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Salem Hill - Not Everybody's Gold CD (album) cover


Salem Hill



3.55 | 66 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars When I listen to "Prelude" it sounds as if the band is willing to sound more pompous and that the influence of ELP stroke them. As well as "Yes" to a certain extent.

Vocals are more Anderson oriented than usual, and music also flirts with the pop genre. "Riding The Fence" is just a confirmation of this. A rocking song hesitating between AOR and neo-prog. Dynamic for sure, it offers a fine piano middle section which is a carbon copy of ELP (again). What follows is extremely "Yes" oriented, especially the guitar play. Even if this track is OK, it is not very original, is it?

One of the best true symphonic piece is the excellent "The Last Enemy". Song writing is more polished and diverse. Fine vocal harmonies are combined with very good guitar play. The almost classical middle part is convincing as well. One of their best song ever IMHHO.

The problem with this album is its lack of personality. Trying to simulate great bands from the seventies shouldn't be their only concern ("Let Loose The Arrow"). And when they are taking some distance from this source of inspiration, they produce some sort of heavy music like in their third album "Catatonia". The number "We Don't Know" is such a track.

Now, the epic "Sweet Hope Suite". Twenty eight minutes of some fine moments from the seventies. Melodic, harmonious and wild intro (you know like "Heart Of The Sunrise".). Add some nice violin and you'll get it all.

After a weak vocal part, here comes "Watcher Of The Skies". The band keeps going on the novelty wave.All this is well performed though and as an old nostalgic freak, once in a while it is not too bad to listen to an approaching music I was used to listen some thirty-five years ago; even if, like here, the references are too many and too obvious as well (listen to the bells in the background which remind the finale of "Supper's Ready").

If this isn't derivative, than I don't know what it is!

We'll get some nice acoustic guitar as well (hi Steve, both of you). This piece of music is a patchwork of sounds one has the impression of having heard already but I won't be too harsh because of that. It is a fine and long moment of symphonic prog. Which deserves a listen. But don't expect too much originality.

Three stars for this good album after all.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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