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HOLY LAMB

Symphonic Prog • Latvia


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Holy Lamb biography
From thrash-metal band to symphonic progsters, this Latvian outfit went through quite a few personnel changes over the course of their existence. They released a demo in 92 and a first, self-produced album in 96 featuring prog that's slightly more aggressive than CAMEL or GENESIS, somewhat comparable to EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER, with some flute and violin in addition to the keyboard/guitar/bass/drum combo.

Their compositions are average to good but the vocals are very shaky, a bit in the FISH style (not so much in intonation as for their dramatic intensity). Their better albums are "Salt of the Earth" and "Beneath the Skin". Both are competently played and energetic, the latter being something of a rock opera telling an unconventional story about music; it features strong-driven sections interspersed with near-spoken vocals. A 'fan' CD was also issued in 2001 entitled "A Fantastic SeeDee", made up of old, new and a live tracks. Overall, HOLY LAMB compositions are not tremendously exciting but still offer some quite memorable symphonic moments with solid organ pieces and beautiful piano passages. A more secure and powerful vocalist would definitely enhance their sound.

Neo-prog fans as well as those of KING CRIMSON, VDGG or SINKADUS may want to check them out.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

Holy Lamb official website

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Buy HOLY LAMB Music


Beneath The SkinBeneath The Skin
Periferic Records
Audio CD$21.69
$21.68 (used)
Salt of the EarthSalt of the Earth
Import
Dark Matter Distribution 2006
Audio CD$13.99 (used)
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HOLY LAMB discography


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HOLY LAMB top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Bite in the Dust
1996
3.47 | 17 ratings
Salt of the Earth
1999
4.00 | 2 ratings
A Fantastic SeeDee
2001
4.50 | 18 ratings
Beneath The Skin (A Transgressive Rock Tale)
2002

HOLY LAMB Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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HOLY LAMB Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Beneath The Skin (A Transgressive Rock Tale) by HOLY LAMB album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.50 | 18 ratings

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Beneath The Skin (A Transgressive Rock Tale)
Holy Lamb Symphonic Prog

Review by 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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 Salt of the Earth by HOLY LAMB album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.47 | 17 ratings

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Salt of the Earth
Holy Lamb Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars The only well-known Latvian prog band hails from Riga and came to birth in 1991 as a Thrash Metal act, led by brothers Aigars (guitar, vocals) and Eriks Cervinskis (drums).The early years featured expanded 7- and 8-piece line-ups, as on the ''Bite In The Dust'' cassette album, recorded in 1994 and released in 1996, showing a Heavy Rock group trying to step into Progressive Rock territories.The most important change on musical direction occured in 1997, when keyboardist Juris Rats joined Holy Lamb, determining their sound at a significant deegree.In 1999 the band released the ''Salt Of The Earth'' CD, which drew the interest of Mellow Records.

Any metal influence was now history and ''Salt Of The Earth'' presents a band heavily influenced by CAMEL, GENESIS, MARILLION and PINK FLOYD.''Whoever Designed This Game'' is characterized by its strong guitar work and the great sound twists in a typical Neo Prog mood along with excellent vocals, while ''The Lingering Dream'' is nice spacey instrumental track with hypnotic piano all the way and a fine FLOYD-ian ending solo.The 12-min. ''My Star Untouchable'' sees the band at its best, despite being almost a MARILLION rip-off.Incredible and dramatic guitar workouts, heavy sense of melody on the piano breaks and FISH-like spoken narrations among the great vocals of Aigars Cervinskis picture a composition full of intense emotions and shifting moods.''Rainfall In Your Heart'' is the most original composition by Holy Lamb on this work, having a Fusion-touch on the guitars and a light jazzy piano middle part next to the familiar melodic content.But this style does not fit the band very well I admit.The closing ''The Sea'' clocks at over 16 minutes and offers a nice Symphonic Rock experience with melodic guitars, calm pianos, crystalline female vocals and even a strong organ wash towards the end.Good track but not as compentent as ''My Star Untouchable''.

Well-crafted Progressive Rock with a few highlights to be found, that deserves a better fame.Very good vocals, impressive guitar work and intricate melodies will please the majority of prog listeners, though I can see many of them being turned down by the evident GENESIS and MARILLION influences.Still strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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 Beneath The Skin (A Transgressive Rock Tale) by HOLY LAMB album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.50 | 18 ratings

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Beneath The Skin (A Transgressive Rock Tale)
Holy Lamb Symphonic Prog

Review by kendernay.attila

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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 Salt of the Earth by HOLY LAMB album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.47 | 17 ratings

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Salt of the Earth
Holy Lamb Symphonic Prog

Review by darkroom

3 stars First album from Holy Lamb that appeared in CD format. Some influences from neo- prog, but also we can hear band's own style. Holy Lamb shows high potencial and talents. Maybe the voice of singer Aigars Chervinskis is not very enjoyable (in the next album his singing is better), but music is OK. Here are 5 tracks, including a 15 minute opus The Sea (with great woman vocals and religic influences) and also fantastic instrumental composition The Lingering Dream (great guitar work here!).

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 Beneath The Skin (A Transgressive Rock Tale) by HOLY LAMB album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.50 | 18 ratings

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Beneath The Skin (A Transgressive Rock Tale)
Holy Lamb Symphonic Prog

Review by darkroom

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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 Beneath The Skin (A Transgressive Rock Tale) by HOLY LAMB album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.50 | 18 ratings

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Beneath The Skin (A Transgressive Rock Tale)
Holy Lamb Symphonic Prog

Review by 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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 Bite in the Dust by HOLY LAMB album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Bite in the Dust
Holy Lamb Symphonic Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars The Latvian band HOLY LAMB was founded in 1991 as a thrash metal band. They later changed they're musical approach towards progressive rock influenced by CAMEL, GENESIS, KING CRIMSON and YES. The musicians are good and they also have flute and violin in the set-up. The vocalist Aigars Cervinskis has a unique voice that's somewhat reminiscent to FISH, although I'm considering it being quite weak at times. They recorded their debut cassette album "Bite in the Dust" in 10 days in the summer of 1994. When it finally was released in 1996 the music was quite straightforward guitar rock but with a slightly progressive touch. Besides their own compositions the album also contains a reworked version of BLACK SABBATH's "Looking For Today" (from "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" 1973). For being a self-produced debut cassette album this is really good, but I guess that the future for HOLY LAMB is a lot more interesting than this release. Just you wait and see!

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 Salt of the Earth by HOLY LAMB album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.47 | 17 ratings

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Salt of the Earth
Holy Lamb Symphonic Prog

Review by Greger
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Latvian band HOLY LAMB was formed in 1991 as a thrash & speed metal band. They later changed their music to traditional rock and in 1996 they went on to play progressive rock in the same vein as EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER. Nowadays they're playing a mixture between neo-progressive and traditional progressive rock and you can hear some reminiscences to ARENA, GENESIS, IQ, JADIS and PENDRAGON. The vocals leave a lot to wish for, but the music is complex and the musicians are highly technical. The production is very good too. There are 5 tracks on this CD. The highlights are the two epic tracks "My Star Untouchable" and "The Sea", 12 respectively 16 minutes. This is a decent CD-debut and I can hear a big potential for forthcoming albums. They are currently writing new material for the follow-up to "Salt Of The Earth".

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