Panic Room

Satellite

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AllMusic Review by

Walking away from the Welsh prog outfit Karnataka for a rebirth in Panic Room, Anne-Marie Helder and company now leave behind the prog-tinged elements of their debut, swapping them instead for a more rock-oriented sound. With powerhouse vocals and rock riffs in place, and more experimental sonics relegated to the background, the band strives to prove that "classic" rock is alive and well in the modern era. But we'll get to that in a moment. What makes this album particularly interesting, especially in the current climate of Pro Tools and their ilk, is that the band recorded the set in a two-week studio session that was, for all intents and purposes, live. The opening "Freedom to Breathe" is the hooky blueprint for Satellite, with Heder's trademark vocals punching through guitar and drums without care. And it's a straight path on from there. The band's forebears are on display throughout, as they tap the touchstones of Metallica, Zeppelin, and even Kate Bush. It's a competent effort, and there are even moments of brilliance to be found -- who can resist the yowling cats that open "I Am a Cat," after all? But, ultimately, the album as a whole lands as a fairly pedestrian effort. Sometimes classic rock is best left in the past.

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