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Salem Hill - Puppet Show CD (album) cover

PUPPET SHOW

Salem Hill

 

Neo-Prog

4.35 | 17 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars Salem Hill is definitely one of my favourite American prog rock outfits, and since first hearing it 'The Robbery Of Murder' has been a frequent visitor to my CD player. So it was with some sense of anticipation that I looked forward to hearing this double live CD. Performances have been taken from a variety of shows over quite a long period of time, but it has been put together in a manner that means that this isn't audibly noticeable. For the most part the band has a four man line-up, with Carl Groves and Michael Dearing sharing lead/harmony vocals and both of them providing guitar. But there are times when one or both of them play keyboards, so it is possible to go from a guitar-oriented outfit to one containing no guitars at all. While Carl provides most of the songs, bassist Pat Henry also is no mean slouch in the song writing stakes. The line-up is completed by drummer Kevin Thomas.

This is extremely melodic rock, that often reminds me of the mighty Kansas, and indeed ex- Kansas violinist David Ragsdale guests on "Brave New World", and the fact that it is an outstanding number by all concerned is incredible given that they were unable to rehearse together! The album starts with "Evil One" which has a delicate guitar/keyboards introduction, but the song has a harsh edge which played upon with Michael screaming the verse out through gritted teeth while Carl provides the more sympathetic vocals on the chorus. It is extremely hard to pick out a favourite as the album is just so strong throughout. I suppose the five numbers taken from 'TROM' are hard to distinguish between just because I love that particular album so much, but they have picked songs from throughout their career and the result is an album that every prog or melodic rock fan should hasten out to purchase immediately, if not sooner.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

kev rowland | 5/5 |

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