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Satellite: A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset

I hereby proclaim A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset to be the best symphonic progressive rock album I've heard in 2003. Seriously, this is a wonderful CD and the music contained is a reminder of what made me fall in love with the genre in the first place. To label Satellite as a "neo-prog" band completely misses the point. The best albums stand outside of their sub-genres and continually reveal new and intriguing insights with each listen. A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset is definitely one of those albums.

Though Satellite are a new band from Poland, the musicians should be familiar to those who still fondly remember the group Collage. In fact, Satellite contains 3 out of 5 ex members: vocalist Robert Amirian, guitarist Mirek Gil and most importantly, drummer (what a drummer!) and chief songwriter Wojtek Szadkowski. The overall sound is very reminiscent of Collage circa Moonshine, but Satellite are a septet and they achieve a very BIG sound. What could have been an overproduced mess turns out to be a very smooth and polished listen indeed.

The CD wastes no time getting into the epics. "The Evening Wind" and "On the Run" last for 12 and 15 minutes respectively and even after dozens of listens, it becomes apparent that these are the most complex pieces of music the ex Collage guys have ever produced! These songs really require several listens to sink in and your patience will be rewarded. Chock full of great melodies, musicianship and Robert Amirian's smooth, mellow voice, these pieces of music are really something to behold. I particularly love the way "On the Run" begins with a quiet introduction as Amirian croons softly before the band breaks in with a dramatic theme and an irresistibly slick 4 minute instrumental interlude. But we're only through the first two out of nine songs! "Midnight Snow" is a relatively short song that is reminiscent of the best parts of Collage's Safe. It's the most "commercial" song on the disc but it ends with a nice thick sustained guitar lead. "No Disgrace" is another relatively short song at five and a half minutes and it has such a rousing unforgettable melody and a great instrumental outro- similar to something Genesis might have done on Wind & Wuthering-that it shouldn't be overlooked. Other highlights include "Now", an exciting 10 minute extravaganza that will have you pumping your fist in the air during the chorus. The title track is 11 minutes of moody bliss, somewhat similar to Marillion's "This is the 21st Century", but much better. It is dark, somber and progressive without succumbing to the aforementioned band's Massive Attack-isms. To end this very lengthy (an almost insignificant criticism) 77 minute CD, it concludes with a lovely brief lullaby called "Children".

It's been a very, very long time since I've heard a symphonic rock or "neo-progressive" CD this good. I don't expect it to be equaled for quite some time. I think the more time spent on listening to this CD, the more its strengths really shine.

As an aside, I'm not one to listen to music while at the computer, but I'm glad I made an exception because as I type this review, I've discovered that there's a neat little 3 minute documentary showing the making of this CD. Add to that a beautiful booklet designed by Mark Wilkinson and A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset is easily in my top ten of the year. I hope Satellite plan on encircling above the prog rock community for many years to come because this band is extremely talented. My highest possible recommendation.

Track Listing
1. The Evening Wind (9:00)
2. On the Run (13:34)
3. Midnight Snow (4:00)
4. No Disgrace (5:40)
5. Not Afraid (6:00)
6. Now (7:00)
7. Bye Bye Bye (4:00)
8. One Empty Hand (7:00)
9. Fight (3:40)
10. A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset (9:30)
11. Children (4:30)

Added: December 6th 2006
Reviewer: Steve Pettengill
Related Link: Official Satellite Webpage
Hits: 3922
Language: english

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Satellite: A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-12-06 19:38:35
My Score:

Originally released in 2003 and now being reissued on Metal Mind Records, A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset from Poland's Satellite is a damn fine symphonic progressive rock album. Formed from the ashes of the band collage, Satellite will appeal to fans of that band as well as IQ, Arena, Pendragon, and early Marillion. The first things you notice on the album are the wonderful keyboards from both Darek Likowski and Krzysiek Palczewski, as well as the passionate and melodic vocals of Robert Amirian. Epics like "The Evening Wind" and "On the Run" (which happen to kick off the album in grand fashion) contain plenty of haunting melodies and endearing keyboard and guitar passages, the latter courtesy of former Collage member Mirek Gil and his axe partner Sarhan. Everything flows very well throughout the album, which you can't always say about a lot of modern prog rock albums, and the band doesn't try to knock you over with endless noodling and excessive solos. Yes, the songs are adventurous, but not meandering, and the melodies are memorable, while the instrumentation is quite tasty. Fans of Collage's classic album Moonshine will certainly approve. When the band gets upbeat and decides to rock out a bit, as they do so well on "Midnight Snow", you can't help but feel inspired and want to play air keyboards & air guitar along with them.

Lastly, the artwork that adorns the CD, done by none other than Mark Wilkinson, is stunning, and perhaps his best since the early Marillion albums. If you didn't get A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset when it came out earlier this decade, now is your chance to experience one of the strongest symphonic prog albums of the last five years.

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