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Holy Lamb: Beneath The Skin

Headturn was an under-god created to rule the World of Music. He governed a land where peace and happiness were plentiful, unaware that Makhtartam and the Low Brotherhood, who lived only for money, had now turned their attentions towards the World of Music. Greed was their sole motivation as they plotted their evil machinations.Their ultimate goal was to have music serve the power of money.

They built cages to imprison all under-gods they'd conquered, yet Headturn's remained empty. A secret meeting was held where Makhtartan's minions plotted Headturn's capture and the ultimate conquering of the World of Music.Unaware of their impending doom, the World of Music was quickly sacked and Headturn was locked away to rot forever .The Low Brotherhood then proceeded to create cheap music which they packaged in bricks and unleashed on an unsuspecting world.These bricks, once consumed, became highly addictive; thus enslaving the music consuming public and enriching themselves handsomely in the process.

Yet, before his capture, Headturn seized stars from Heaven and sprinkled them throughout his land.Some of these fell onto fertile soil and thus the Fatty brothers heard true music of the stars and avoided the enslavement of the musical bricks.

Meanwhile, God was not pleased with the imprisonment of his favorite under-god and intervened to save him through the Angel Laudor; who appeared before the brothers bearing 'the Skin of the Lamb' which would protect them in their quest to free Headturn.Along the way they met others who'd been touched by Headturn's scattered stars and joined them in their quest.Protected by the skin, they freed Headturn and departed for distant shores not under the oppression of Makhtartam and the Low Brotherhood.

Such is the concept behind this rock opera by Latvian proggers Holy Lamb.Now, as silly or pretentious as this premise may seem to some; the band does deliver this tale with a mixture of humour and conviction. A myriad of vocal 'characters' are introduced as the tale bobs and weaves it's away through a multitude of progressive styles. There's something here for a wide spectrum of progressive enthusiasts. Fan of Neo will enjoy the orchestral arrangements; filled with pomp and grandeur while older school proggers will delight in the longer symphonic, instrumental passages. This combination gives the disc great balance and thus it never becomes tedious or overbearing in any one genre.

Now I know that I've earned a reputation around here as being a Mikey ( he won't like it! He hates everything!) but I must throw you all a changeup and wholeheartedly endorse this disc. Although this will not please fans of avant prog , zeuhl, and other more complex genres, I think this disc does have what it takes to reach a mainstream progressive audience who enjoys a good tale , while not taking concept records too seriously.

Added: October 17th 2003
Reviewer: Yves Dube
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Language: english

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