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

NOT EVERYBODY'S GOLD

Salem Hill

 

Neo-Prog

3.54 | 63 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This Salem Hill recording has to be one of the best symphonic prog efforts of the end of the millenium. 'Not Everybody's Gold' is a truely prominent musical work: well, it may be not everybody's gold, but mine it is for sure! With keyboardist Kevin Ayers integrated into the line-up, the quintet had plenty of room for varied interesting musical ideas: their own high- calibre skills allowed to perform and explore them with both cleverness and intense sensitivity, which is someting you can suspect from track one, a captivating overture titled 'Prelude'. The two aforementioned elements are displayed in great amounts in the rockier tracks ('Riding the Fence', 'Let Loose the Arrow'), the softer ones ('The Last Enemy', 'We Don't Know'), and the one in between ('January'). Though the influences of Kansas, Yes and Rush, - as well as some Styx and some neoprog - are somewhat evident, they are not derivative, since these guys have got a creative flame of their own. Groves and Dearing guitar interplaying is superb, and so are Ayers' keyboard textures and solos; meanwhile, the rhythm section duo exhibit their prowess and tightness with such ease that sometimes the listener might forget how intrincate the material actually is. The intended gem of this album is, of course, the very long suite 'Sweet Hope Suite'. This track is so impressive that I won't even try to describe or analyze it: all I will say is that it contains all the good ingredients that a proghead should expect from a long, ambitious number - lots of melodic lines, diverse sections, well crafted arrangements. What else is there to say? I give it 4 stars, and I wish I could give it an extra half.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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