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P.O.D. - Satellite review


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Band: P.O.D.
Album: Satellite
Release date: September 2001

01. Set It Off
02. Alive
03. Boom
04. Youth Of The Nation
05. Celestial
06. Satellite
07. Ridiculous [feat. Eek-A-Mouse]
08. The Messenjah
09. Guitarras De Amor
10. Anything Right [feat. Christian Lindskog]
11. Ghetto
12. Masterpiece Conspiracy
13. Without Jah, Nothin' [feat. H.R.]
14. Thinking About Forever
15. Portrait

Talk about playing on hard mode, a Christian nu metal band? P.O.D. had an uphill battle out of the gate but against big odds they briefly became one of the biggest metal bands on the scene in 2001/2002 with Satellite. What prima facie sounds like an oddity twenty years later deserves revisiting, if only to understand how something as unique as this became so ubiquitous at the turn of the millennium.

Satellite saw the band center their focus both musically and thematically from their prior work; gone were the polemics of "Abortion Is Murder" from Snuff The Punk and in were the ruminations of unity in "Ghetto". Satellite saw a switch up to a more optimistic tone (and shift to less controversial topics), which would further distinguish the band in a field of identiclone nu metal bands.

P.O.D. were a decent nu metal band (which depending on how you view the genre is/isn't saying much) and did craft several songs that saw the band offer up two key components in being successful; they managed to sound better and different compared the to their competition. Tracks like "Masterpiece Conspiracy" and "Satellite" are good songs, and ones you could hear and quickly recognize who was playing. The band took the ball with this and ran to the top of the charts with that one track you will remember in "Alive"; the other track you may recognize is "Youth Of The Nation", while those with better memories may also be taken down nostalgia lane with the (cheesy chorus aside) banger "Boom". These five tracks help elevate Satellite above mere nu metal also-ran material.

Aside from those tracks however, P.O.D. are distinctly average for the genre. Tracks like "Anything Right" or "The Messenjah" aren't bad songs but they sound almost indentikit for nu metal, doing little to hold your attention beyond standard chord riffs and lyrics that, try as they might to differentiate themselves, ultimately don't overcome the constraints of the music.

[band]P.O.D.[band]'s reggae-lite tracks remind me of Ill Niño and their utilization of Latin sounds. P.O.D.'s are poor attempts at best, whether for credibility or variation they ultimately don't benefit the album. As good and talented as Eek-A-Mouse and H.R. certainly are, they cannot lift "Ridiculous" or "Without Jar, Nothin'" alone since they're the sole highlights of those tracks.

It is considering this that the band show their spectrum as musicians; as nu metal players they're good and somewhat versatile for a limited genre - as reggae players though? They're average at best and stick to paint by numbers playing for these tracks, sounding derivative rather than remotely innovative. Sandoval is an ok vocalist; there isn't much to say of him either way as he sits in the middle of the road throughout. Curiel does well contrasting the heavy riffs with soft segments that gives the album character and flair, but on the reggae tracks he sticks to playing generic riffs that seem more interested in paying homage to history than sounding like he is creating something new. Credit due to the man with "Guitarras De Amor"; it serves as a nice acoustic intermission.

P.O.D. can at the very least be credited with trying something new within the confines of nu metal; while the results may ultimately be a mixed bag, there was at least an effort at sounding different. The band do manage to pull this off on a few songs and show they had potential and could realize it; however, this was not something the band could sustain for more than a few songs before falling into nu metal trappings. Satellite is an album worthy of revisiting on occasion, if only to hear that cutting intro riff to "Alive" again.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 6
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 6
Production: 9

Written by omne metallum | 11.06.2020

Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

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