|Review: Salem - Dark Days|
Label: Pure Steel Records
Year released: 2016
Genre: Metal/Hard Rock
Review online: June 13, 2016
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Rated 2.75/5 (55%) (4 Votes)
The U.K.'s Salem is an original NWOBHM band spun off from the infamous Ethel the Frog. Salem released several demos in the early 80s but hung up their instruments before releasing a proper album. Fast-forward 25 years and the fascination with all things NWOBHM sweeps the Salem members back together for a couple of EPs and now in 2016 the band's second full-length, Dark Days. Like a lot of bands from that era, by today's standards the music is more Hard Rock than Heavy Metal. Songs like "Not Guilty" and "Nine Months" have a more classically "Metal" feel to the riffs and the vaguely Middle Eastern melodies bring to mind early Rainbow. On tracks like "Lost My Mind" and "Toy Story" the gruff yet high-pitched vocals and blues-based song structures evoke The Blitz-era Krokus. Everything is played well but lacks any truly compelling hooks. As an act to go out of your way to see or dig up old releases, Salem isn't a band I'd put a whole lot of effort into, but if they are playing at a venue near you, I'll bet they are one of the best bar bands you'll ever see.
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