Hailing from Sweden, Salem’s Pot truly surfaced with their debut album, …Lunar Ut Dig Pa Prarien. The record seemed to open the road for the band, which went on to release a split with fellow doom overlords Windhand, and is now coming back with their sophomore record, Pronounce This!, the title of which, I guess, refers to the difficulty that some people might have had with pronouncing the title of their debut. How’s that for humor?
Anyway, Salem’s Pot do offer some similar aspects to their debut album in their second full-length. The aura of Hammer Horror is still hovering heavily over the band’s music, constructing a very retro ’70-’80s ambiance, a characteristic that is found across numerous doom metal bands, as historic as Cathedral, and of course, Electric Wizard. That type of tonality goes hand in hand with the heavy riffs that the band brings forth, in that aspect they are like egg and bacon, creating a more horrific environment for the doom nature of the album. This enhancement is complete when the effects start to really play a part alongside the heavy riffs, granting an ever darker mentality through the twists and turns of the album.
However, Salem’s Pot does not appear as a mere one-trick pony. Sure, doom metal is the basis of the band’s sound, and alongside that the stoner aspect does not seem as much as a stretch. But, the extent to which the band goes into the stoner territory is quite different, entering a desert rock dimension that is only severely enhanced with the psychedelic touches that are inherent in Salem’s Pot core. It even feels at times that the band is going for a space rock theme, some place between adding a great deal of Roky Erickson to their Pentagram motif.
What is even more astounding is the blues element that was either well hidden or nonexistent in …Lunar Ut Dig Pa Prarien. With a healthy dose of twang, the blues rock aspect is in a state of ecstasy at moments such as “Just For Kicks,” or with a more country characteristic in “So Gone, So Dead.” And it is a statement to their ability as a band that they can move through all these different influences with so much coherence, building constantly and traveling through different modes. “Coal Mind” is an example of this versatility, which starts in the darkest corners of the Hammer Horror era, to finally reach the otherworldly pscychedelia of Hawkwind.
The music that Salem’s Pot produces on Pronounce This! goes beyond expectations. They do not simply rehash the elements of their previous albums – but they do not dismiss them either. They move into territories that suit their sound, be those psychedelic rock or NWOBHM. And most importantly, they keep the listener constantly on his or her toes, providing an album that is filled with great hooks, moments from horror flicks and trippy journeys.
Label: Riding Easy