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


Salem Hill



3.53 | 60 ratings

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3 stars ''The robbery of murder'' was one of these works you simply can't pass by.The album caught the attention of the Cyclops' management and the British label offered the band a new contract.As Cyclops had done many times in the past, this gave the chance to Salem Hill to re-release their entire back catalogue.Now the fifth album was on the way and the band recruited a new member, keyboardist Michael Ayers, who had contributed additional keyboards in some of Salem Hill's previous albums.The new work carried the title ''Not everybody's gold'' and was released in 2000.

The evolution of the band from the early, more AOR-oriented releases to a full-blown Prog combo becomes complete with this album, even if discreet hints from the far past are still around.Salem Hill managed to capture the spirit of the 70's and transform it into their own amalgam of complex, rich progressive adventures with strong YES, KANSAS and STARCASTLE influences, led by some powerful electric guitars, fascinating keyboard pyrotechnics and an evident aura from the old years in the bombastic organ parts.There are up there next to SPOCK'S BEARD and similar groups with a vivid mood for dense, quirky yet accesible arrangements, where there is a lot of space for melodic or romantic textures among a storm of concentrated rockin' ideas.They retain their deep American flavor of the KANSAS family due to the prominent use of Hammond organ and striking synthesizers over Classical-inspired melodies and over-the-top refrains, but they get close to British-styled Prog quite often, especially to YES, with the impressive guitar manoeuvres of Groves and Dearing and the strong, symphonic textures of the keyboards.Honorable mention should be written for the 28-min. ''Sweet hope suite'', a great Prog/Symphonic Rock epic in the vein of YES with some lovely keyboard interludes, marching sections, sudden breaks, flashy solos and tons of vintage colors, featuring again the presence of KANSAS' David Ragsdale on violin.

Another solid work by Salem Hill in the vein of old, symphonic-oriented bands.Not much of a personal style, but numerous moments of impressive musicianship and well-executed vocal parts.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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