Salem (band)

Salem (band)

Infobox musical artist 2
Name = Salem
Background = group_or_band

Img_capt =
Years_active = 1985-present
Origin = Giv'atayim, Israel
Genre = Oriental metal
Death metal
Doom metal
Black metal
Associated_acts = Orphaned Land, Melechesh, Nail Within, Arallu
URL = []
Label = KMG
System Shock
Season of Mist (current)
Current_members = Ze'ev Tananboim
Lior Mizrachi
Nir Gutraiman
Michael Goldstein
Nir Nakav

Salem is an Israeli extreme metal band, pioneers of the oriental metal movement, and of Israeli heavy metal scene in general. A large part of their work deals with political issues concerning the Jewish people and Israel, most notably the concept album "Kaddish" (1994) and "Collective Demise" (2002).


Salem, the first extreme metal band in Israel was formed in 1985, and is considered to be one of the first bands in the worldwide underground metal scene to play brutal black metal. This can be heard in their self-titled rehearsal tape from 1986 and their live demo "Destruction Till Death" from 1987, recorded at the legendary 'Penguin' club, the only outlet for alternative music in Israel throughout the 1980s. This formula was later perfected by bands such as Beherit and Blasphemy in the early 1990s. After 5 years of a successful underground career the band released another live demo "Millions Slaughtered" (1990), with a new line-up and a genre shift towards the deathdoom realms. This sold 1,500 copies and lead to a record deal with the German label Morbid Records.

"Creating Our Sins" (1992) and "Kaddish" (1994) were released by Morbid Records and became the first metal albums from Israel to gain worldwide success. "Kaddish" is a concept album about the Holocaust. Prior to its release, Morbid Records released a 7 inch picture EP with the single "Dying Embers" (1994) to promote the album, and when "Kaddish" came out, a limited edition picture disc was released. The opening song "The Fading" was played on MTV's Headbanger's Ball rotation and had the band elected as one of the best 10 up-and-coming bands in the world by MTV and "Kerrang!".

"Kaddish" also featured a cover song in Hebrew called "Ha'ayara Bo'eret" ("the small town is burning"). The song was originally written in Yiddish under the name "S'brent" ("it is burning") by Polish-Jewish poet Mordechai Gebirtig in 1938, in response to the 1936 pogrom of Jews in the town of Przytyk near Radom. It was since translated into Hebrew, long before the band performed it. National controversy lead to the Israeli parliament discussing whether it was appropriate for a metal band to play such songs.

In 1998, following the best offer the band got from Israeli label B.N.E., producer Colin Richardson, who had produced acts such as Machine Head and Fear Factory flew over to Israel to record "A Moment of Silence". The album was recorded in D.B. studios in Israel and The Chapel in England and was released late 1998. A big distribution deal with Modern Music (Germany) fell through due to miscommunication between B.N.E. and Salem.

In early 2001, Salem was released from their contract with B.N.E. In December 2001, Salem signed a 3 album deal with KMG/System Shock from Germany. Their 4th album "Collective Demise" was released in September 2002. This was the most aggressive Salem album to date. Produced by the band and recorded in D.B. Studios (Drums, Bass, and Guitars) and Noise Studios (Vocals and mix) in Israel to maintain the bombastic production standard set forth with previous release "A Moment of Silence". Most of the songs deal with the second Intifada.

In 2005 Salem released another album named "Strings Attached". The album consisted of 11 previously-recorded re-recorded with added string instruments. The album was also released as a special edition with a bonus CD. This featured 3 remixes, 4 live performances from the "Live Demise" DVD, one drum solo, an alternate take of "A Moment of Silence" and 3 instrumental versions of songs from "Strings Attached".This edition comes in an all exclusive new slip cover.

The "Live Demise" DVD was shot in July 2006 in front of 900 fans, this full-length live concert is presented in stereo, 5.1 and DTS mixes. The DVD includes bonuses such as: 7 promo videos, a behind the scene featurette, a making of featurette, a gag reel, 2 easter eggs, English, German, Russian and Japanese subtitles and a 12-page full color booklet.

Salem's latest album is "Necessary Evil". It includes a 27-minute long piece titled "Once Upon a Lifetime Parts I - V", and a short protest song called "Amona", dealing with the 2005 events in Amona. The album was released on June 5, 2007. That month the band performed for the first time ever outside of Israel, during the Hellfest festival in Clisson, France.

multi-listen item
filename=Ha'ayara Boe'ret.ogg
title="Ha'ayara Boe'ret" (1994)
description=Sample from the second half of Salem's "Ha'ayara Boe'ret". From the album "Kaddish".
multi-listen item
title="Flames" (1998)
description=Sample from Salem's "Flames". From the album "A Moment of Silence".

Musical style

Salem's music is a combination of doom/death metal (slow-paced death metal) with oriental elements and high-pitched screaming-vocals (distorted hoarse screams). Riffing, henceforth, can range from slow and heavy doom metal riffing to very fast and rapid death metal riffing. This sound evolved from Salem's original style (first 2 demos), which was old-school black metal. Salem's latest 2 studio albums are considered much heavier than their former LP's.

In some songs, Salem uses oriental (Jewish and Middle-eastern) melodies, such as "Act of Terror", "Al Taster" and the intro for "Ha'ayara Bo'eret". In "Collective Demise", female vocals were combined for the first time with Tananboim's singing.

Salem has thus far recorded 2 songs in Hebrew: Mordechai Gebirtig's "Ha'ayara Boe'ret", and "Al Taster", taken from Psalms. These along with some Orphaned Land tracks are considered the only extreme metal songs sung in Hebrew.



* "Creating Our Sins" 1992
* "Kaddish" 1994
* "A Moment of Silence" 1998
* "Collective Demise" 2002
* "Strings Attached" 2005
* "Necessary Evil" 2007


* "Salem" 1986
* "Destruction Till Death" 1987
* "Millions Slaughtered" 1990


* "Dying Embers" 1994


* "Live Demise" 2006
* "Salem Underground" 2008

Band members

* Ze'ev Tananboim - vocals
* Lior Mizrachi (Afifit) - guitars
* Nir Gutraiman - guitars
* Michael Goldstein - bass
* Nir Nakav - drums

External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Salem] at The BNR Metal Pages
* [ Drummer Nir Nakav's official website]

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