Satellite - A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Catalog Number: TCL670992H
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:04:00

By now, you likely know who Satellite are - members of the Polish progressive rock band Collage who came back together to continue the music that Collage were making, circa Moonshine. Those members are Robert Amirian (vocals), Mirek Gil (guitars), Krzysiek Palczewski (keyboards) and Wojtek Szadkowski (drums). For those who don't... Satellite was formed by Szadkowski in 2000, and after the demo was recorded with Zbyszek Bieniak on vocals and Sarhan Kubeisi on guitar*, Bieniak left and Amirian and Palczewski came on board. Rounding out the core Satellite line up is Przemek Zawadzaki on bass. Gil plays guitar on 6 of the tracks, Sarhan the remaining 3, with both playing together on 3. Other guests include a second keyboardist, Darek Lisowski, Maciek Meller on guitar, Bieniak on backing vocals, Michal Kirmuć providing drum programming on "Not Afraid" and Piotr Zaczek on bass.

So, what can you expect from A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset? Some of the most beautiful, rich, lush, expressive progressive rock I've heard in what has proved to be a stunning debut... well, sort of debut. Yes, it does fall into that category often labeled "neo-prog" but it really is so much more, adding a few classical and jazz elements to the mix of emotive guitars, layers of keyboards (strings, pianos, voices, parpy-tones ... all of it), dynamic drums and percussion and vocals. Many of the keyboard phrases really bring forth the image of a city (especially in the first track "The Evening Wind") ... I don't know if I can explain it, but ... well, images not unlike the cover of the album (by Mark Wilkinson). That is, the bright neon lights of a modern, or even future-modern metropolis. The colourful richness in the artwork is reflected in the richness of the music here - oranges, and yellows and ambers and all those "warm" colours, not just blues and whites and greys that symbolize cold. I think of Blade Runner's look only not so dark. Musically, what I thought of was Vangelis' The City ... but unless you've heard that synth/electronic/new age album (however you'd categorize it) ... that won't be very helpful, will it? I'd say Satellite's sound is not as cold as The City, at least my impression of it, as there is a lot of warmth ... Of course, it's not just keys, so don't think that this is electronic/synth music. After all, I did say above that it could be called "neo-prog."

Let's also mention the vocals of Amirian. his tone is mid-range, with only a hint of an accent. Sometimes, and I stress sometimes, he sounds a bit like Steve Hogarth, though more often not. Actually, if I were to provide a sounds like, I'd have to mention Tom Galgano (Izz) and Yogi Lang (RWPL) ...

So... the colours of the palette take a bit from Marillion, IQ, Pallas, Pendragon, and Galahad - to name a few - and really paint new pictures with them. In fact, that's a bit misleading to say, because there weren't really any moments musically where I thought of any of those bands specifically (generally, generically yes)... though that hedging means there were a few. Yes, but more in thinking that Szadkowski uses a lot of his drum kit, a dynamic playing that I associate with Ian Mosley, though on the smooth ballad "Midnight Snow" it is more of Phil Collins that I think and more so his solo material circa No Jacket Required. Sarhan plays guitar on this track -- and a lovely, lovely solo it is -- but the lead into it is a jazzy, steel string tone (to my ears). Another lovely solo in "Now," too (though I'm not sure if it's Gil or Sarhan, as they both play on this track) which mixes this beauty with some heavier passages and some softer, more understated passages.

This isn't a perfect album, there are little spots that could have been tweaked, but it does come awfully darn close. A sequence of notes played seemingly too quick is really the only flaw, and truly they come down to matters of taste and expectation. But Satellite have everything in the right measure, play tight, dynamically and with lots of passion and energy. This is a CD that needs to be heard loud and often so you can pick up all the nuances. It's a deep recording, with sounds (from percussion and keys mostly) that give each piece a sense of depth... a sense of richness. All tracks are winners and each has something to offer the listener that makes it standout. I'm getting goosebumps, actually, thinking about the chance to see this band live at ROSfest 2006, and hearing a piece like "No Disgrace" live... a driving piece, with a great guitar solo... it melds into the mellow, hip and darkly cool "Not Afraid." It's funky, disco-y, jazzy all while managing to stay proggy as well (so please don't let the "disco-y" comment put you off, it's in the percolating percussion and keys).

A note about the artwork. As Satellite were prepping this album, they held a contest to see who would come up with the best interpretation of what they wanted to cover to look like. I very nearly entered this contest myself. I didn't. I don't really know if Mark actually entered, or it was decided to go with Mark anyway, but let's assume some honesty on the band's part and Mark entered just like anyone else. In either case, they went with a good choice. For those who are thinking, "Yeh? Who's he?" - he's the artist behind many Marillion and Fish album covers.

*Krzysztof Narbut was initially part of the Satellite project, though he left before the recording of the demo.

The Evening Wind (12:45) / On The Run (14:51) / Midnight Snow (4:59) / No Disgrace (5:34) / Not Afraid (3:55) / Now (10:13) / Fight (4:29) / A Street Between Sunrise And Sunset (11:18) / Children (3:56)

Wojtek Szadkowski - drums, percussion, additional guitars, keyboards, backing vocals
Robert Amirian - vocals
Gil Mirek - guitars
Sarhan - guitars
Darek Lisowski - keyboards
Krzysiek Palczewski - keyboards
Piotr Zaczek -bass guitar
Przemek Zawadzki - bass guitar

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 9th 2005
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1725
Language: english


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