Salem (an appropriate name for artists in the subgenre "witch-house") combine elements of industrial and goth music with shoegazing guitars and the syrupy, chopped and screwed hip-hop conjured up by DJ Screw and others in 1990's Houston. the resulting music is simultaneously creepy, beautiful and danceable.
Salem's vocal duties are split between Heather Marlatt and John Donoghue. Marlatt is used instrumentally, her voice cavernous, ethereal, almost heavenly amidst the lurching beats. Donoghue's parts are what really give Salem their unnerving edge. he cover grizzly subjects like torture so nonchalantly it makes one wonder if he's done it before.
stand out tracks on the album include the leadoff title track, which features a melody lifted from "O Holy Night." "Sick" utilizes both vocalists in what may be the best track on the album behind "Release da Boar," on which Marlatt's moans are suspended in a in a misty void. "Killer" evokes A Place to Bury Strangers in its sheer volume and shoegaze attack. not for the faint of heart.
Salem - Sick (mp3)
Salem - Release da Boar (mp3)
Salem - Killer (mp3)