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Album Review

The second release, and first full-length, by Virginia-based doom trio Salome (guitar, drums, vocals; no bass) gets better as it goes along. Doom metal itself seems to fly in the face of contemporary attention spans: songs are long, slow, and frequently monochromatic, and offer little of the catharsis metal has traditionally inspired. The album kicks off with "The Message" and "Terminal," two slowly grinding exercises in listener tolerance-testing. By the fourth track, "Epidemic," things have picked up, though; it's a very Slayer-esque song, despite being nearly 11 minutes long and broken into sections. The 18-minute "An Accident of History" is a noise interlude reminiscent of the tracks on the "ambient" second disc of Pain Killer's Execution Ground. The disc winds down with two more long, slow pieces, "The Witness" and "The Unbelievers." Salome's female vocalist, Kat Katz, has an unhinged howl that works well with the crashing, roaring music. The drums impose structure even at extremely slow speed, and the guitar (which is occasionally doubled, and even sounds a little like a bass sometimes on "The Unbelievers") does everything necessary to turn this disc's loudest moments seriously monolithic. Ultimately, it's more interesting than enjoyable, as is often the case with doom, but the band's intensity of purpose is admirable.

Terminal, Salomé
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