Anathema – Distant Satellites (2014)


Riding on the success of their 2012 amazing release “Weather Systems”, Anathema returns with yet another masterpiece of highly melancholic and atmospheric Progressive Rock titled “Distant Satellites”. With a surprise rise in productivity from the band, we are stoked that they are consistently releasing albums and very good ones as well, and that we didn’t have to wait 7 or so years between releases. This release is highly comparable to the band’s efforts on “Weather Systems” and the style they proposed in that release.

This album kicks off with the very emotional first two parts of the track “The Lost Song”. In each these parts we have Lee shinning ever so brightly with her gifted vocals and the raw emotions she transmit through them. These tracks are also very well arranged and nicely change tempos and have brilliant climaxes. Following up with “Dusk (Dark is Descending)”, we now shift focus to Vincent’s signature pipes and the way they seamlessly blend with the very dramatic (and cinematic) musical backdrop.

Our favorite songs from the band’s last releases have been the slow ones, like the gripping “Ariel”. This track hooks you with the piano line and nicely immerses you with its classical atmospheric elements. The combination of Lee’s and Vincent vocals works perfectly in this song, making it a very dramatic and engaging duet. With a nice change of pace, the third part of “The Lost Song” delivers a more progressive vibe that nicely switches things up and allows the album to flow very uniquely.

Keeping things interesting, after the mellow and dramatic “Anathema” song, the band jumps into a very atypical song titled: “You’re Not Alone”. This track shows a different and more dynamic side of the band with playful vocal arrangements and some weird experimental electronic elements and some odd distortions at the end. While we love change and creativity, this track felt a bit too weird for our taste.

After the atmospheric mood-setting song “Firelight”, the album’s title track delivers 8 minutes of brilliant minimalist arrangements paired with emotionally charged vocals. We again don’t like the electronic elements too much, distracting us from enjoying the song.  Closing with the dramatic “Take Shelter”, the band creates a very Post-rock-ish vibe in this one, but with the staple Anathema arrangements. Also featuring some funky electronic stuff, this song lost some of its effect on us as well.

Overall, “Distant Satellites” is quite a solid and enjoyable release. The band has figured out a certain formula for their latest success and they are definitely sticking to it. This release has some odd experimental stuff in the last few songs that is more than welcomed to keep things fresh, but in our opinion it clashes with the band’s pre-existing sound. If you are a fan of the late Anathema stuff, the first few songs in this release will instantly grab your attention. Even for us, older fans of the band, we greatly enjoy listening how the band transforms over time and delivers higher quality much with each release they put out.

Band: Anathema Album: Distant Satellites

Label: Kscope Music

Release: June 10th, 2014

Oficial Site Social Media

Genre: Progressive/Alternative Rock

Country: UK

Rating: 88/100

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