Review & Interview

SALEM - Collective Demise [System Shock]


The Salem comes from Israel and plays metal extreme.
Formed in far away 1985, after three demo, riescirono to sign for the German label Morbid Records, than pubblic? theirs first two full-length ("Kaddish "and" To Moment Of Silence").
Hour the band returns with a new record contract and a new album of mint.
The Israeli quartet just continues for the road undertaken in past, enriching sound with the use of percussions the Afro-Cubans and the introduction, in some leaves, of one gentle feminine voice ("Coming End Of Reason ", "Act Of War", from the arabeggiante atmosphere).
The lyric ones are inspired from the Bible and the first single feature from "Collective Demise", "Al Taster" cover of an old hymn Hebrew.
If the concept that it is behind this job pu? to turn out interesting, in how much originates them and on the generis for a album of metal extreme, to musical level, part the insertion of antithetic instruments to the typical one death metal, Ours not discostano much from the musical proposals odierne: drumming murderous, locked guitars that they are opened to melodie from the Swedish sapore and one gutturale and feracious voice.
"Collective Demise" extension however one band in top form with several things still to say.

I Salem vengono da Israele e suonano metal estremo. Formatisi nel lontano 1985, dopo tre demo, riescirono a firmare per l'etichetta tedesca Morbid Records, che pubblicò i loro primi due full-length ("Kaddish" e "A Moment Of Silence"). Ora la band torna con un nuovo contratto discografico ed un album nuovo di zecca. Il quartetto israeliano prosegue per la strada intrapresa in passato, arricchendo il proprio sound con l'uso di percussioni afro-cubane e con l'introduzione, in alcune parti, di una soave voce femminile ("Coming End Of Reason", "Act Of War", dall'atmosfera arabeggiante). Le liriche sono ispirate dalla Bibbia e il primo singolo tratto da "Collective Demise", "Al Taster" è la cover di un vecchio inno ebraico. Se il concept che sta dietro a questo lavoro può risultare interessante, in quanto originale e sui generis per un album di metal estremo, a livello musicale, a parte l'inserzione di strumenti antitetici al tipico death metal, i Nostri non si discostano molto dalle proposte musicali odierne: un drumming assassino, chitarre serrate che si aprono a melodie dal sapore svedese e una voce gutturale e feroce. "Collective Demise" mostra comunque una band in piena forma con parecchie cose ancora da dire.



Ze'ev of Salem introduces to us his band, that has just released its new album called "Collective Demise" on KMG/ System Shock.

How long has the band been around and how exactly did you all come together?

Salem was formed in 1985 and we released 4 albums and a 7" picture LP: "Creating our sins" (December 1992), "Dying embers" (7" picture LP) (April 1994), "Kaddish" (December 1994), were released by Morbid recotds. " A moment of silence" produced by Colin Richardson (October 1998) was released by B.N.E, and Salem's new release: "Collective demise" (September 2002) is the first Salem offering for KMG/ System Shock in Germany. Earlier this year Salem signed a 3-album contract with this well-established label. Salem played with such known acts such as: Megadeth, Entombed, Rotting Christ, Cancer, Disharmonic Orchestra as well as headlining tours throughout israel. Salem was featured on MTV. europe several times and also on the german show: Viva. The line-up is: Ze'ev Tananboim - Vocals, Lior mizrahi - Guitar, Michael Goldstein - Bass, Nir Nakav - Drums and Nir Gutraimen who joined us recently - Guitar. For more information about Salem, you can visit our web site:

How has the reaction been to the new album "Collective Demise"?

Until now we are getting great responses, excellent reviews and a lot of interviews. we appreciate it a lot. this is a good stage to say thank you to all of you for the support and for the good responses of the odience and the media.

How does "Collective Demise" compare to your previous albums?

"Collective demise" is very aggressive, although it has a lot of melodys and harmonys. I think that "Collective Demise" reflects certain adolescence of salem, the fact that it's more aggresive and much faster distinguish it from our previous releases.

What are the subjects of your songs?

In general and conceptual, all the songs in the album are refering to collective demise. Our lyrics influence by life itself. In Israel it's impossible to ignore the news since it has a direct effect on your daily life and as a result you have songs. It's hard to cope with the fear of being somewrer crowded (like busses, restaurants, or even live shows) without knowing how it will end. The fact that innocent civilians are dying gives you an helplessness feeling. It is difficult for us to see a solution for it right now, but we don't know what tomorrow will bring - therefore we try to keep hoping.

Can you start telling us something about the album creation? Where was it recorded?

