Review Summary: Ambitious, large in scope, and downright powerful, The Galilean Satellites exists as an incredible experience.The Galilean Satellites
is widely regarded as a post metal classic for a number of warranted reasons. Rosetta’s willingness to push themselves into innovative territory with only their debut album at their disposal exists as one of the biggest reasons. It’s a ballsy move, but maybe that’s what bands should try to do more often: Push themselves to be great. By adding numerous layers of ambiance and spacious synthesizers, Rosetta managed to give birth to a fresh atmosphere that combines post metal and space rock with ease. Aided by soaring vocals, fantastic musicianship and a wonderfully ambitious vision, one can’t help but admire the band’s handy work here. Some bloated song lengths and one dimensional vocals aside, The Galilean Satellites
proves to be one hell of a musical experience.
“Absent/Beta Aquilae” alone brings about everything fantastic regarding this record. Though relatively free of vocals, the band’s evocative approach to the genre shines through. Driven by stellar bass and guitar work alike, “Absent/Beta Aquilae” delivers a memorably eerie atmosphere with the aide of some effective percussion. There are so many nuances and layers to this track. It’s a rewarding balance between repetitive riffs, atmospheric ambiance and an overall ominous vibe. “Departe/Deneb” also conveys these emotions in a similar light. It’s another instance where the bass and guitar really work exceptionally well. It also introduces the listener to undeniably impressive harsh vocals and the album’s immersive nature by consistently layering synthesizers underneath the heaviness. While these tracks excel at swallowing the listener in villainous tones, other tracks like “Europa/Capella” and “Itinerant” prove themselves downright inspiring and empowering.
“Europa/Capella” right off the bat starts off with some beautifully played atmospheric guitar work, with it only to explode into a powerful mix of fuzz and robust harsh vocals. Though the bass and drums get drowned out by the colossal noise, this can easily be forgiven because it’s that engaging. As for the towering crescendo near the end, let’s just say it’ll blow you away. “Itinerant/Ross 128” functions in a similar manner, but refreshingly changes up the pace with by starting off with layers of graceful piano melodies, uplifting strings and chilling samples of static near the end. It’s so potent that one could easily forget that this is a metal album first and foremost. Suddenly, with the inspiring mood still intact, it erupts into an exhilarating wall of satisfying riffs and exceptional drumming. Lengthy repetition aside, the song never manages to lose anyone’s attention because the band’s approach happens to be so engrossing and mesmerizing. It’s about as hypnotic as a song could get and brings to mind space in the traditional sense. These songs are what this record is all about.
Granted, the record could have ended on a higher note of course. “Au Pays Natal/Sol,” though somewhat compelling for the first half, unfortunately stagnates quite a bit towards the end. The vocals are powerful and well executed nonetheless, but they can have a tendency to sound quite monotonous. His tone never really changes throughout the record and that’s definitely evident as he consistently repeats the phrase “Shell of a man” over and over again in "Au Pays Natal/Sol." Coupled with this flaw, this track is also the first one to cause any attention to deviate due to its repetition and unnecessary length. Thankfully, it’s the final track and the rest of the record holds up incredibly well in comparison and doesn't cause the record to overstay its welcome. The Galilean Satellites
exists as an absolute triumph. It without a doubt stands out with the rest of the genre's giants with its space rock atmosphere and compelling vision. It’s for this reason that anyone who is a fan of post metal should not pass this up because you’re in for a unique experience.