Friday, May 13, 2016

Salam Mass ' "Witch Burning" 1971

From Prog Archives: "Salem Mass was a short lived American progressive rock band who played a mix of heavy prog a la Deep Purple or Uriah Heep, with space rock/psychedelic influences in plenty of Moog solos and leads (one of the first bands to apply the use of this fantastic instrument), However, the most similar band to Salem Mass is most definitely Black Widow. (as well as lyrically)."
The band played mostly in the Northwest and Canada, and on three occasions, Salem Mass, (occasionally a five piece) lived in Portland. The band was comprised of Jim Klahr (keyboards), Mike Snead (guitar/vocals), Steve Towery (drums/vocals), and Matt Wilson (bass/vocals).

The band "paid their dues" in Southwest Idaho, where they wrote, played. partied, and evolved. The album was recorded in a bar, (!!!) in Caldwell, Idaho called The Red Barn under the watchful eye of it's owner Steve Moore, and was engineered by Lance Parker, a High School buddy of Steve, Mike and Jim.

Te occult vibe disappears after the first two tracks, while they deal wit witch hunting and Devil worshiping, the rest is straightforward rock n roll. This is an album to take drugs to. Or to find yourself on drugs to. (I'm not entirely sure the band would agree to that statement, but when I read it in a review, I just had to include it. At least just for shits and kicks.) This is the only album produced by the band, and it wasn't released officially back then. Some might find this album occult/psychedelic, but that's not really the theme for the entire album. Keyboard driven, and clear progressive elements.

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