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Salem - Strings attached
I listen to all kinds of metal from all countries all over the world, but I’ve never heard a band from Israel. So when I got ‘Strings attached’ of Salem I was very curious what they had to offer me.
Salem was founded in 1985. Since then they released several demo’s and albums. I also found out on their website they create a discussion in the Israeli parliament about a song that was associated with the holocaust. Well it seems they must be known very well in their homecountry.
By the name Salem I actually expected some 80’s heavy metal, but I  was wrong. The first notes I heard when I pressed the play button were not of a powermetal riff. It sounded more like an orcherstral arrangement of Therion. And when the vocalist started to scream it was very obvious that I was totally wrong. The vocals remind me of Rotting Christ. Strings attached has a lot of variety. Slower, very bombastic and classical parts are alternated by some faster more metallish parts. When I checked out Salem’s webiste I found out that most of the songs on Strings attached were previously released but are rearranged.

The atmosphere on Strings attached is very dark. The mix of the mystical music with the evil sounding screams really impressed me. In the song Anno Domini the vocalist has this really cool voice which immediatly reminded me of the evil emperor in the Star Wars movies. For now I’ve just been talking about the male vocalist, but there is a female vocalist as well. And she also really does not sound bad at all, alltough I’ve heard better. And a choir is used as well. But nothing is overdone. Nowadays there are so many gothic bands with female vocals, and mostly they sound all the same. But Salem created the right mixture, not too much, not too less.

What I really like about this album is the fact that the two styles, classic and metal, are really melted together. Sometimes bands use classical influences, but then it often is metal, classic, metal, classic etc. On this record it really is one style, even in the heavier parts. And the classical parts are really played on classical instruments and are not played on a keyboard. The onces who made this possible are of The ICSQ String Quartet.

Now I just said that metal and classical music are melted together, but there is one song on this album which has no guitars at all, but it is so damn good! There is just one band that came up in my mind, and that is Apocalyptica. Damn I love this song. There are no vocals in this song, just a shot sample of the famous words “I have a dream” of Martin Luther King. The song really gives a very dark feeling.

But there is also a minus. The music is really great, but the sound of the record is so thin. It has so many bombastic parts, but you will need a good equaliser on your stereo to let it sound like it should. It just does not sound fat, it has no boost. But except for the production there are no minusses I could find. 
The cd also includes a multimedia part with a video, pictures and a film about the making of the Strings attached.
Salem - Strings attached
85/1001Details Holy Records
Released on Tuesday Jul 5th, 2005
Dark melodic metal

Writer @Arcane on Sunday Dec 4th, 2005

Tags: #Salem
Tracklisting 1. A Moment Of Silence
2. Anno Domini
3. Coming End Of Reason
4. Dying Embers
5. Winter\'s Tear
6. Ha\'ayara Bo\'eret
7. Eyes To Match A Soul
8. Slave
9. Old Wounds
10. Hour Glass
11. The Fading
12. Recall
13. Old Wounds (feat. guest-vocalists)
14. The 2nd Coming
Line up Salem

Ze\'ev Tananboim - Vocals
Lior Mizrahi - Guitars, background vocals
Michael Goldstein - Bass guitar
Nir Gutraiman - Guitars
Nir Nakav - Drums, percussion, keyboards and electronics
Kristin E. Wallace - Female vocals
Amir - Neubach - melodic male vocals
Eugene Berger - Guitar solos

The ISCQ String Quartet

Hadas Fabrikant - Violin 1
Tali Goldberg - Violin 2
Amelia Hollander - Viola
Hilla Epstein - Cello

Contrabat Choir

Kami Maltz, Yael Mintz, Lior Kodman, Noa Soback, Natalia Fryd, Ruth Danon, Dafna Shoham, Tamar Talmon and Adi Trudler. Musical Director: Rami Bar-David