Via Satellite

Cities Are Temples

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Via Satellite lives up to its name on the elliptically titled, Cities Are Temples, a progressive rock album that recalls newer bands like Radiohead and older standbys like Pink Floyd. Drew Andrews,Scott Mercado, and Tim Reece who create a spacious sound, relying on a minimal backdrop for their airy compositions. The album starts as gently -- with melodic bells -- as an old King Crimson album, and the lyric sketches a portrait of a city collapsing and a love -- despite the destruction -- that will not die. The sum total effect of "Seven Winged Lions," however, is not depressing, but ethereal as the soaring vocal joins the ascending melody. In effect, this is the pattern that Via Satellite follows throughout Cities Are Temples. While a song like "Sunrise" is more bombastic, allowing heavy guitar to cover the words, it's still built out of a beautiful mesh of instrumental work, vocals, and delicate song structure. It's inevitable that Via Satellite will be compared to Radiohead, but this only means that both bands work within a similar experimental rock vein, not that their styles are the same. Cities Are Temples is an innovative effort from a talented band, and accomplishes the rare feat of being both original and listenable.

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