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Salem Hill - Be CD (album) cover

BE

Salem Hill

Neo-Prog


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Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars To rate this seriously as a modern era prog band with a sense of individuality, this disc deserves the four stars. A break away from their previous discs with better production and stronger, more mature lyrics, this is a must have for prog fans. I am very impressed by this release. It's got more of a hard tone than most prog, however the lyrics and delivery are better than most. Bits of Pink Floyd and Gentle Giant pop up here and there along with some parallels to Kansas, though never blatantly derivative. More influence than emulation. The musicianship is top-notch without mindless wankery. A real statement to the state of life in the new millenium.
Report this review (#26003)
Posted Monday, January 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars When I think of Salem Hill I think of great vocals,top musicianship and some of the best songwriting in all of prog but I didnt expect Be to rock the way it does in parts.To bad Salem Hill has to be on a British label so the CD cost 22.00 here in the Puget Sound area,ouch.
Report this review (#26004)
Posted Saturday, February 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars i've been a big fan of salem hill's since "robbery of murder" but BE is definitely their best. while retaining the usual excellent vocals and harmonies found on their previous offerings this one is more guitar oriented and there's a harder edge. simply put, this one rocks more.
Report this review (#26005)
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is the stronges & ''hardest'' record from Salem Hill.Hard in a wondefull way. It's stronger in a mature & beautyfull way.Lyrics a great.Vocals their best since Rubbery of murder.You can actually feel this album.Fell Carl Groves,who to my mind,is one of the stronges songwriters,to day,in prog.They have it all......Salem Hill.... Produktion is great..... Salem Hill are one unik progband....one of a kind..... make yourself happy......& get it before your ''brother''....you wil not regret it!!! ''Be'' is the best record,this year....no doubt about it..... By way's.... You should tjeck out Carl Groves latest solo release; ''Branch upon the ground''....it is even greater....For good folks,who like the likes of; Kevin Gilbert/Neal Morse/Kansas..... Lyrics on this is amasing.....Ohhh...music to..... Go visit Carl Groves right here; http://cgroves.home.mindspring.com/grovespage.htm. This is where is all come true...The story of Salem Hill & Carl Groves...
Report this review (#26006)
Posted Thursday, November 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Compared to their previous work, "Be" is definitely a change for SALEM HILL. This album rocks ! There is a lesser emphasis on keyboards, and guitar are more on the forefront which makes for a less symphonic and harder sound. But this is still very good music anyway.
Report this review (#26007)
Posted Wednesday, December 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Be with Salem Hill ...

Starting with breakers and and a nice acoustic song this album developes to a matured exemplar of progressive rock.

Symposium now shows a heavy break with weird moments first - very complex with differences in speed and instrumentation. 'Be' is constantly alternating between ballad and heavy rocking parts based on a superb songwriting. Children of the dust is one of my highlights - what a powerful song followed by So human which is dominated by diversified polyhonic vocals. Love won't save the world is another gem which also invites you for singing along.

This album is a completely rounded one and it's not necessary to mention every song - recommended!

Report this review (#81587)
Posted Tuesday, June 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have ROM and Mimi both and while those two albums are more in the vein of all out melody fests and striving for beauty, this one is a little more rough hewn. I give ROM 4 and Mimi 5 stars. Be is one you have to give repeated listens but it will reward and show some of the same beauty as the other two. But there are also heavy songs like Symposium, The Great Stereopticon, Children of the Dust and Apollyon that allow them to stretch out the guitar heavy part of their songwriting. Some reviewers have marked this one down, maybe because it kind of jumps around with its ideas as opposed to being flowing like ROM and Mimi. But there are songs and passages that will stay with you and is a worthy addition if you like the band or want to try them out. One other note is that the track listing on the CD and here on PA is wrong. It was reworked late in the process but had already gone to print. Go to the web site under "Random Ruminations" for the correct listing.
Report this review (#96255)
Posted Monday, October 30, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Notable difference between their previous album ("Not Everybody's Gold") and this one. Instead of some "Yes" or "Genesis" oriented music, this time you can expect some more "Kansas" stuff like "Nowhere Is Home" or "The Great Steropticon". Big deal.

