While Salem’s Ghosts was technically formed in late 2017 by vocalist and guitarist Vampyro, it is only one year ago that the current lineup came together. Despite several years of experience in the horror-punk scene, 2021 is the year for the US-based trio. Influenced by The Misfits, Blitzkid, Samhain and Argyle Goolsby, the lads have a strong punk meets melodic metal meets heavy rock sound.
It’s not every band that performs with some of their favourite artists, but Salem’s Ghost had their chance when supporting The Undead (Bobby Steel of The Misfits current project). In fact, they were also booked to perform with Argyle Goolsby, however, that was placed on hold due to Covid-19. What was not placed on hold is their new single ‘Sacrifice’.
Adopting a DIY ethic, ‘Sacrifice’ was recorded, mixed and mastered by frontman Vampyro at his home studio in LA. Beautifully arranged, the track gives each element their “moment in the light” while still harmonically melding as a gritty whole. A guitar-driven single, Vampyro incorporates impressive guitar riffs alongside Tony’s dynamic bass and Wolfgang’s pounding drums. What I find particularly intriguing is how the flowing melody uses minimal lyrical content focusing on the power of the melody instead.
The first release since 2019’s Mass Hysteria (Redux), ‘Sacrifice’ is far more hard-hitting in its macabreness than previous work. Vampyro explains that ‘Sacrifice’ is “…about that, a sacrifice, in the perspective of the person performing the sacrifice.” Highly descriptive lyricism not only adds the chilling edge but plunges you into a turbulent river of sound where, as Vampyro states, “people can picture what’s going on in the song as if they were part of the project too…”
Bold, profound and somewhat intimate, Salem’s Ghost new single is catchy, hypnotic and a little scary. The band mention that ‘Sacrifice’ is the opening song to their upcoming debut full-length album. If this death-punk tune is something to go by, I can’t wait to see what other blood-curdling songs are yet to reach us.