Originally self-released as an EP, classic doom revivalists Mount Salem make their debut on Metal Blade records with a full-length version of Endless. Featuring two extra tracks, the album finds the Chicago quartet breathing new life into the powerful sound of metal pioneers like Black Sabbath, Pentagram, and Deep Purple. While Mount Salem have the bluesy heaviness of metal's early days down to a science, what they're really great at capturing is the enormity of that sound, pairing massive, thundering drums with the kind of impossibly thick guitar sounds that are only achieved at the highest volume. This doesn't just make Mount Salem sound like metal's founding fathers; but rather, it makes them sound the way people remember them, giving them the kind of monolithic presence that engineers weren't quite equipped to capture four decades ago. The band's other ace in the hole, of course, is the considerable talent of singer and organist Emily Kopplin, whose vocals give Endless a dark and sultry vibe that's offset by the swirling psychedelia of her keyboards. Kopplin's presence helps to give Mount Salem's sound a sense of depth, setting the band apart from the legions of volume-worshipping doom classicists pushing Sunn amps to their limits. In the metal world, if you're not going to do something new, you'd better be prepared to do it damn well, and with Endless, Mount Salem show that they're up for that challenge, delivering an album that captures the feeling of the genre's formative period while remaining engaging enough that listeners won't just reach for their copy Paranoid instead.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney