Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Long Distance Calling: (2007) Satellite Bay

Got your epic metal if you want it. Which is exactly the goal of Long Distance Calling's debut album, which is short on surprise but long on atmosphere, and sometimes that's all that's needed. Admittedly for many, the mere mention of an album consisting of all-instrumental, atmospheric/loud prog-influenced stomps and meditations almost does all the work for it, so even though the German quintet's members have earlier experience in other acts, right now they're just making an individual mark. Taken on its own merits, though, Satellite Bay delivers exactly what would be expected of it -- head-nodding moments of gently building beauty, explosive crescendos, and a general sense that they will, indeed, one day open for Neurosis (or at least be on a co-headlining tour with Pelican in Central Europe). Songs like "Aurora" deliver the gently rumbling and contemplative atmosphere one would expect, taking Ummagumma-style Pink Floyd rambles and giving them more of an obsessively structured focus up into where the feedback fully kicks in. There's a little variety here and there which will help them with wherever they go next -- the nervous ghost-of-post-punk chugging on "Horizon" shows they've been listening to the likes of Interpol and various fellow travelers, and not to bad effect.
Amusing touch: Peter Dolving's movie-trailer voice of doom on "Built Without Hands." ~~ Ned Raggett

2.Fire in the Mountain
5.Very Last Day
6.Built Without Hands
7.Swallow The Wate

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