"Collective demise" was produced by the band and recorded in D.B. Studios (Drums, Bass, and Guitars) and Noise Studios (Vocals and mix) in Israel to maintain the bombastic production standard set forth with previous release "A Moment of Silence". "Collective Demise" contains 12 new songs which textually are snapshots of our reality since September 2001 and musically explore new territories; The use of Afro-Cuban Percussion on "Dead Eyes" and "Slave", Arabic darbuka on "Broken Yet United" and "Act of Terror", female vocals on "Coming End of Reason", "Feed on Your Grief", "Act of War" and "Al Taster" and the most sophisticated second guitar harmonies ever submitted to reel. "Al Taster" is also the first single and video off the album released in Israel on June 19th 2002. This song is a cover of an old Jewish hymn. Lyrics are taken from Psalms, chapter 102, verse 3. This album is the first Salem offering for KMG/ System Shock in Germany. Earlier this year Salem signed a 3-album contract with this well-established label.

Why did you decide to use Afro-Cuban percussion, arabic Darbuka and female vocals?

This is not the first album we use those instruments. On "Kaddish" (1994) and the single "Dying. Embers" we used those instruments. You have to remember that we are living in an oriental country, and here, in Israel, those instruments are very common. we think it's important to add those things to our music. What to you think about the situation in Israel of today? I'm not a religious person, I think everyone can believe in what they want as long as they don't hurt anyone and as long as they don't force you to think like them.

How would you describe your local music scene in Israel? Do you think that the band has garnered the recognition that they deserve and have you ever thought of relocating to another location and if so where?

The metal scene in Israel has had its ups and down, new bands come and go all the time. These days the maetal in Israel is growing and a lot of kids listen to metal and support it and come to live shows.. Some good bands are: "Arallu", "Nail-Within", "Lehavoth", "Untropia", "Meleches", "Orphaned Land", hand more. I try to help bands, I produced several bands like "Arallu", "Azazel" ,"Aztec", "Betrayer" and i just returned from germany, helping producing "Nail within" with Hrris Johns. Also we have a great lable here in Israel, "Raven music" that support the metal. Salem shows has great energys. the audience knows and sing all the lyrics with me, allmost every show is sold out. The show is 80 minutes, and it includs songs from all of our releases. Every show is different because we have 4 CD's, and we try to give the audience something new every time they are coming to see Salem show. In some shows we put video screen with Salem's video clips, or projecting the show. I don't think to relocate because i think "Collective demise" can be successful all over the world. with the right distribution you can succeed everywere, and i think this is true for all kinds of music.

Top 5 All-Time Favorite Albums?

Kreator-Extreme Aggression, Sodom-Persecution Mania, Death-Leprosy+Spiritual Healing, Slayer-Hell Awaits.

Which are your major influences?

Our main influence is life itself. In Israel it's impossible to ignore the news since it has a direct effect on your daily life and as a result you have songs. another thing that inspire us is the Israeli music rootes. In any case, all 5 of us writing the material, and we all like different bands, so when we eventually build a song, it sounds like us. My early idols were Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motorhead etc. The band that influenced me back then was Venom, and then came other bands like Slayer, Sepultura, Bathory and more.

Can you tell us what separates your band from other death metal bands?

I think it is hard to renew metal, but we really try to be different and not to sound like other bands. we try to sound like us and to bring our style and roots as it is.

How do you feel with System Shock? Why did you decide to sign with this label?

KMG/ System Shock treat us great, I am sure that they will do a great promo when the CD will be released in Europe. In early 2001 Salem was released from the contract with B.N.E, we taped a demo and sent it to several record companies, the best deal we got was from KMG/ System Shock. Also, we heard good things about this lable from people who knows them. "Collective demise" was just released, so i can't really say how is their work until now, but i'm sure they will do a great work like they did with Vader, Malevolent Creation, Krabathor, Master and more.

Besides music, which are your main interests?

First of all, I have a family - a wife and a beutiful girl, and i like being with them, I also like exercise Martial art "Tai-box", create web sites, playing with Salem, and helping metal bands- I produced several bands like Arallu, Azazel, Aztec, Betrayer, and I just returned from Germany, helping producing Nail within with Harris Jones.

Which is your biggest dream?

My dream concerning music is that Salem will break into the people awareness all over the world, and that all Salem members will be able to to earn their living from music alone.

What bands would you one day love to tour with?

I would love to tour with Kreator, Sodom, Sepultura, Slayer...

Do you have any thoughts or advice for people trying to start up a band or already have a young band?

First of all, try to bring something from yourself and not to sound like other bands, to be unified with the music and to do a lot of rehearsals.

What is your greatest and most memorable event that you have experienced as a part of the music world?

I can think of 4 events: The firs one, when we released our first album "Creating our sins". The second one, In 1994, Salem video clip "The Fading" was on M.T.V on the show "Headbangers ball ". Afterward we were chosen on the magazine "Kerrang" that operated with M.T.V, as one of the best 10 promising bands in this genre. The third, the 2 shows we did in Israel with Megadeth in front of 5,000 people each. The forth, Salem latest show, it was sold out (900 people) with great audience!

Any last comment?

Thank you very much for your support. Keep metal alive!

(Barbara Francone)
Babylon - R
Babylon - I