Satellite - Evening Games


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

Satellite's second album, Evening Games isn't as great as their debut, but is still a fairly good album. The good news is that it isn't A Street... Part II. It's darker and harsher at times, adding in some places a very synthetic, or techno, feel (drums and percussion), at other times (and often in the same piece), acidic, distorted guitar. Vocals are often understated, breathy. Because of the above, it isn't as pretty an album as A Street.... I can't say it shows "progress" in strict dictionary terms, but it does show that Satellite isn't going to stick to "formula" for album after album, and that Wojtek Szadkowski is going to take chances. And sometimes they'll work, sometimes not.

What follows on from A Street... musically begins in the latter half of the 16-plus minute opener "Evening Games." The soaring vocals and guitars that characterize this latter section are just wonderful... In some ways less so, in some ways more so, the ghost of classic Marillion haunts the music... somehow Robert Amirian sounds more like Fish this time out than Hogarth, and more often less like either. Sarhan Kubiesi's soaring and lyrical guitar phrases echo Rothery in style, though mostly never copying exact phrases. Almost because you who are Marillion fans will recognize a phrase in "Never Never" during the titular chorus that seems to come from "Hooks In You" if only with a little extra flange at the end. BUT, I'm not going to play the "spot the Marillion reference" game here. (But "Beautiful World" does seem to channel Marillion's own "Beautiful," this a song for the children killed in Bieslan last year.)

Just as the opening half of "Evening Games" is a bit darker than we'd might expect, a little more subtle and understated, this feel returns in "Rush" - a first-person account of rushing through the events of life... everything in an instant and never for very long. It's an interesting piece with a techno-drum machine-like backing rhythm. Given the cold detachment expressed in the song, it contrasts nicely I think with the acidic, distorted, screaming guitar solo and the smoother, jazzier (if you will) interludes . This acid and cream contrast is also heard in "Why."

"Love Is Around You" is this album's ballad, but doesn't quite hit the same spots that "Midnight Show" does... and yet at times, seems as if it is going to be "Midnight Snow - Part II," before realizing it and going in another direction. It's nice in and of itself, though perhaps Amirian is a little too breathy. Nice solo from Kubiesi though; the mid-tempo rhythm seems... generic...

"Evening Overture" begins as an instrumental take on the title track, full of percussion, orchestral keys, and synths (that just a little too shrilly at times for me), but ends up really being a wholly different track (though musical phrases from "Evening Games" do recur towards the end). While the lead keys and vocals are clear, the percussion and surrounding instrumentation sound very mushy. There is a synthetic edge to this piece, night quite techno, but something very chilly and distant. There is a rather nice piano interlude at the 6-minute mark; and a warm guitar solo at the 9-minute mark, each standout in marked contrast to the coldness of the track in whole.

Piano leads us into the brief "Take It As It Is," a rather nice - though not great - balladic piece, hampered only by the chilly percussion. It's a trip through the seasons, beginning with fall, and lyrically very well done. Amirian's vocal performance is a bit raw, edgy.

As said at the beginning, if you are expected a sequel to A Street..., you won't find it here. And while that's a plus on many counts - somehow, I'd have been disappointed if they just did a retread with a new title - it also not an album that has the same immediateness that A Street... has. Overall, it's a little chillier, a little heavier in atmosphere. But, still a pretty darn good album.


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: September 25th 2005
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Score:
Artist website: www.myspace.com/satellitepoland
Hits: 883
Language: english

  

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