P.O.D.
Satellite


3.0
good

Review

by Ben Thornburgh CONTRIBUTOR (99 Reviews)
May 14th, 2013 | 32 replies | 1,303 views


Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Their beliefs may not be universal but their passion is.

Lets face it. Nu-metal was bad.

A gaggle of lunk-heads rising up from Kurt Cobain’s ashes like a sh*tty phoenix, bypassing the emotional anguish lying at the heart of grunge and heading straight for the distortion pedals.

Lets face it. Christian music is bad.

Religion had a good run musically, heavenly inspiration is the basis for history’s greatest composers, but CCM is constantly two steps behind, insufferably bland or both. Right now a suburban mom is plunking a CD of god-sponsored dubstep on some poor tween’s desk.

But combining the two makes perfect sense. Nu-metal lends Christianity a much-needed shot of energy while the Christianity gives nu-metal a reason to be aggressive beyond getting grounded from the computer. Plus, when P.O.D’s Satellite was released it felt relevant. Nu-metal was clogging the airwaves with a sound so annoying it made anyone musically discerning pine for silence. As someone who was raised in a private Christan school it was, well, a godsend. My parents allowed me relative freedom in my musical selections, trusting my judgment, and I stayed on the straight and narrow. We had a subscription to Focus on the Family’s Plugged In magazine that detailed the objectionable material in new music releases. I obsessed over every issue as a peek into a culture I couldn’t participate in. I knew all about the naughty stuff in Hail to the Thief (“a measured, sleepy sound that might narcotize teens, but sure won’t do anything to inspire them”) long before I heard it. So when Satellite got a passing grade I had all I needed to get my parents to pick it up for me from Best Buy.

P.O.D. on the pulled off the tricky balancing act between message and music perfectly. Unlike many Christian bands that flirt with the mainstream (Paramore, Underoath, Switchfoot) they never shied away from what they were, they were a Christian metal band operating in a genre that desperately needed some optimism. Opener “Set it Off” features front man Sonny Sandoval crying out “Let your spirit fly!” over a massive guitar chug. Heart on sleeve lyrics like these crops all over the album but the band leans into them so hard you can’t help but be swept up in their passion. “Alive”s call to seize the day sounded spectacular on modern rock channels full of angst and it still packs a wallop. “I think I can fly!” sings Sonny, it may read corny but it sounds positively epic on record.

Sonny Sandoval might just be the best nu-metal MC ever. A dubious title to be sure but when he’s unleashing tricky rhyme schemes on “Set it Off” or pulling off Rasta flavored flow switches on “Ridiculous” his styles are certainly superior to the typical half assed bars spewed from the genre. On album highlight “Youth of the Nation” he personifies a school-shooting victim with the kind of confused reasons a juvenile might come up with for why a classmate would murder him (“Maybe for a moment he forgot who he was, or maybe this kid just wanted to be hugged”). Guitarist Marcos Curiel often forgoes power chord riffing to lace tracks with an Edge inspired atmospheric rip. His ominous guitar lines on “Youth of the Nation” carve out miles of space and put a knot of terror in the stomach.

The album falters when Sonny over utilizes his weak singing voice. “Ghetto” and “Thinking About Forever” are both tuneless ballads that crush the albums momentum. Elsewhere, “Without Jah, Nothing” is a bit of silly hardcore thrashing that sounds like it’s going to be interrupted by mom bringing down some snacks. At 52 minutes the album is too long, axing a few of the redundant cuts and slower numbers would have done wonders for the records pacing.

P.O.D. are an example of right place, right, albeit unfortunate, time. Their breakthrough record, Satellite was released on September 11, 2001 and it’s epic tidal wave of hope and love was what people needed. Despite a few flimsy tracks and being 10 minutes too long it has held up admirably. It’s deft blend of nu-metal rage and reggae grooves creates a record that burns with passion, one that can be felt by the devote fanatic and godless heathen alike.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2013



1489 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I still go on Plugged in Online from time to time, its interesting to read all the filth I'm polluting myself with. Suggest edits pretty please!

Digging: Blood Orange - Cupid Deluxe

oltnabrick
May 14th 2013



29282 Comments


HERE COMES THE BOOM

Digging: Ju Sei and Utah Kawasaki - ??????

DinosaurJones
May 14th 2013



490 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album was pretty sweet back in the day. It holds up pretty well now too.

SGGreenman
May 14th 2013



709 Comments


Pretty good review. Never cared for these guys though.

pizzamachine
May 14th 2013



12568 Comments


yeeeeaaahhh gotta love this album

Acanthus
May 14th 2013



9514 Comments


"Alive", "Boom", "Youth Of The Nation", and "Satellite" are still really fun.

Digging: Ayria - Hearts for Bullets

Green Baron
May 14th 2013



11300 Comments


one of the better nu-metal bands out there. review is spot on. pos'd

Digging: Chevelle - La Gargola

Green Baron
May 14th 2013



11300 Comments


one of the better nu-metal bands out there. review is spot on. pos'd

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



9523 Comments


Nice write-up, man. I've always enjoyed your reviews-- you have a distinctive writing style, which is a nice change of pace on a site like this.

Only tip I'd offer is to maybe be more subtle with your hooks. Like, in the beginning you succeed in grabbing my attention, but at the same time it's pretty unprofessional to say things like "nu-metal was terrible," etc. If you'd be more interested in toning down the extreme statements like that, or at least phrasing them in a more reasonable manner, then reviews like this would be consistent gold. And I'd really like to see that from you, because you're one of the most promising writers I've seen on here in awhile. Keep up the good work.

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

DinosaurJones
May 14th 2013



490 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Side note, I thought Marcos was the guitarist, and Wuv played drums?

bloc
May 14th 2013



34502 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^Those 4 songs are the ones I still listen to. Can't stop loving them.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2013



1489 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@Omaha

Thanks for the advice!

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2013



1489 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@DinosaurJones

You're right, review hath been fixed, thanks.

HolidayKirk
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2013



1489 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Set it Off", "Ridiculous" and "The Messenjah" are the best deep cuts.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 14th 2013



7282 Comments


Nu-Metal isn't bad if you listen to the right bands.

Digging: In Flames - The Jester Race

MisanthropicElf
May 14th 2013



77 Comments


Just came to say the guy with the Ratchet icon is automatically awesome.

omnipanzer
May 14th 2013



21391 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Average album is average.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2013



7013 Comments


HERE COMES THE BOOM

I laughed.

Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

StallionMang
May 14th 2013



4351 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Probably my biggest guilty pleasure, but this is their only good album.

Digging: Pixies - Trompe Le Monde

Mad.
May 14th 2013



2934 Comments


Youth of the Nation is a great song, almost picked this up but then I obtained music taste.

Excellent review btw, pos'd.

The one thing that always pissed me off about this band is how they failed to evolve their sound from here. They're still making the same, now lifeless, shit they did 10 years ago...



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