SALEM - COLLECTIVE DEMISE - SYSTEM SHOCK
Please allow me to begin this review with a quick and effective rant against System Shock. What is the point of a record company which does not promote its releases? How much does a CDRW cost nowadays? Salem has been around since, at least, 1985 for which they deserve the scene's respect. Hailing from Israel and being a metal band can not be the easiest of lives either. Which takes me back to the record company. Why is the band mailing out its own albums? What role does System Shock play in the universe? Would the term 'money-taker' be too kind an observation when speaking about the label?
Back to the music, Salem is a thrashing metal act with good control of the proceedings. The vocals are scratchy and probably Mille-inspired. The Kreator influence also creeps into the music. The band can be fast or slow, but the crunch never goes away. The sound too is adequate and clear enough to get the band's message across. Alas, Salem has seen fit to take the obligatory detour to trendiness by incorporating the occasional Arabic rhythms and instrumentation and female vocals. This occasionally takes the band into Therion and Tiamat territory - never a good idea. The eleventh song Al Taster is based around an old Jewish hymn and quotes the old Testament. There goes the many reviewers' notion that Salem is a black metal band. - Ali "The Metallian"
SALEM - VIDEO CD-ROM - SYSTEM SHOCK
Three videos from Salem's last album Collective Demise are featured on this CD-ROM. Professionally produced videos like Broken Yet United, Act Of War and Al Taster, cover of a Jewish hymn, provide a good overview of this Israeli bands' style which they call their most aggressive to date. Terrorism and suicide bombing are clearly issues that have affected these guys and they use the videos to convey their own messages and thoughts on the subject. Act Of War follows a suicide bomber all the way through the time he boards a bus and kills 25 civilians. Musically Salem sound like late Death or Kreator but have included more elements like African percussions and female vocals. - Sheila Wes Det