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Salem Hill - The Robbery of Murder CD (album) cover

THE ROBBERY OF MURDER

Salem Hill

 

Neo-Prog

3.82 | 56 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Neo Prog Team
3 stars Better days were ahead of Salem Hill.The ''Catatonia'' album was followed by the partcipation of the group in a major prog event, the Progday 97', in Chapel Hill, NC.The fourth studio album was Salem Hill's next step.Six months of recordings at England Studios and another concept story was the background of ''The Robbery of Murder'', released on Lazarus Records in 1998.It tells a story of a man, desperately hunting the killer of his father, featuring David Ragsdale of Kansas on violins.

Ragsdale is not the only link of Salem Hill with KANSAS.Finally the new album of the Nashville boys shows strong influences from the US Prog scene with KANSAS being the first band to come to mind next to reasonable comparisons with GLASS HAMMER and SPOCK'S BEARD.The arrangements of the group are much more elaborate and symphonic in nature with an appropriate space for more evident keyboard parts, while Ragsdale's presence adds a much needed color to Salem Hill's sound.''The Robbery of Murder'' contains excellent melodic parts, elegant and dreamy soundscapes and sensitive vocal harmonies to compete with the elite of the genre.Of course a few tracks, apparently following the concept, are still a bit more aggressive, with harder guitars in evidence, but even these are sounding more refined due to Ragsdale's superb violin textures.A fair dose of sudden breaks and some great, lush orchestral themes complete the fresh sound of the group, which eventually seems to head towards the right direction.Some bombastic passages with a deep atmosphere are not absent either and, as a result, ''The Robbery of Murder'' maintains a superb balance from the start to the very end.

The questionable potential of Salem Hill has finally grown into a mature and satisfying album.For all fans of modern US Prog in the vein of GLASS HAMMER or MAGELLAN, this is definitely a great addition.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |

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