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Salem Hill - Catatonia CD (album) cover

CATATONIA

Salem Hill

 

Neo-Prog

2.75 | 32 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
2 stars At scarce occasions, the band gave some hopes about their music but too few to really blow me, frankly. From a weak AOR sounding band (their debut) to a more neo-prog one ("Different World"), what would come next?

A mixed bag of everything?

When you listen to the opening track, its mellowish mood is rather weak and the song is only saved by some fine Spanish acoustic notes at he end. The attempt of a more hard-rocking tone is not big deal either. "Real" sounds .real flat.

The band is almost reaching the good level with "Children Without Innocence". At least for 45 seconds. After a quite good intro, they try to emulate some sort of Sabbath sound. Needless to say that they have not the power nor the darkness of their glorious ancestor. This is just a weak gloom song.

It sounds as if "Salem Hill" were willing to tackle the hard-rocking audiences with "Catatonia" (the album). Needless to say that they are not sounding credible for a ? cent. One of the worst exercise is with little doubt "Fašade & Arcade". On par with the title track. Emotionless, poor riff. Press next.

To be on par with lots of hard-rock bands, it was of course necessary (?) to release a rock ballad ("I Blinked"). At the end of day, this is not a bad track, but in that genre, many were miles better of course. I have to admit that, so far, this is the worse of their releases and a song as "Habit Without Heart" just adds to the feeling. The first interesting number is the very melodic title track. Extremely catchy and fine guitar break provides some relief. Finally! But the joy is rather short before being embarked into a poor song again ("I Turn my Back on You"). Now, Salem Hill is heading some heavy metal stuff.You know where the next button is, right?

I have to agree though that the epic of this album is very good. At least, the band reverts to some pleasant and catchy music. Even emotion is present. It was high time to say the least.

"The Judgment" is by far the best song from this lengthy album. Peaceful and tranquil keyboards sounds are far from the cacophony of earlier numbers. Almost atmospheric. The band would have rather stuck to some forty minutes format for this album: by doing so, "Salem Hill" might have released a good one, because the closing number "Awake" (almost clocking at nine minutes) is a decent track as well.

As such, I can't honestly rate this album with more than two stars.

ZowieZiggy | 2/5 |

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