Salem Hill, have been around since the mid-90's when the new American Symphonic Prog wave started. Unfortunately they have remained relatively unknown in comparison to say a band like Spockís Beard but I think once the symphonic world hears Salem Hillís newest release, Last time I heard the band was with their Robbery of Murder and Not Everybodyís Gold. I always thought the band had potential with Robbery but didnít follow it up (at least to me) properly on Gold, so I lost interest in the band until now.
On Mimiís Magic Moment they expand on the style they started on Robbery of Murder plus elements of their other albums since then. Sadly I havenít kept up with the band but with Mimiís Magic Moment, I have regain the wanting to explore their music and I shall fill in the gaps with their catalog.
This album has several well known guests on it including Neal Morse (guesting vocals on the opening track The Joy Gem), ex-Kansasí violinist David Ragsdale (The Joy Gem & Stolen By Ghosts) and Glass Hammerís Fred Schendel (who does a piano solo on The Future Me) to name a few.
The band still has traces of a Kansas sound first found in Robbery of Murder, mainly due to the vocal harmonies and Iím sure having David Ragsdale helps out too. This time around thereís more to their sound, in fact I hear a kinship to Glass Hammer in the way the songs are played out mostly heard on Stolen By Ghosts, the grand epic of the album (21+ minutes). All the rest of the four songs are revisiting over and over again. They just gelled so well with what I love about music, progressive rock in general. I just canít stop listening to this album. By the ending moments, Iím compelled and ready to start it over. This is an occurrence that happens once in a while and with those feelings I have to give Mimiís Magic Moment my highest recommendation, especially to fans of the new American symphonic progressive rock movement as well as fans of well crafted songs and melodies.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on January 28th, 2006