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Review: Salem - Playing God and Other Short Stories
Playing God and Other Short Stories

Label: Pulverised Records
Year released: 2010
Duration: 47:49
Tracks: 12
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 1.75/5

Review online: August 10, 2010
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
Playing God and Other Short Stories

Rated 2.17/5 (43.33%) (6 Votes)

I was very excited when I saw that Salem had a new album out, figuring that with Strings Attached, they had gotten the crap out of their system and would get back to playing some great Death Metal (I somehow missed 2007's Necessary Evil, which I hope is better.) Unfortunately it didn't take long before I realized that things had taken a turn for the worse. While the "good old Salem sound" does pop up here and there on this album, it is greatly overshadowed by very crappy "music" which reminds me more of nu-metal (without being nearly that bad) than it does of Salem's earlier material.

But even if that were tolerable, there's an abundant use of female vocals which, while good, sound absolutely out of place. Whenever a song is off to a good start, they thrown those in and they're such a bad fit that they completely ruin the song. I mean, have they even listened to the songs after recording them? The main vocals are almost the only thing left intact from the Salem of yore, along with a few musical bits here and there. Just not enough. This is fucking depressing. I don't give this a zero because it's a concept album and there's obviously a lot of work on the lyrical side, but really I see no reason why anyone should buy this – well, I'm sure there are a few "open minded" jerk offs who will like it. If your experience with Salem is from the pre-Strings Attached days, steer clear of this and stick to the old stuff. If you're new to the band, well, same advice. Now excuse me, I need to go beg my doctor for some anti-depressants. I'll bring the album along as justification.

Other related information on the site
Review: CD-ROM (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Collective Demise (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Live Demise (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Strings Attached (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Interview with Ze'ev (vocals) on February 21, 2003 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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