Release DetailsLABEL Season of Mist
RELEASED ON 6/5/2007
posted on 8/2007 By:
Standing on a large mossy boulder in a large forest clearing, I watch as the sky reddens by the minute. The unusually hot autumn wind summons clouds from all directions to a universal point in the sky directly above. The environment darkens as brown leaves & decayed forest debris blast my skin. Now under an ominous darkened canopy of bulging red & black cumulonimbus airborne blobs, I glance to the forest floor to witness manhole sized apertures growing in the soil, creating a violent vacuum and pulling in everything within their radius. Within my aural range, tortured moans emit from the black openings. My granite perch begins to sink into a lightless pressure chamber. Leaping off offers no benefit; it only prolongs the inevitable...
What a perplexing offering we have here from Salem. Is it death metal? Doom? Tech? Experimental? What the christ is it? It's cool, that's what it is. I appreciate something different & well done, and that's definitely what Necessary Evil is. Except when it comes to steaks; I always want the same and done medium. Preferably a 9 oz. filet.
Truth be told, I didn't start to develop a full appreciation for this album until after I heard the ulta-gauntlet unified final four tracks (cleverly titled "Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4"), and that took awhile because this is a lengthy offering. How shall I summarize the first half of this disc? The quiche ingredients are huge guitar tone and mega downtuning with mostly all single note hits and bends, correlative to Meshuggah's style on Nothing. Obscure and distant, clean & sleek solos streak through and never wear out their welcome. Uber-crisp drums throw you for a loop when they suddenly decide to erupt into a 93,000 bpm sprint. And vocals...well, not exacly the first in their field, but somewhat identifiable as their own are a cleaner death style. By the closing of the bass & bongos on "More Blood", it is clear that this will be an album of Israeli flavor & seasoning. But then "Once Upon a Lifetime" hits you like a Mayan spiked boar boobie-trap. This is a devastating tune. Imagine if you will... Meshuggah re-records Chaosphere with their 8-string guitars, and Ion Dissonance tosses a few of their ideas in. What a huge song! This appears to be the point where Salem turns the page, as when you delve into "Part 1" you will find some Gojira-esque riffing and some impressive female vocals, recalling the soothing operatic sounds of Augury. During these final four tracks you're going to find an array of sounds. The crushing riff from "Once Upon a Lifetime" returns several times to establish dominance over the lighter Mid-East experimental jam sessions of acoustics, electronics, reversed riffs, and rain.
If you don't have a semi-open mind, then you're not going to take much liking to Necessary Evil. It's pro metal with solid cultural influences. But I'll admit, it's a lengthy listen. Fans of Meshuggah, Gojira, Coprofago, Augury... give this a whirl. I recommend starting your virgin listen at track #8, "Making a Difference", because quite frankly, I don't think the order in which Salem arranged their songs effectively displays their mentality on this record. It's definitely wrathful & cryptic, but some pieces simply eat their young.
Sometimes when you can't easily put a tupperware tag on a different kind of metal, it's easier just to recommend it or not recommend it. Given the superb production, vast array of quality ingredients, and overall feel of loathsomeness, I say yes... Necessary Evil is something mature metal fans can find interest and a bit of culture in.
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