The story of UK band Salem is a tale that could told of many bands, whether past or present. Born out of the NWoBHM uprising, Salem had talent and a hardcore following. They cut several singles and demos, but the record deal eluded them. The band tanked in 1983. Sound familiar?
Then really smart dudes over at High Roller Records in Germany approached the band about compiling all those singles and demos. The result was 2010's In The Beginning ... With interest renewed in their music, the band did the only thing possible, regroup. Then they returned to cutting a few more demos, three to be exact between 2010 and 2013, before delivering their first true full-length album, Forgotten Dreams for Pure Rock Records. To be truthful, it's not all new material the Excepting one (Retribution), the songs from the previous three EPs are here, and also a re-recording of Reach to Eternity from the earlier days. The rest are the new stuff.
And across the board, this pretty darn good music: strong melodic hard rock and metal in the NWoBHM tradition. The strengths of this album are numerous. Strong song composition with attention to melody and hooks while still traversing the paths of both hard rock and heavy metal. The vocal arrangements are strong, polished and melodic. Simon Saxby has lost nothing over the years. The guitar work is also crisp and lively, offering brisk classic rock and metal leads, with some of the best within Forgotten Dreams, High Stakes, This Heart is Mine, and Ask The Lonely. Finally, the production and mix is clear and vibrant, allowing you to hear nuances like the bass line in the title track. All in all, these things combine for a rather significant success for a band of fifty-something heavy metal rockers. And these guys can truly deliver the goods whether it's the heavy metal of Kazakafnu or Aftershock, the melodic hard rock of The Answer, or the anthems of This Heart Is Mine or The Best Is Yet to Come. Hopefully, that title of that last song is prophetic for the future of Salem. Forgotten Dreams is quite recommended.
Salem's Forgotten Dreams is a rather significant success for a band of fifty-something heavy metal rockers, quite entertaining melodic hard rock and metal in the NWoBHM tradition made fresh for today.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]