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Holy Lamb - Beneath The Skin (A Transgressive Rock Tale) CD (album) cover

BENEATH THE SKIN (A TRANSGRESSIVE ROCK TALE)

Holy Lamb

Symphonic Prog


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Marcelo
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Highly recommended album from Latvia. I rate it 5 stars altough I recognize it isn't an absolutely perfect masterpiece (it's very, very close) but, since I 've got this album, I heard it again and again, growing in me each time.

The feeling is generally dark-symphonic, with solemn organ, magnificent piano and guitars and even gothic chorus sometimes, but melodies are very clear and beautiful at the same time.

I find reminiscences from bands like VDGG (and the contemporary VDGG influenced VERSUS X), a little bit from KING CRIMSON and many influences from the nostalgic Scandinavian bands (ANGLAGARD or SINKADUS). But despite these obscure references, it isn't an album difficult to listen to, being each track a little symphonic prog gem itself.

Almost 60 minutes with dark and -paradoxically- very luminous music. Really enjoyable, don't miss it.

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Send comments to Marcelo (BETA) | Report this review (#28574)
Posted Saturday, May 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
darkroom@inbo
5 stars Holy Lamb is one of the few progressive rock bands in Latvia. And we can say that Beneath The Skin is the greatest latvian prog-rock album. This album includes some very, very great musical moments. Good instrumentation and concept. Some songs are better then others but actually each track is good. It is surprising, but this album is one of my favourite progressive rock albums. Why it's so surprising? Because in Latvia there are not strong progressive rock roots and traditions. I give to this album 5 stars, but it's not because I'm latvian - just listen this album and I think you'll agree that this music is really fantastic.

Best tracks: The Plan That Failed Makhtartam & The Low Brotherhood The Meeting Of The Majorminors

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#28575)
Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
kendernay.att
5 stars This is an excellent album, a real masterpiece from Latvia. I didn't know this prog rock group before. Fortunately I could buy their CD on very low price in my country, but after listening to this fantastic album I think it was a bargain. It was very cheap but the quality of music is very high. It became one of my favourite prog rock album. Prog rock fans must by this album.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#68701)
Posted Tuesday, February 07, 2006 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars I have to confess to not knowing many Latvian prog bands (okay, I don't know any) prior to receiving this album, but I see from their interesting web site (www.holylamb.lv) that they have previously released an album on the Italian Mellow Records. This is a concept based on the story of God creating the earth and sending rulers for each kingdom, and the struggle for the kingdom of music. It is a shame that there wasn't room to print the story in the booklet as it is interesting and certainly adds to the album, but at least the link to it is printed and the album also contains all of the lyrics as well as details as to which character is singing.

It is a hugely impressive album from start to finish, with more than enough on here to interest the proghead. It is an album that is very cinematic in concept and in some ways it has more in common with shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar than to many other prog albums. I found that right from the beginning I was very involved in the music as it is highly complex, bringing in not only different keyboard sounds but also moving from pop into complicated hard rock.

Different vocalists have been used to assist in the telling of the story and this all adds to the theatricality of the album as a whole. Gentle flute and harp lend some passages a gentle tranquillity that is certainly missing from other sections! This is by far the best album that I have heard from Periferic and one that I can heartily recommend to all lovers of prog.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#978688)
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
Gerinski
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars This obscure little gem from Latvia is closer to a Prog-Rock Opera than to a traditional Prog concept album, featuring several characters performed with the help of a few guest vocalists.

The concept must be taken with a pinch of salt, and thankfully the band themselves seem to take it with humour because otherwise it could have sounded terribly nerdy and pretentious. The album booklet includes the lyrics (in English) but not the story itself, which used to be available in the band's website but apparently has been mysteriously removed, so at risk of making this a painfully long review I will post it here for you:

Headturn was the demi-god assigned to rule the World of Music, and under his control musical art flourished, filling the world with peace, art and happiness. But another demi-god, the evil and greedy Makhtartam had different plans and wanted to turn music into a money-making machine at his service. He had been conquering different aspects of the world and locking their respective demi-gods in cages, but Headturn's cage was still empty. With help from the Low Brotherhood he managed to catch Headturn and lock him too into his cage. The Low Brotherhood then proceeded to create cheap music in the form of 'bricks' which they unleashed on the unsuspecting world. These bricks were highly addictive thus enslaving the music consuming population and generating big revenues for Makhtartam and his fellows.

Yet, before his capture, Headturn had seized stars from Heaven and sprinkled them throughout his land. Some of these fell onto fertile soil and thus the Fatty Brothers heard true music of the stars and avoided the enslavement of the musical bricks.

Meanwhile, God was not pleased with the imprisonment of his favourite demi-god and intervened to save him through the Angel Laudor, who provided the Fatty Brothers with 'the Skin of the Lamb', a sort of invisibility cloak by which they could approach the cages undetected and free Headturn. Along the way they met others who'd been touched by Headturn's scattered stars and joined them in their quest. Protected by the Skin, they finally free Headturn and depart for distant shores were pure music can develop again.

Yeah, even Rush's 2112 sounds serious next to this!

After such a long introduction I will not make a track by track review, but we find here excellent Prog with multiple influences ranging from King Crimson to Neo-Prog, Camel, Van Der Graaf Generator, other Rock- Operas such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Mike Oldfield, some Jazzy moments, Hard-Rock riffs, church organ parts, you name it. No weak moments in the whole album, my only warning concerns the vocals, not very good timbres and often excessively theatrical which can put some people off.

If this album was by a renowned band I would possibly rate it 4 stars but coming from an obscure Latvian band I find that I must reward their achievement and I will give it the 5 stars status.

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Send comments to Gerinski (BETA) | Report this review (#1346989)
Posted Saturday, January 17, 2015 | Review Permalink

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