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Salamander - Ten Commandments CD (album) cover





3.27 | 36 ratings

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3 stars A kitschy cross between "Jesus Christ Superstar", IRON BUTTERFLY, THE GRASS ROOTS and the MOODY BLUES, SALAMANDER dumps it all at the listener's feet on their sole album. It's as if they knew this was to be a one off and didn't hold back at all.

While absurdity abounds, the degree of which depends on how much of this is ironic or unintentionally hilarious, there is simply too much good playing and arranging here to be ignored, particularly on the opening cut with its references to "Days of Future Passed" and vivid orchestral flourishes, the relatively understated "People", and the dramatic "Kill". The organ of Alister Benson is what would draw most progressive fans in, as he stamps out hair raising lines. The MOODY BLUES' influence extends beyond their landmark orchestral album into their later 60s work in "Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery", and it even seems that SALAMANDER was listening to Graeme Edge's work on "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour" for "Steal".

As is typical for proto prog, derivation is the name of the game, but SALAMANDER was astute enough to limit their ambitions to thematic pomposity, unlike some also-rans like FANTASY and CRESSIDA who actually thought they could stand on their own two feet. 2.5 stars rounded up because at least this is an enjoyable listen and abides by the 11th commandment "Do no harm".

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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