree Absolute line-up. Doug has been drumming with the melodic metal band, Defyance, since its inception 15 years ago. Since joining Degree Absolute, he has proven himself to be a perfect match as well as the final piece of the puzzle.Mixing of the debut recording was performed by noted producer Neil Kernon (Nevermore, Spiral Architect, Cannibal Corpse, etc.) at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas.
    $4.00
  • 2nd album from this Dream Theater influenced band from Italy. To me this sounded like good Six Degrees type stuff...others have said otherwise.Scored some cheap copies - these shouldn't last long.
    $8.00
  • Swedish power metal offshoot from Steel Attack. Quite melodic and actually pretty well done. Perhaps a bit similar to recent Nocturnal Rites. A steal!
    $11.00
  • "The story of King Charlemagne, First Holy Roman Emperor, acted and sung by the legendary actor Christopher Lee, one of the most popular and highest grossing actor of all time, with cinematic milestones such as "Lord Of The Rings", "Star Wars", "The Man with the Golden Gun" and "Dracula". The Carandinis, Lee's maternal ancestors, were given the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Christopher Lee, directly linked with Charlemagne, has decided for the first time in his life to pay homage to his distinguished ancestor, who is credited as "The Father of Europe". Charlemagne is a concept album with original words and symphonic metal music. Marco Sabiu - best known for his collaborations with Kylie Minogue, Take That, Ennio Morricone - has composed a huge epic canvas of sounds in the form of a movie score, introducing modern metal symphonies for orchestra, choir, two metal bands, and several guest vocalists. The mesmerising lyrics meld with this powerful story, transporting the listener into the Dark Ages and allowing for the imagination to run wild. All these elements bring to life the legend of Charlemagne."
    $15.00
  • "Last Fair Day Gone Night features an electrifying set from London’s esteemed Koko venue during a series of special celebratory shows to mark the band’s 20th anniversary during 2011′s ‘Last Fair Day Gone Night’ tour.‘Last Fair Day Gone Night’ is presented on triple heavyweight 180gm vinyl in a deluxe box, with a 8 page 12″ book.Founding members Anders Nyström & Jonas Renkse are joined by long-time drummer Daniel Liljekvist along with recent members – namely guitarist Per Eriksson, plus recently recruited bassist Niklas Sandin – for an exhilarating night fuelled by a rich & extensive set of Katatonia tracks both past & present, including a special performance of the landmark 2001 album ‘Last Fair Deal Gone Down’ in it’s entirety."
    $50.00
  • Fifth album from the Polish prog band led by former Collage guitarist Mirek Gil.  The band clearly goes for a contemporary sound.  There are overt similarities to Riverside but the music has a more symphonic rock side.  I've always enjoyed Gil's guitar tone.  He plays with quite an expressive style.  In this case its nicely augmented by violin and keys.  Lots of prog coming from Poland.  Believe is one of the better bands to emerge from that scene.
    $15.00