It is of course not bad per se, but I preferred some of their more melodic and earlier music. "Salem Hill" is even attempting to produce some prog metal music with "Children Of The Dust". They already headed for a harder sound in their "Catatonia" album without really achieving anything. The same applies to this song. The only fine moment being the fine vocal lines combined to sweet music in the middle part (you know, like "Kansas" could do.).

The length of this album (over seventy minutes) is also a handicap. Must be a disease to be willing to fill the CD as much as they can, but doing it with fillers like "So Human" (so painful), "Underneath" etc. was not the best idea.

Under these circumstances, "Love Won't Save The World" and Beings sound as jewels: in line with their good and melodic style, they do stand out. Truly symph prog. And even if the tranquil interlude "Seattle" is not too bad, the band gets back to some AOR/hard-rock with "The Red Pool". The most funny one is I Didn't Come For You. Even Sabbath is revisited here! To be fully honest, the melow closing song is also bearable. A fine guitar solo is the highlight of this one (same could be expererienced in Beings).

If you liked "Catatonia", this album might suit your taste. Be warned though that it investigates the heavy sounds even more ("Apollyon"). Only four songs can be related to symphonic prog.

I am not very enthusiast about this one but if you would except "Robbery Of A Murder" and "Not Everybody's Gold", I never considered their work as good. Only average, like this "Be".

Report this review (#181722)
Posted Thursday, September 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars First of all just to get this out of the way, the track listing is all wrong on the cd. I noticed when listening to what is supposed to be "Seattle (In Memory Of...)" that he kept repeating the word "Apollyon" on the chorus. And since "Apollyon" is also a song I compared the lyrics to the songs listed and no less than eight of the songs are out of order. Frustrating ! As far as the music goes it is really good for the most part. In fact it's a tough one for me to rate because I think the concept and lyrics are very well done and most of the music, but there are several tracks I would consider average at best. If your into concept albums (i'm not) I think you will rate this high.

"Reflect" opens the album with the sounds of waves and seagulls before acoustic guitar and vocals take over. "Symposium" is better with that growly bass as percussion and vocals join in. It kicks in and picks up.Good tune. "Nowhwere Is Home" features strummed guitar and vocals with piano and a beat. It does get fuller. It's okay. "The Great Stereopticon" is heavy to start but it settles back when the vocals arrive. "Children Of Dust" should be the title of the next track. In fact this and the next seven tracks are titled wrong. I've heard this song on some compilation before. It's cool to hear the two different vocalists trading off. An aggressive tune for the most part. "The Red Pool" is catchy with dual vocals again. "Underneath" is heavy early on then it settles with vocals.Contrasts continue.

"Seattle (In Memory Of...)" reminds me of QUEEN. Not a fan. "Apollyon" kicks in quickly and the vocal are angry. "A Perfect Light" sounds like STEELY DAN. A good song. "Love Won't Save The World" has some interesting lyrics. "I Didn't Come For You" opens with guitar then the vocals join in before a minute.This reminds me of KINGS X. Some good bottom end here. "Beings" is laid back with vocals. "Regard Me" ends the album like it began with waves and seagulls. Music does come in as well.

Some really good songs on here and if I could bother to get into the concept I might like this more. 3.5 stars. Worth checking out for sure.

Report this review (#423693)
Posted Sunday, March 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Salem Hill's Be sounds to me like a return to the musical approach of The Robbery of Murder, only with mildly better production and a drastically reduced sense of focus. Stretching to well over an hour, Salem Hill unfortunately do not come up with sufficient material to really merit that sort of running time, and whilst they do seem to have a knack of tugging at the listener's heartstrings, the lack of a firm concept for the album means that it all seems rather aimless, and when their emotional prodding isn't serving a decent story it's profoundly irritating. Not my favourite by a long shot.
Report this review (#660979)
Posted Friday, March 16, 2012 | Review Permalink

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