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Salem Hill - Salem Hill CD (album) cover

SALEM HILL

Salem Hill

 

Neo-Prog

2.24 | 25 ratings

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progpositivity
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Salem Hill began as an ambitious Album Rock Band. Kansas, Styx, Toto and even a little of the sappy side of that "Eye of the TIger" band Survivor are good reference points. Even in the soft rock hit single tracks, overly Intelligent vocal arrangements and brave synth lines tend to subvert the commercial sensibility with great effect.

This album is far from bereft of Proggie-ness. From the 7/8 time signature of "Evil One" and the beautifully symphonic passages of "Open Windows" to the polyphonic counterpoint of the middle section of "Fool's Gate" there is much to foreshadow the prog heights this young band would scale in years to come.

Looking back, it gets hard to remember how incredibly difficult it was for a new indie band to learn their craft and to record a debut album with anything approximating decent sound quality in the early 1990's. Everything was so much more expensive. Most studios still used giant reel-to-reels of 32 track recording *tape*. Windows 3.1 was brand new in 1992! Before that we were running our home 286 PCs on MS-DOS. "Bad command or file name" anyone?

In that context, I'm impressed with the tight vocal harmonies and catchy hooks on this independent release. For all its strong points, Salem Hill's debut album is primarily of interest only to die-hard Salem Hill fans - or melodic AOR fans looking for something uniquely proggie. That said, this is one of the *better* 2 star albums around IMO - and one any true SH fan should be *proud* to have in their collection.

progpositivity | 2/5 |

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