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Salem is a band rather unknown nowadays among young Metalheads, and is really sad because is one of the world most innovative and ever-changing bands in Metal history.
Hailing from Israel Salem has explored many musical styles since their formation back in 1985. They began playing Black Metal (well, proto-BM), they went through Doom and Gothic Metal and now they release their heaviest album to date, a Death Metal masterpiece.

Salem approach to music is aggressive yet reflexive, their lyrics deal with the pain and struggle of the Jewish people, the Muslim terror and many other issues that plague Israel nowadays.

Album begins with a relentless track "Broken Yet United" is a powerful and fast song dealing with the vision of actual Israel, broken by all the inner conflicts yet united by the death threat of the extreme Islamic terror groups, rather pessimistic but true. Please don't miss the short but awesome Arabic darbuka intermezzo in this song. (Darkuba being a percussion instrument for those wondering)
Second song "Coming End Of Reason" is a catchy one, this track features female vocals, and they really intertwine quite good with the growling/screaming of Ze'ev Tananboim. The song deals here with suicide bombers, and why they follow orders from people that only want to bring suffering to both sides.

"Slave" is a devastating attack and the fastest song in the album, you can hear some Afro-Cuban percussion going on here, great addition. Such an aggressive song could only be about the Arabic-Israeli conflict.

"Act Of terror" is an instrumental track with marvellous tribal percussion (featuring the Darkuba again), quickly after its over, "Act Of War" begins, a great song with some female vocals also. Title song "Collective Demise" brings back the memories of older Salem with a Doomier vibe than the other songs.

Then is one of my favourite songs in the album, if not my favourite, "Dead Eyes" is a melodic song with some outburst at the end, and that marvellous Afro-Cuban percussion again, at times I thought I was hearing some sort of Salsa Metal!
The rest of songs after this one, are more like Thrased Death Metal songs, really aggressive quite catchy.

"Al Taster" brings up the folk vibe of the band again, the song is a cover of an old Jewish hymn. Lyrics are taken from Psalms, chapter 102, verse 3 and they go something like this:

"Don't you hide your face from me in my day of grief,
Let your ears to me in the day when I call thee."

Further investigation tells that this hymn is chanted when in trouble, and I read in another review of this album that this particular hymn was chanted by the Jews who were marching to the death camps in Auwswitz, I don't really know if it's real, but it sure makes the hymn really emotional.

This is almost a perfect album lyric-wise, music-wise, and I recommend it to everyone who dares to try different music, and wants to listen something else besides Satan or Wizards.

Review by: a_dramatic_poem

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