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Salem – Attrition


Last Updated on 10:30 PM by Nikos Nakos

Genre: N.W.O.B.H.M./Heavy Metal
Country: U.K.
Label: Dissonance Productions
Year: 2018

Salem is a New Wave Of British Heavy Metal band, founded in 1979 by some ex-Ethel The Frog members. After several lineup changes, they released 3 demos during the 80’s, while making some live appearances to mark their spot in the scene. Despite that, their debut album came in 2013, entitled “Forgotten Dreams” which was praised both by the press and the fans. Their second album “Dark Days” came in 2016, also highly acclaimed by everyone; Salem’s sound is a mixture of classic heavy metal and hard rock (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Rainbow etc.), given in a way that makes them unique. “Attrition”, in contrast to its name, is full of fresh ideas, indicating their compositional skills and never-ending lust for something new; despite their 30 year old career, they never tried to repeat their familiar pattern. Apart from Simon Saxby’s exquisite vocal abilities, I will stick to the amazing guitar work by the Paul Macnamara/Mark Allison duet. It’s like a nexus of incredible riffs and astonishing guitar solos by those excellent musicians, probably some of the best ones out there. “Black And White” which has a mid-tempo intro, is slowly increasing via a great guitar solo with great vocals that in perfect harmony make the entire track one of the best ones off the album. “Lest We Forget” follows the same route, with a great oriental solo, just like in “Sights of Wonder”, with its slow increasing rhythm and its uprising riff that gets the listener’s ear at once. The great ballad “My Only Son” can only be heartwarming for everyone, parents or not, easily one of the greatest moments so far. “Stay With Me”, “Taking Control”, “I Am The One” have a slight AOR influence but still remain to the classic N.W.O.B.H.M. vibe. Interesting tracks as well, along with “Attrition”, the album’s intro, “We Are The Godz” and “Isolation”, the outro which reminds me of Thin Lizzy. Salem are considered one of the greatest N.W.O.B.H.M. groups along with Iron Maiden, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Saxon, while the question is rising; what would have happened to the group if those album were released during the 80’s? Since the “Dark Days” are over and so is the “Attrition”… it is the time for Salem to make their “Forgotten Dreams” come true!


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