Playing God and Other Short Stories
Style: Extreme Metal
Release date: April 30th 2010

Back in 1991, when I stayed in a kibbutz in Israel, my buddy Michael and I headed over to Cairo. On the way, we spent a day and a night in Tel Aviv where we'd found out that British Cancer were going to play in a former gay club (!).

On the bill were also two local bands - one of which was called Salem. Should be interested to hear what Israely metal sounded like. Due heavy rain and the ensuing flood-like situation around Tel Aviv, ironically enough, the two Israely bands never made it to the club, whereas Cancer played a fine gig.

I never actually got to listen to any Salem, and now, so many years later, I'm beginning to regret that.

'Playing God and Other Short Stories' is no less than a blast!

It has the distinct touch of an underground phenomenon, yet, it holds a potentially broad appeal with female vocals and the occasional rocking piece (try the track Exodus).

What Salem do with this album is in my view genuinely unique in every aspect. A big mash-up of tight death and extreme metal, dirty rock bits, the occasional SEGA-like keyboard (Downfall of Paris pt II), bird song, plus the brilliantly incorporated female vocals.

The contrast between gentleness and brutal, technical power is striking and allows the listener to take in new details every time you give it a new listen.

This is a definite try-out!


01. Drums Of The Dead Part I 4:23
02. Drums Of The Dead Part II 4:46
03. The Privileged Dead 3:27
04. Exodus 4:23
05. The Downfall Of Paris Part I 2:03
06. The Downfall Of Paris Part II 5:26
07. The Mark Of The Beast Part I 4:14
08. Beast Lullaby 0:47
09. The Mark Of The Beast Part II 5:44
10. The Mark Of The Beast Part III 3:58
11. I Hate Pigs! 1:11
12. Playing God 7:21

Label: Pulverised Records
Promotion: Sure Shot Worx
Artwork rating: 70/100
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen
Date: March 27th 2010
  Salem @ MySpace