Having now been snapped up by Metal Blade Records, the band are about to release a beefed up version of their E.P. that surfaced early last year, with the addition of two new tracks, taking the total up to eight, this now has the more rounded feel of an album.
Mount Salem hail from Chicago, and have pitched their standard slap bang in the middle of classic Doom territory but have managed to add psychedelic elements as well as incorporating the female vocal, which contrasts superbly well within the dark and leaden framework of Doom Metal. This genre, I’ve always felt, benefits immensely from the presence of a female vocalist, and Emily Kopplin certainly adds an extra dimension of emotion and passion, coupled with a haunting and despairing element that creates a wonderfully black backdrop for some excellent riffs, delivered in the classic early Sabbath vein.
The press release tells me that band use vintage gear to record with, and that raw and uncluttered feeling definitely comes across well, throughout the record.
Opening track “Good Times” is a wonderfully slow paced affair, with a subtle organ sound that compounds that classic vintage vibe, Emily’s voice displaying a great range without the need to venture into warble territory. This style works best in my view, on the slower tracks, “The Tower” a great example, a song that also just happens to have a cracking guitar solo in its bowels as well by the way. In general, the album comes across as a varied and diverse body of work, which is no mean feat, considering the somewhat constricting boundaries of the genre. Tracks like “Full Moon”, with its lone guitar intro against a wave of cymbals, leading to Emily’s ethereal delivery, before bursting headlong down the highway at full tilt, demonstrate how accomplished the band are at getting this bang on.
Stand out track for me personally is “Mescaline 11”, this song just nails everything in my book, stunning vocal delivery that brings a lump to the throat and a tear to the eye, coupled with a mighty Doom riff, an organ segment and a solo to bring you to your knees. This is an album that stands out from many others of a similar ilk, if you love the darker side of Metal, then this is most certainly for you, not a single dud track to be found anywhere, and a joy to listen to from start to finish.
Mount Salem are;
Emily Kopplin – Vocals and Organ
Cody Davidson – Drums
Mark Hewett – Bass
Kyle Morrison – Guitar
“Endless” sees its release on the 4th of March through Metal Blade Records.