“Zombies are by their very nature inconsistent” - Alan Partridge.
SALEM! A single word with the medieval power to unleash a Pandora’s box of repressed nightmares. It’s all still there, rattling the hatches in the basement of my mind. The pant-fillingly terrifying Kurt Barlow throwing grown men around like dolls. A very ill-looking Danny Glick floating through the bedroom window. Vampiric coffins secretly transported by white van man whilst suburbia snores. David Soul’s Shatner-inspired hamminess. All horrific, ungodly sights. Despite their best efforts, the 21st century Salem won’t be giving me any sleepless nights. Unless I’m down the rave-up chomping on E’s and whizz that is.
It’s been a hella long time coming and may, ultimately, be about as soul curdling as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but Salem’s first blood King Night is still an enjoyably daft crypt kicker. It’s like JUSTICE played at half speed, presumably so the shuffling zombies get to boogaloo too. Forty-five minutes of Omen choirs, paranormal white noise, ghoulish groans n’ moans, tomb raidin’ John Carpenter bass and creepin’ Goblin-aping synth waves. Several tracks even drop some b-boy raps for extra grime to chucklesome effect. It’s relentlessly, admirably silly. It’s like ridin’ The Ghost Train. The first moments through the gates are slightly unnerving and there are some genuine ‘bloody-hell’ surprises (“Frost”, “Redlights” and “Traxx” are sublime). Most of the time though you’re just savouring the cheap thrills, relishing the ‘Its-behind-you’ spooktacular whilst it lasts. Ultimately, though, its voodoo mojo fades with repetition. Never show your monster ‘til the end, Salem! As the cart finally pulls back to reality you’ll have a goofy grin on your face but you’ll probably already be eyeing the next ride. Anyone for the Waltzers?
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// Notes from the Road
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