Satellite - Evening Games


Year of Release: 2004
Label: Metal Mind
Catalog Number: MMP CD 0297
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:47:00

I've not heard Satellite's first disc A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset but I have heard of people saying with some disappointment that this disc is darker and more of a downer than the first. Wow, the first album must have really been something great for people to react this way. Always (fashionably) late to the party, I say that Evening Games is in itself something of an interesting release to ponder and try to hold on to for a while. The whole album is like some whispered secret that makes one look over their shoulder after hearing it. And the secret seems to have something to do with the band's penchant for mixing pop and neo-prog.

For those not familiar with Satellite (like myself a week ago), they are a Polish neo-prog band steeped in the sound of IQ and Marillion and they feature a lot of techno dance rhythms and highly produced segues from one passage to the next and one song to the next. They are quite polished musically and they offer Hogarth-like vocals, sometimes plaintively emotive, sometimes shouted, but often whispered, painful or sarcastic. They thrive on dynamic contrasts and Satellite's music is a skillful blend of lush keyboard passages with Hackett-like guitar accompaniment and short but roaring sections of metal guitar and over the top drumming.

The disc begins with a sixteen minute piece, "Evening Games" that is really two songs trying only somewhat successfully to be one. It's too long, but it's also a pretty good symphonic prog song. The next two, "Never Never" and "Rush" are both nice tunes in the IQ/Marillion-ish mold and they also sport some invitations to comparisons with Yes, The Flower Kings and Depeche Mode as well.

"Love Is Around You" is slow, cheesy ballad with a clever chorus. It's kind of like the old Pet Shop Boys (remember them?) or a bad Midge Ure single. Quite nasty, this one. Next comes what I consider the best work of this album, "Why." It is presented in symphonic fashion and has a number of meter and time changes that are handled with great skill by the very talented Wojtek Szadkowski on drums. The opening motif played on guitar is reminiscent of The Alan Parsons Project and this song reminds me somewhat of Genesis. It is followed by the other standout track from this disc, "Beautiful World," a minimalist tune with a catchy hook and a great blend of prog and pop music. Its vocal delivery is wonderfully sarcastic at times and is excellent overall. It has a gorgeous center, instrumental section with a very nice Hackett style guitar solo.

"Evening Overture" and the album's closer, "Take It As It Is" are both more pop oriented, the first more modern and accessible and the closer more of a traditional Marillion style ballad.

This seems to be, overall, a mixed success. Some of the pop seems a bit frivolous at first, but some will hit your sweet spot right away and when the band sticks to symphonic prog they clearly know what they're doing. What's unclear, even a couple of years after this disc's release, is how the band's melding of neo-progressive, techno and conventional pop music will go over with fans in the prog community.


Tracklisting:
Evening Games (16:45) / Never Never (7:02) / Rush (5:47) / Love Is Around You (5:39) / Why (6:59) / Beautiful World (9:05) / Evening Overture (10:38) / Take It As It Is (2:49)

Musicians:
Robert Amirian - vocals
Sarhan Artur Kubeisi - guitars
Krzysiek Palczewski - keyboards
Przemek Zawadzki - bass
Wojtek Szadkowski - drums, acoustic guitar

Guest:

Konrad Kozera - guitar (last solo on 1)

Discography:
A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset (2003)
Evening Games (2004)
Into The Night (2007)
Nostalgia (2009)

Evening Dreams (DVD) (2005)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin PL

Added: May 8th 2006
Reviewer: Tom Karr
Score:
Artist website: www.myspace.com/satellitepoland
Hits: 1217
Language: english

  

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