South of Salem – The Sinner Takes It All – album review
Gathering the Coven, Bournemouth based South of Salem unleash their reign of terror with their debut album The Sinner Takes it All. Formed sometime in 2018, the band is no stranger to the music scene, having individually played in various bands for the past decade, and crossing paths along the way. The guys decided to ignite the fire with a hefty dose of gasoline and South of Salem (SoS) was born from the remnants of 80s rock and metal.
At the roots, the sound of SoS is hard rock, with a twist; that brings about the imagery of a lusty emo-goth party, fuelled on sleazy hooks and broken bedroom promises which leave dark tear stains running down your streaked face! The baby bats and elder goths will be brimming from ear to ear at this modern virtuoso horror-esque show.
Delivering the sermon, what you get is 38 min 28 sec’s of all killer, no filler, ten anthemic, sing-a-longs, even in their darkest hours. South of Salem wears their influences on their sleeve, and it’s not surprising to hear the band has had many comparisons from Alice Cooper to Motley Crue. I picked up Skid Row, Murder Dolls, Anthrax, Mötley Crüe, early Pantera, Taking Dawn, Hardcore Superstar and Kiss to name a few. Recorded in 2019 at Grindhouse Studios by acclaimed producer Scott Atkins. The title is a play on words, from Abba’s The Winner, Takes It All but don’t go looking as there isn’t a track by that name on the album, maybe it’s a parody in the making?! But each track is a winner in its own right.
Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, South of Salem has the essence of Murderdolls without the dramatic costumes, dressed in black tees and jeans the message of the music is what the band is about. Vocalist Joey Draper purrs like a cat with his dusky vocals but he’s not a high note hitter. However, his styling does remind me of Sebastian Bach in parts. I like that his vocal prowess has enough allure to draw you into his velvet tones. The guitarists Fish and Kodi ignite the fire with their blistering solos/rhythm section. Drummer Pip snares out the drums beats and Dee gets dark and dirty with his bass line solos. SoS is an upbeat explosion, managing to cover the darkest of subjects, from suicide, depression, gaslighting, from dealing with judgement and hypocrisy and hate.
Making a grand entrance, Let Us Prey opens the album and pays homage to The Purge film series, it goes full throttle as you get a fistful of 80s metal riffing intermingled with 90s classic rock which sets the tone for the album. The album feels like it was made for cinematic release, it’s grand and bold and I do wonder if performed live the songs would echo the same? Released on 10 September for World Suicide Day; Demons Are Forever is lyrically honest, its slow haunting rhythmic melody reminds me of Black Diamond by Kiss, with a scorching guitar solo, hotter than hell. Going from classic rock to rambunctious on Another Nail In My Coffin, this modern punk rock virtuoso is gritty and meaty in all the right places.
There’s an underlying rising of resonating sadness on Dead Hearts Don’t Break, delivered like a poisoned chalice, decorated with a flamboyant and fun style but as you listen you discover the meaning is just exactly the opposite.
Riding the wave, despite the album being released later than expected and even amidst a global pandemic, it couldn’t stop the influence of the sinister Cold Day In Hell that has catapulted the bands Spotify plays of this song to 100k +. If there was still a thing as the Saturday Rock Show, I’m sure this would be a contender for the number one spot.
Conclusion, summer days have gone and the dark nights might be drawing in a but there’s a new wave of rock metal and they go by the name of South of Salem. So sit back and unwind and let the cathartic sounds of South of Salem becomes severely yours.
South of Salem’s debut album ‘ – out now
Order The Sinner Takes It All’ here: https://southofsalem.bigcartel.com
1. Let Us Prey
2. The Hate In Me
3. No Plague Like Home
4. Pretty Little Nightmare
5. Made To Be Mine
6. Cold Day In Hell
7. Demons Are Forever (ft. Alex Avdis of Red Method)
8. Another Nail In My Coffin
9. Severely Yours
10. Dead Hearts Don’t Break
SOUTH OF SALEM IS:
Joey – Vocals
Fish – Guitar
Kodi – Guitar
Dee – Bass
Pip – Drums
CONNECT WITH SOUTH OF SALEM:
. Website: https://www.southofsalem.com/
. Facebook: www.facebook.com/southofsalemofficial
. Instagram: www.instagram.com/southofsalemofficial
. Twitter: www.twitter.com/southofsalem1
. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/SouthOfSalem