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Salva - A Handful Of Earth CD (album) cover



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5 stars This album has been the discovery of 2004 for me. There is a range of different influences running through "A HAndful of Earth" - you will hear shades of Deep Purple; classic jazz piano; a very hard and driving metal sound; and Per's voice which is far from conventional adds ethos to make it all come together in one smooth and exceptional whole. I believe this band will make it big, correction, very big. I consider this a Must Have album. So I am going to rank it 5
Report this review (#33733)
Posted Thursday, January 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent first album by this Swedish band! This album goes to almost every corner prog has ever been (sometimes sounding more like ELP, then a VDGG-styled passage, then a typical "classic rock" passage...) and they do it in a very balanced way and with much virtuosity. Makes me already curious for their next release.
Report this review (#33734)
Posted Friday, January 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an album that grows and grows. I can hear a lot of the influences mentioned above, but the music is by no means derivative. Some high points for me are: the keyboard intro of 'Never Again'; the 'lounge-jazz' :-) section of 'A Thousand Deaths'; and all of 'Gone', to name only a few. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is to leave room for what's to come. Bring on the second album!
Report this review (#33736)
Posted Friday, January 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's generally believed that most bands improve in their releases after a debut album. If this is to be true with Salva, then this is a band that will have to be watched carefully in the future, since what we have here is a really solid debut album.

Salva's music is the result of a combination of many different styles: mainly keyboards- dominated symphonic rock, but you can also find here some hard rock (two out of three members of Salva mention Black Sabbath as one of their favourite bands), folk influences, and the occasional jazz part. For me, the summit of the album is the track "A Thousand Deaths"; if played at the appropriate volume, this song can finally convince your neighbours that you are suffering from some kind of schizophrenic syndrome, if you know what I mean (how can this guy be listening to so many different musical styles at the same time?).

The cons? Well, for me the main one (maybe the only one that I'm aware of) is that I find the programmed percussion rather weak throughout the album, and I think they would greatly benefit from the inclusion of a drummer.

Overall, and considering the rating system in Progarchives, I'm convinced this album deserves four stars: not really a "masterpiece", but certainly a wonderful addition to your collection. And, like many other reviewers, I'm already expecting what is to come, but at the same time I'm sure this album will return very frequently to my CD player. Well done!

Report this review (#33738)
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Heavy. Melodic. Pounding electric guitars. Acoustic beauty. Bombastic synth runs. Sweeping organ waves. Powerful vocals. Emotional singing. This is a band that has it all. This is what modern progressive rock is all about. Salva is a cross between symphonic prog ROCK, neo-prog, prog metal and art rock with an originality that is undeniable. I hear some techno influences every once in awhile in the synths and drums (similar to Ankh) but the guitars are almost always powerful, close to progressive metal and when they are not they are acoustic and beautiful with high emotion and feel. The melodies are everywhere. The songs are perfectly crafted. Each song is different than the other and a great pleasure to listen too. SO much to hear in each song. Constant yet always changing. My friends, this is seriously one of the best progressive rock albums of the new century. This music will NOT be heard enough. So many of you will never hear this album and that will be a shame. I am so happy to have this CD and hope that all prog fans can hear this one someday. Buy if you can find it. This is special.

Very special.

5 stars. For real. Amazing music.

Report this review (#111719)
Posted Monday, February 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars I am not going to disagree with my co-reviewers.

This is magnificent. How the hell I missed this band, is worrying....

Think Arena meets Crash Test Dummies, chuck in a bit of Purple, Kayak and an smattering of jazz (don't let that put you off btw) then you have almost got Salva.

I was surpsised to see they were Swedish - and that almost put me in mind of the more folky elements of Lake of Tears' work.

This album has everything you could want in a Prog LP : riffs, keys aplenty, atmospherics, fine vocals, harmonies....ach it's all been said, and I can't really add anymore. Yes point taken about the drumming, but I think only old father times (like me) will notice the absence of a live human behind the drumkit here.

My only gripe is why do they call themselves Salva ? Sounds like a cold-sore cream !


Report this review (#136199)
Posted Tuesday, September 4, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
2 stars 2.5 stars. SALVA are from Sweden and they play melodiic synth / drum led music with litle in the way of guitar solos. The vocals are the main focus though and I don't like them at all. I've been listenining to this cd all week and it hasn't gotten any better for me because of my problems with the vocals.

"Never Again" is fairly heavy to begin with as synths arrive, deep vocals come in before a minute as it settles down. Lots of synths in this one. "A Thousand Deaths" again has a nice heavy intro with vocals after a minute,and again I don't like them. This is catchy at times and even becomes a little jazzy 7 minutes in. "Trick Of The Century" is one of my least favourites on here. A synth led track with vocals 2 minutes in.

"Land Of Obscurity" is heavy to begin with but settles down as vocals arrive quickly. Good guitar solo 2 minutes in as the tempo continues to shift. "Faith Versus Reason" opens with guitar and drums. More excellent guitar 3 1/2 minutes in with a synth solo 7 minutes in. Guitar ends it. "Rain" has a catchy intro but I can't get past the vocals on this one. "Gone" has some heaviness before a minute but it's brief as synths and drums will lead the way on this one. I do like the guitar before 7 minutes though.

This is one of the few records that miss the mark with me on several levels.

Report this review (#174517)
Posted Friday, June 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars If this is not an art rock band,then which is?SALVA come from Sweden and were formed by three friends in 2003.At the end of 04' their hard work finally was ended up in their debut ''A handful of earth''.

If you expect full-blown complex progressive rock from SALVA,look somewhere else.SALVA insist on playing a rather groovy-styled short-track-oriented rock form with accesible musicianship and lots of rhythmic parts.Were is the progressive rock style then?Firstly it's the heavy use of analog keyboards and the quite limited digital ones.Secondly their guitar melodies have an intense Scandinavian feeling and they also use instruments like cellos,flutes and harmonica in some parts .Then comes the mass of distorted vocal lines,while actually hints of legends like KING CRIMSON are obvious in the guitar work.Do this elements make them a prog rock band?....I really do not know...The thing I do know is that the album gets somewhat boring along the way,all melodies and grooves sound soooo similar,that is quite annoying at some point...Accesible rock in progressive forms?Progressive rock in accesible forms?The future of prog sound?...I would prefer another direction for progressive rock music...

Report this review (#214655)
Posted Sunday, May 10, 2009 | Review Permalink

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