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Salem’s Childe - The Sin that Saves You Award winner

Salem’s Childe
The Sin that Saves You
by Barbra Katherine at 16 November 2020, 7:04 AM

Salem’s Childe formed in Northern Indiana, US–and has earned both local & national success through a hybrid of metallic styles into a signature - almost personalized style.  With this  October 9, 2020 release, Salem’s Childe brought forth their first full length album - following the 2016 “Paradise Lost” EP - and subsequent single releases “Prometheus” & “Sacred Sun”  throughout which previous singer Dutin Howard spoke & sang partially metaphysical lyrics–or lyric messages that delivered the rage of hopelessness.    Fans find new the twelve track release The Sin that Saves You to be of greater aggressions & intensities with rhythm and with new vocal styles of new vocalist Johnny Oravsky.

The first track, ”Parabellum”, like an overture, opens with short interrupted rhythms within the rhythm section conveying various recorded quotations of various politicians throughout the last century–suggesting this release to address political issues rather than metaphysical issues of the band’s former “Paradise Lost” EP and subsequent singles. The following track, “Warpath”, opens with a vicious “march” by the rhythm section - almost reminiscent of “Slayer’s Season in the Abyss”, “Dark Angel’s” famous opening to “”Darkness Descends”, and more closely to ”Stormtroopers of Death’sMarch of The SOD’” - but ”Salem Childe’s” ‘Warpath’” march, both rhythmically and melodically is all their own & subsequently serves as the rhythmic basis for the song.    This may be my favorite on the album.

During year 1846, Hector Berlioz released an oratorium by the name of “Damnation of Faust”.    The oratorium proper begins with a melancholy prelude wherein the tragic hero, Faust - in a wistful moment of regret, while sitting in a library, looks from the window and witnesses images of the public life:   townsfolk men courting and marrying women - the life he missed while extolled amidst his neverending studies.   The men are then called off to war (via the famous & triumphant Rakoczy march) and the women support them as they are soon to mourn the absence they will eventually feel - so the intro to the oratorium and eventual triumphant march, like Salem Childe’s “Parabellem” & “Warpath”  invert and replace the overture.   I enjoy the parallel formats between Berlioz’ Damnation of Faust & Salem Childe’s The Sin That Saves You.

”The Dream is Dead” opens with the lyrical phrase “I once believed in happy endings / Fairy tales of faith and destiny / Scriptures bend in sacred fire / Hollow words of the wind”.  In this lyrical tune, the listener is led to believe that ”The Dream is Dead” refers to the American Dream.   I enjoy that singer Johnny Oravsky varies his methods of vocal delivery between half-singing, partial growling, and full screams.     In lieu of a traditional guitar solo, the guitar strings ring and resonate in the continued hopeless condition of our current lives.       The song has an accompanying video.

”The Sin that Saves You” addresses the tragic number Suicides among US Veterans. As the title track of this release, it has parts that compete with the thrashiest song the album - and that which carries its ultimate theme.   The band is careful not to play extravagant solos throughout this song - perhaps not to weaken the message. The rhythmic tempo is slow - and never attempts unusual speed - only the enjoyable development of rage - as the last phrase of the song  is “like a hero coming come”.

“The Oracle” is a short reflective song - within clean electric guitars over a pedal tone–almost as an intro to ”In Scarlet” that also begins slowly then eventually opens into its own unique metallic mosh. “Heart of Darkness” opens with clean guitars & slow deliberate rhythms to eventually open into a rage & subsequent regret of all that soldiers sacrifice.     The phrase “the veil is torn away” must be the honor for which a soldier fights that subsequently seems absent once the moments of military might pass.

“Apocrypha” opens with clean guitars with either a slide or almost reminiscent of a sitar (over a pedal tone). “The Veil” continues the clean guitar sound & from “Apocrypha”- but eventually opens into energetic metal that continues into “The Storm”“A Measure of Grace” opens with a clean guitar sound - again nearly reminiscent of a sitar - without necessarily playing one. “Invictus” opens with greater ferocity - and, as the final song of the album, it  also serves as a reflection of the soldier’s wistful life - carrying the theme from the songs preceding it.   The same clean guitar sounds used in “Apocrypha”,  “The Veil”, and “A Measure of Grace” - are used in this song as well - but blend with heavier rhythms & percussive guitars within the song as well.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Parabellum
2. Warpath
3. The Dream is Dead
4. The Sin that Saves You
5. The Oracle
6. In Scarlet
7. Heart of Darkness
8. Apocrypha
9. The Veil
10. The Storm
11. A Measure of Grace
12. Invictus
Lineup:
Johnny Oravsky - Vocals
Rob Salem - Guitar
Aaron Crick - Guitar
James Gates - Bass
Scott Earley - Drums
Record Label: Pavement Entertainment
     


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