Salute - _Above the Law_
(Todestrieb Records, 2007)
by: Quentin Kalis (7.5 out of 10)
Amongst Salute's many fans is Fenriz (from an obscure and minor Norwegian band called Darkthrone), which may seem surprising: why would one of the grandmasters of black metal give a shit about "undiluted heavy metal rock 'n' roll fuelled by cheap alcohol and easy women"? The answer appears to be that Salute sound just like what Fenriz would have been listening to when Darkthrone was formed -- Venom, Motorhead and Hellhammer / Celtic Frost -- and for that matter, Darkthrone themselves on albums such as _A Blaze in the Northern Sky_ and _Panzerfaust_, minus the blackened adornments.

As can be gathered by the bands above, the songs are simple yet rocking numbers, built around a couple of riffs, and the presence of their influences is felt more strongly than a swift kick to the balls. Not to mention frequent -- one could polish off a bottle of tequila simply by downing a shot each time a Hellhammer / Celtic Frost inspired riff surfaced. Yet despite what I have said, and as unbelievable as it may be, it actually works, and this was one of the better albums I have heard so far this year. Despite a lack of originality, it rocks like you wouldn’t believe and you will be throwing devil horns into the air long before the end of the third track. It's hard to pinpoint exactly, but their catchy riffs and lack of pretension are the probable reasons. Commended for all who believe Celtic Frost lost the plot after _Morbid Visions_.


(article published 4/4/2008)

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