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Rating explanation

Salem - Collective Demise (7/10) - Israel - 2002

Genre: Black Metal
Label: System Shock
Playing time: 48:24
Band homepage: Salem


  1. Broken Yet United
  2. Coming End Of Reason
  3. Slave
  4. Act Of Terror
  5. Act Of War
  6. Collective Demise
  7. Dead Eyes
  8. Feed On Your Grief
  9. Decadence In Solitude
  10. Recall
  11. Al Taster
  12. Inhuman Greed
Salem - Collective Demise
After ARALLU the second Israeli Black Metal-band in a short time, but quite a bit different, not least because SALEM already have their 8th album out with "Collective Demise".

So Black Metal it is that we get from this quartet, but in no way it is as stereotypical and one-dimensional as the non-stop thrashing of their afore-mentioned countrymen, but a lot more diverse in its sound, further enriched by a damn good production by mainman Ze'ev Tanenboim, who, btw, also had been responsible for the sound of ARALLU…

Within the compositions we do not only get the "usual" Black Metal-sound, but a lot more, like slow and mid-paced passages, female vocals and a traditional Israeli percussive instrument called Darbuka, which gives this album a quite own touch.

SALEM never make the mistake of plodding along straightly through, but create some interesting dynamics by changing tempo and intensity, weaving interesting melodies into heavy, flowing songs, giving them a character of their own, which has only one "flaw", if you want to call it that: Ze'ev's vocals…

Those are the only element of the SALEM-sound that does not really fit in, far too unmelodic and unvaried is his voice, which fails to characterize the songs as the music manages to. His aggressive performance takes away quite a bit of the originality of the songs.

Very interesting, though, is the idea of transcribing a psalm (yes, indeed) into music, as happened with "Al Taster"…

With the exception of Ze'ev's vocals, "Collective Demise" manages to bring some fresh wind into the often stale genre of Black Metal that I can only recommend to friends of this style. (Online November 14, 2002)

Alexander Melzer

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