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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars66
4.2 out of 5 stars
Format: Vinyl|Change
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on 24 August 2014
Hard to believe this lot from Liverpool were once a death/doom metal band. This is a long way from that, perhaps more comparable with Mike Oldfield's albums with Maggie Reilly as vocalist. This album is an excellent example of 'modern' prog where the emphasis is upon creating an atmosphere and moving the listener emotionally. Where this album tends to fall down is in some of the tracks such as the somewhat repetitive Lost Soul 3 and the rather tame stab at modern dance music which is You're Not Alone. Also the track Anathema is good but after repeated listening tends to appear 'bombastic' - the use of strings here maybe isn't ideal. Overall though when this album is good such as on The Lost Song part 2, Ariel or the title track it's great, it's just a pity that the whole album doesn't quite match up. My score: 84%
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on 11 June 2014
Why do people always rush to brandish a new album as a masterpiece, surely they've learned by now that the best albums are the ones that take time to explore and months later you're still hearing new things. This album I suspect will be much the same.

I'm a long term fan of Anathema, musically I've grown in parallel with this band. I love their music and I love that fact that their music nearly always takes time to sink in and take hold.

Every time I hear a new release by Anathema it feels like they've moved in a slightly different direction. It usually jars at first before finally getting under my skin and ending up being my favourite album for some considerable time. Whether Distant Satellites will or not, I guess I'll have to be patient and wait to find out. Even Weather Systems took time for me to fully appreciate.

As for the Christina (three stars), I fully agree with you that people have been either very quick to praise or brand it boring (how you can say that within 24 hours of an album's release bemuses me). It is however a bit patronising to suggest that the people who loved the previous album were new to Anathema, and I fully disagree that it sounded as though We're here... was a B-sides album.

I'll leave the detailed descriptions of the album to others, personally I believe people should listen and make up their own minds, we all hear albums slightly differently. What I will say is that this does strike me as another grower which requires you to invest time in order to get the most from it. Some of the earlier tracks are of a similar style to Weather Systems (i.e. Ariel with it duet) however the more digital production on the latter tracks leads the listener somewhere new. It might be 'controversial' if you're that way inclined, fortunately most Anathema fans I've met prefer to just enjoy the journey this great consistent band always seem to take their listener on. The band has once again delivered well constructed, crafted music. It doesn't always have to be experimental or 'original' to be enjoyable.

If you do decide to take this journey to discover Distant Satellites, hopefully you'll enjoy it. Me too for that matter.
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on 15 June 2014
I always look forward to any new album from anathema, but having heard Lost Song Part III my expectations were less for this album than previous offerings. My issue with that track is the repeated beat throughout the song. Whilst this is OK when Danny plays acoustically live, it does not really rock my boat on the their recorded material. Unfortunately. my fears for the rest of the album were realalised and whilst there are some highlights on this record and the vocals are possibly the most emotional of any anathema album, the level of repitition, whether it a repeated piano rift, repeated loops, or repeated lyrics just takes the edge off for me and seems a bit lazy. Better than most of the music out there today and they are still my favorite band, hence the four stars.
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on 12 June 2014
The first six tracks on this album continue where Weather Systems left off. The vocals are very dramatic and each song reaches a crescendo with both Vincent Cavanagh and Lee Douglas complimenting each other superbly. Highlights, in this respect, are 'Lost Song Part 1' and 'Ariel'.There is a greater emphasis on the acoustic piano (always a million times better that a electric one) and orchestral arrangements, both helping to build an album developing into one of intense beauty, with real feeling. Only the track 'Anathema' sees Danny Cavanagh unleashing a guitar solo.Then it all goes horribly wrong with the awful 'Your Not Alone' which destroys all before with its techno/ambient beat that is both self-indulgent and frankly not very good. 'Firelight' rescues the album momentarily with its church-organ inspired intro to the title track 'Distant Satellites'. Now, I have to say at this point this track just about survives the techno treatment but the album-closer 'Take Shelter' is ruined by it and only recovers when the band discover that they have a drummer and the track picks up more conventionally towards the end. Also, Lee Douglas is conspicuous by her absence in the second half of the album. In many respects, there is more of a post OK Computer Radiohead influence working here but I would not like to see Anathema take such a sharp change of direction in pursuit of some needless experimentation that could alienate their growing and appreciative fan base whilst attempting to broaden their appeal. If you like techno/ambient, you probably won't like Anathema so don't buy it. If, like me, you love Anathema buy it, enjoy the first half and see if you can get to grips with the rest.
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on 17 June 2014
I enjoy this release. Some will not. But reading some of these comments do make me smile. No wonder prog 'fans' are looked upon as being very strange people. If it dont sound like Yes or Genesis then it must sound like Coldplay. You do wonder who these 'prog reviwers' write for. Dandy, Beano maybe. Just make up your own minds. If you think it is 'progressive' then fine. Just please dont knock music to much, particularly at this time and this genre. The future looks grim for music. Help it why we still have labels such as KScope trying their best for us to keep it going.
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on 21 June 2014
Perhaps it is because I have been listening to Anathema for the last 2 years, the slight change in musical direction (and come on it is slight) doesn't jar with me as it does with others. A band needs to evolve/experiment otherwise surely there would be no challenge or satisfaction to the band. Also, It can lead to greater results in the long run. Yes, Weather Systems is brilliant, but do we really want to listen to a re-hashed version of it? Let's move on! There are tracks on Distant Satellites that sound similar to WS so fine enjoy those to bring back the stirring emotions you had before. But be flexible with the more "modern" tracks because at their heart they are pure Anathema. For me, there is not a track on here that is sub standard and I welcome being able to listen to something different.
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on 1 July 2014
I agree with Martyn Hewitt's review. This album starts out as a good continuation from their previous album Weather Systems. Unfortunately the last four or five tracks dissolve into a huge disappointment. Anathema has developed a style to take you on a journey so well executed on Weather Systems, We're Here Because We're Here and others. The haunting vocals of Lee Douglas appear briefly in the first few tracks and then she disappears. The music is generally mushy, gone is the musical crispness of previous albums. Anathema is a tight band with good musicians but this album overplays orchestral strings, there is but one major lead guitar solo on the whole album and the venture into computerised noise, rhythm in the last few tracks is honestly below the standards they should be setting.
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on 9 November 2015
Only got into Anathema by accident while listening to other stuff on youtube.Came across the song Untouchable pt1 and 2 and I was stunned just how good it was.So I bought weather systems album which blew my mind.Went on from there to buy Universal and then we're here because we're here album.All of which are amazing.So Distant Satelite's album.Fantastic stuff yet again.Love all 3 pt's of The lost song,Ariel etc etc.This group deserve a lot more recognition for the stunning music they put out.Well here's to my next arrival which is a sort of homecoming cd+dvd.Totally hooked on these guys and lady.One last thing is that Lee douglas has the most beautiful stunning voice I have ever heard.
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on 3 July 2014
Maybe a fraction not as good as Weather Systems, but all around great. Especially the title track. I would recommend to all their fans; a definite required addition. Also I love the book format, keep up the good work.
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on 5 July 2014
Doesn't quite reach the peerless heights of Weather Systems but still easily worthy of 5 stars.
The Lost Song part 2 is the stand out track with gorgeous vocals and a haunting melody.
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