Welcome back to our humble blog. Today we are going to take a look at local metal act, Salem Trials and their debut EP, Misanthropy. I would dare to call this band a super group of Ottawa’s most talented metal musicians, and trust me it shows when listening to the EP.
The atmospheric tremor at the start of the song gives you a sense of worry and anticipation. You sit in wait for the massive riff, you know is coming. When the vocals and drums come in the tension keeps building. The tension peaks with intermittent guitars and then the song launches forward with epic riffage. The vocals are damn near perfect, and the mixing and guitar tones are flawless. This song is the perfect opening track. The guitars cut off suddenly and bring you into a nice melodic section of instrumentation that then goes into a nice chuggy part, with the atmospheric tremor sitting in the background. The transitions between parts are beautiful. The bassline is nice. The djenty parts are not over done and fit nicely. This song is a great introduction to the band. 9.5/10
Bouncing in at second on the album is Carousel. With the way the opening riff is written I can see where the song title came from. The bassline is sexy and they again add some atmospheric guitar in the background. The tempo changes are smooth. Guitar tone, mixing and vocals again near perfect. The blast beats are sick and the double kick is impressive. The main riff popping in and out throughout the song is catchy. 9.5/10
Starting with an aggressive and powerful bang, is Bad Blood. the third installment on our journey with Salem Trials. Love the riff. Drums killing it again. Sudden drop off of instrumentation to an atmospheric riff and vocals, nicely done. The atmospheric leads are beautiful when used. The dissonant chords are used effectively and not over done, leading you back into the atmospheric leads. This song feels like you’re on a terrifying journey in a fever dream. I love it. The guitar solo is beautiful. I love how the song ends with the instrumentation dropping out and the vocals roaring the title, to then have the song fade out with atmospheric sounds, then into the starting riff of the next song. I’m a sucker for atmospheric stuff so this band is just perfect for me. 9.7/10
Your fourth sonic adventure is Grief. Now this song started out weird for me, I think due to the streaming service I was using. Because the intro for this song is the outro for the previous song, it jumped on me, which I think was Tidal’s fault, not the band’s. However, the song does start with a big bang. Guitar work on point. Vocals nailing it. Drums just killing it. Probably my favourite song so far. Transitions are flawless again. Bouncy at parts, had my head bobbing. Love the main riff, fits very well. Love the plucky, palm muted part with the sexy bassline over top, bass build tension beautifully until it breaks with the drums and main guitars coming back in. Ends nice and suddenly. 9.8/10
Vocals starting immediately with a nice plucky atmospheric guitar is very well done. The guitar work is masterful. The drumming is damn near perfect This band exudes confidence and strong instrumentation. The plucky riff hopping in and out throughout the song adds a nice feel to the song. The transition is flawless heading into the djenty part. The basslines are sexy…again. Love the slowed down part. Mixing and tones on point again. I don’t think I’ve picked up on anything that seriously detracts from the listening experience. 9.8/10
I am loving the use of atmospheric instrumentation in the background of the songs. It adds a nice fullness to the sound. The songwriting is very strong, not only in this song, but throughout the album. You can tell they took their time to craft a piece of art, not just a song. The main riff is very good. The guitar work is masterful. The drumming fits perfectly, transitions are great. Vocals on point. I love how the guitars cut in and out at points and the atmospheric sound rolls in and out. The chugs are beautiful. I love the leads, they fit perfectly where they are placed. This one had my head moving while I was writing. I just wanted to start hardcore dancing at points, even though I was sitting in my living room typing on my laptop. 9.7/10
Overall this is probably one of the best metal albums to come out of Ottawa in years. If Salem Trials continues what they’re doing they are going to go places. You can tell they took their time to craft the songs, these are some of Ottawa’s best musicians, and it shows. The production work was amazing. I’m excited for the future of this band. Their description on Facebook says they want to take the world by storm, and wholeheartedly believe they can.