Salem is a mysterious entity. Its history and personality is as enigmatic as its music. There’s no disputing Salem is doing fascinatingly unique things: combining chopped and screwed hip-hop with classical choral music, washed over by heavy, gothic-industrial synths and cold ambience. King Night’s sixth track, “Trapdoor,” is perhaps the keystone of the entire album. It’s a slowed-down rap with a discomfiting accompaniment, making one feel in the grip of a bad acid-trip.
King Night traffics in that drugged-out aesthetic. It’s an album that opens the door to a kind of disturbing, alternate reality: like a soundtrack to a satanic crack house. Underneath, on top and all around the foulness and despair there is an aura of hopefulness and triumph ... even a little humor. Salem is a band that obviously loves to make music, and they’ve hit on something that appeals to both the viscera and the intellect.