NWOBHM band Salem release their latest studio album Dark Days on April 29th 2016, available from Pure Steel Records and shows them in a strong songwriting vein following the 2013 release of Forgotten Dreams. April will prove to be a busy month as the day after Dark Days is released, they are performing at a premier night of NWOBHM on the 30th at the Memorial Court in Northwich,Cheshire. Also on the bill are Spartan Warrior, Witchfynde and headliners Diamond Head. At only £16.50 a ticket it is a night not to be missed and a chance to hear tracks from Dark Days.
The album is balanced between heavy metal and melodic rock kicking off with the pulsating ‘Not Guilty’ with the main guitar lines cutting through like ‘You Give Me All I Need’ by the Scorpions. The inimitable rasp of lead vocalist Simon Saxby shines through immediately. Follower ‘Nine Months’ with its wistful acoustic guitar intro leads into majestic hard rock. An Eastern tinged segment midway precedes a piercing lead guitar solo. Its the longest song on the album which could have been the closing track but thats left to ‘Tank’.
One of the heaviest songs on Dark Days, its crushing grooves back Simon’s lyrics that portray life on the road with a band with big backing vocals in the choruses and is a collaboration with original Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton! ‘Complicated’ has a hard and heavy main riff with some neat melodic flourishes from the second guitar. The grinding main riff to ‘Lost My Mind’ is backed by guitar fills that strangely enough bring to mind ‘White Wedding’ with another vocal tour de force from Simon. The title track keeps up the heaviness, containing a piercing guitar solo cutting through the riffs like a knife. ‘Tormented’ is chock full of doomy riffing backed by some snapping snare work by Paul Mendham.
Powerhouse drumming dominates the UFO tinged headbanger ‘Second Sight’. ‘Fallen Angel’ is another classic power ballad to add to the Salem library featuring another huge chorus as the melodic guitar solo adds the icing to the cake. The most poignant vocal features in ‘Toy Story’, a powerful heart wrenching number but my highlight is ‘Prodigal Son’. Duelling guitars dominate this lo fi rocker containing lush vocal harmonies and air guitar inducing lead breaks.
Band line up :-
Simon Saxby – Lead vocals.
Paul Macnamara – Guitars.
Ade Jenkinson – Bass guitar.
Paul Mendham -Drums.
Mark Allison – Guitars.
Album track listing :-
Lost My Mind.