Anathema – Distant Satellites
Anathema have gotten their sound down to a fine art by this point, having gradually evolved from established doom harbingers into atmospheric rock titans. Distant Satellites continues down that path determined and assured, as shown on the LP's trilogy The Lost Song; Part 1 has vocalist Vincent Cavanagh expressing himself confidently with his ever-impressive range. It's an emotionally charged journey for sure, but there's something a little too familiar about it as well.
Still, it's somewhat refreshing to have the band opting for a floatier, less tangible vibe; Part 2 of The Lost Song showcases the soaring voice of Lee Douglas amongst a passionate flurry of jet-engine guitars and glittery synth parts. Glitchy laptop beats make an appearance on the title track – a nice stylistic shift. Christer-André Cederberg's production work is absolutely stellar; every guitar strum sounds out clearly, even when surrounded by increasingly complex orchestration. Essentially, it's another Anathema record – not as earth-shattering as they might have you believe, but far from a wasted opportunity. [Ross Watson]