4 out of 5 Stars!
This Prog-Rock group from Nashville, Tennessee (of all places) has released a slew of enjoyable albums since the early ’90s, and The Robbery of Murder (a concept album from 1998 about a troubled man seeking justice for his father’s death by a drunk driver, and the band’s fourth collection overall) is the one that first caught my attention and formally introduced me to the group.
To me, on mellifluous yet emotionally impactful tunes such as “Father and Son,” “When,” “Dream,” “Revenge,” “Someday,” and “Evil One,” Salem Hill plays within the same realm as Symphonic Prog acts such as Kansas, Spock’s Beard, Transatlantic, The Flower Kings, and offshoots of those various bands. The dozen tracks contain charming atmospheres and complex melodies, all with lush and sophisticated accompaniment, and a nice balance of both bouncy and upbeat rhythms versus moody, stark, and highly dramatic moments.
Also note, on this particular album, the Kansas comparisons are in even greater abundance, thanks to the violin contributions by guest star David Ragsdale, who appears on numerous tracks.
Overall, Salem Hill is yet another talented band that truly deserves greater acclaim within the Prog-Rock community, and this ambitious concept album proves why.