Panic Room: Satellite

Enhanced edition of the Welsh proggers’ best album.

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Quite why Panic Room have chosen now to reissue their 2010 album is hard to fathom, but this, their finest release so far, is a welcome reminder of the band’s reassuring quality.

This version not only has the original album but also a DVD with the previously-unavailable video for the title track and the Little Satellite EP. In the main, this is worth having for the tracks on Satellite itself. In some respects, this was a step towards accentuating Panic Room’s classic rock elements, while never losing sight of their prog-minded devotees. You can hear the balance on opener Freedom To Breathe, as Anne-Marie Helder’s striding vocals punch through the guitar/keyboard pace of Paul Davies and Jonathan Edwards. There is the occasional sidestep into whimsy, as on I Am, A Cat. Even here the band sound more comfortingly surreal than tame – and that title track itself is a beautifully soaring ballad. Additionally, the songs from _Little Satellite _are far from being filler material, displaying the same attention to detail and emotional discharge that makes its parent album work. Panic Room have yet to fulfil the potent promise here. This should still be their reference point.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.