Power of Metal.dk Review

Forgotten Dreams
Style: NWoBHM
Release date: 12 December, 2013
Playing time: 57:06

Forgotten Dreams is, I wonder, perhaps given that title because Salem are a band that for reasons unrevealed, to us at least, decided to call it a day in the very early 80s. I must admit, listening to this album, I do wonder what must have happened. I think that given what they were doing was very much a new thing at the time, they might have gone a lot, lot further. Maybe my thoughts on the album title is just speculation on my part and nothing else, but I do find myself wondering if, given that it took almost 30 years for them to have another crack at it, that they are trying to go back and remember forgotten dreams of what must have been such an exciting time. I'm 32, so before '88 I only have other people's stories to rely on.

It's good Salem have come back, regardless of what the reason may or may not be. Whatever they did after disbanding all those years ago, they definitely maintained their musical knowledge and skill. From just listening to it, you could mistake these guys for being 20 years younger than they are. It's a nice atmospheric feel on the heavier songs but on the slower songs like 'The Best Is Yet To Come' it falters off slightly. I don't know why it gives me that feel, it's probably cos it is in complete contrast with the overall feel of the album. There's a nice dark feel to 'X-rated' which could not be more different from it's predecessor. 

There are a lot of good points about this album - it has a distinctive, if not entirely original sound that probably comes from the fact that nobody tried to copy it because Salem probably didn't get big enough to have anyone try to copy, unlike Maiden or Priest who have a thousand copycat bands. I suppose if I am honest there is a bit of a Saxon/Dio feel to this album in some places, though mainly from a vocal perspective.  However, after listening to it only twice there is enough to make anyone recognise it and be able to say 'This is Salem'. I'm not sure how they have managed to do that, as frankly I wouldn't have thought it possible for a band that had to break up when this scene exploded and became the biggest thing in metal. You'd think Salem would be yesterdays news, buried in a thousand bands that all sound the same trying to emulate the success of others. Well, not these guys I must say. Salem were one of the originals when it really was still 'new' wave. It's just that a lot of us never knew about it. I certainly didn't until I was fortunate enough to be sent their album for review.

I don't know whether 'Forgotten Dreams' is a concept album based on things that may have been but never were 30 years ago, but I do know that I am itching for a tour of this material.

For a slightly different take on 'new wave' from an original new wave band that were there at the time, you could do a lot worse than pick up this album.

01. Forgotten Dreams
High Stakes
When Love is in your heart
This Heart is Mine
The Answer
Reach To Eternity
The Best is yet to come
Break The Chains
11. Ask the Lonely
12. Aftershock
Label: Pure Rock Records
Distribution: Pure Steel Records
Reviewed by: Matt Fabi
Date: 17 January, 2014
Website: www.salemband.co.uk