LONG DISTANCE CALLING — Satellite Bay (review)

LONG DISTANCE CALLING — Satellite Bay album cover Album · 2007 · Metal Related Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"Satellite Bay" is the debut full-length studio album by German post rock act Long Distance Calling. "Satellite Bay" was released through Viva Hate Records in 2007.

The album features seven tracks. Two of them are re-recorded versions of tracks that were also featured on the "DMNSTRTN (2006)" EP. "Fire in the Mountain" and "The Very Last Day" were definitely among the best tracks on "DMNSTRTN (2006)" but personally I prefer the original versions to the versions on "Satellite Bay". It´s like the two tracks lost a bit of power in the re-recording process. Especially "Fire in the Mountain" seems to suffer from the re-recording. While the original version was positively on fire, this version is a bit less energetic. The music on the album is melodic instrumental post rock with some excursions into post metal territory. Especially the drumming by Janosch Rathmer points in that direction. He is quite a skilled and busy drummer. The instrumentation consists of two guitars, bass, drums and ambience (which in this case means samples and atmospheric sounds) courtesy of Reimut van Bonn. The music is guitar driven and the two guitars really compliment each other well with various countermelodies and layers. If I had to name an influence on the music I´d mention Mogwai. The highlight on the album is "Built Without Hands" where Long Distance Calling suddenly include vocals on an otherwise fully instrumental album. The vocals work well and at a point on the album where I found my attention drifting I was suddenly paying full attention again. The guest vocalist is Peter Dolving (Mary Beats Jane, The Haunted).

The production is clean, pretty polished and professional.

Long Distance Calling pull off their melodic instrumental post rock style pretty well but my attention sometimes drifts and that´s always a sure sign that the songs lack a bit of character and memorability. Taken one by one the songs are very enjoyable but it´s the album as a whole that becomes slightly long drawn along the way. Don´t let my minor complaints put you off though this is still a very strong album and it fully deserves a 3.5 star (70%) rating and lots of attention from fans of the genre. I hope the band include more vocals in the future though as their presence on this album created some much needed variation.
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