Salem – “Forgotten Dreams” (Pure Rock Records)
Here’s another resurrection from the NWOBHM vault – how Pure Rock Records finds these guys is amazing – although what’s even more astounding is how good they sound! Formed from the ashes of the late 70s Ethel The Frog, Salem went thru successive line up changes until they folded in 1983. With renewed interest resurfacing in 2010, the band played their first reformation gig in their hometown of Hull and since then have been active playing European festivals and releasing an EP, the culmination of which is this comeback album. Well, the ingredients are all still there and mightily impressive it is too! Comprising the ’82 lineup, Simon Saxby is back on vocals and is nothing short of amazing, his voice never aged and still able to hit all those high notes cleanly and with power harmonies. The band’s overall sound hasn’t changed either – authentic melodic and hard rock from the late 70s / early 80s but of course now with a modern first class production sound – all most ably handled by Paul Macnamara and Mark Allison’s guitar work, effortlessly shifting from proto NWOBHM speed tempo to acoustic 70s! With Adrian Jenkinson and Paul Mendham bringing up the rhythm this really is a blast from the past – 3 decades no less – but songs like ‘Break The Chains’, ‘The Heart Is Mine’ and ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ make it all sound just like it was yesterday.