Salem's "King Night" is exhausting. Same with the album of the same name it comes from. That certainly doesn't mean it's also exhilarating, like downers or exercise. "King Night" is road rash and goth drum machines, bass that sounds like thunder, equipment that doesn't want to go to 11. It's also angels. Throughout the entire song, the album's introductory track, is a heavenly chorus. Salem, though, is not some mix of high and low, a run through the mud in your Sunday best, but another jumbled planet of heaviness, emotional and textural. With the exception of the angels (and a creepy "I love you..." snippet), "King Night" features no vocals and that makes it almost more impalpable and otherworldly. King Night's other tracks have vocals of all kinds, giving the album an undeniable humanity, though one certainly from the darker corners of the evening. "King Night" may live in the day, it's just trying to avoid the sun.
Photographer Beth Rooney
June 22, 2010