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Beyond Salem is quite the theatrical outfit, as the band's mixture of Gothic rock, metal, classic hard rock, and Meatloaf-esque over the top performance are captured on the 10-track release WELCOME TO MACHINE. Imagine the 70's schlock of Alice Cooper dumbed down a few notches, and you've got this Canadian quartet in your sight, complete with a cock rock swagger and a rock 'n' roll demeanor. While much of the CD meanders from the superfluous (atmospheric space rock keyboards pervading the last two tracks) to the point of ridiculousness (going so far as to add false crowd noise after the first seven tracks for the pseudo FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE effect), there are few bright spots, such as the Pink Floyd cover "Welcome to the Machine". For the most part, Beyond Salem is merely a caricature of what the band intends to be, which, unless there's a joke being missed here, is never a good thing.
- Mike SOS