Salem’s Childe – Sacred Sun

The latest single from my band, Salem’s Childe. The music video was done by The Stormworks (my media production brand).

If you like what you see and hear, we’d love to have you as a fan and follower. Hit those like and subscribe buttons, and definitely that share button.

The song is available to stream and buy through Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and Bandcamp.


War Dance


Ebb and flow

Of Chaos and Order



Power plays of passion

And feats of endurance

Among the rising tide

Anger and joy in unison



For each inch of ground

Sacred space owned by none

Owned by all

And shared



A killing field

Where ego dies

I die

You die

We die together

While finding life

In the common ground

Of all is none

All is one







The roar of battle

The calm of the storm

The embrace of life

In eternal moments

Where war is peace

And peace is war


One falls

All fall

One rises

All rise

Safety and strength in numbers

And our number is one


And fury breeds love

And rage brings release

And on the edge

Of the thin red line

We walk

We dance

We sing

We live


And we are



To The Lost

I didn’t know you.

Except I did.

I, just like the rest of the world, knew you. I knew your music. Your poetry. Your art. Your expression.

I knew your joy. Your pain. Your love. Your anger. Your sorrow. Your hate. Your despair.

I knew your success and I knew your failures. I knew your struggles and I knew your fight to endure, to rise after each collapse, to continue on when others might have fallen.

I knew your vices and your follies.

I knew your demons.

And I knew your Muse.

I knew you without ever knowing you, because of what you gave me, because of what you shared with me, and the rest of the world.

I never met you, but I knew you, and you knew me. Because you were me. And everyone else that you ever spoke to… spoke for.

You were my voice while I was finding my own. You were a voice for those who didn’t have one. And the world heard you.

And knew you… and because of you, knew me.

You were Scott. You were Dime. You were Jimi. You were Kurt. You were Layne. You were Janice. You were John. You were Jani. You were Randy. You were Freddy. You were Bob. You were Shannon. You were Dave. You were Jim. You were Cliff. You were Jeff.

And so many more.

You’re gone now, but still you remain. There is legacy. There is hope. And there are those not yet born who will also know you.

You’ve left us behind. But you’ve left everything you were with us.

And in that–in us–you will live.


In addition to my poetic and fiction writing, as an on-air radio show host I sometimes review albums from underground rock and metal bands. Here’s a review I just did. Be sure to check out my show, The Forge on Radio Free Kokomo.


The Voice Of Reason


Release Date: 14 June 2014

Review by Rob Salem


Catalytic - The Voice Of Reason

Catalytic – The Voice Of Reason

One of the perks of working in radio is getting advance copies of upcoming releases. I was recently privileged to get a copy of Catalytic’s soon-to-be-released debut album, The Voice Of Reason, and I’ll be honest—I’m glad I did. I’ve not made any secret out of the fact that despite having not seen Catalytic live (yet—I intend to remedy this ASAP) I’m a fan. This comes in part from the fact that I’ve been playing a couple of their demo tracks on The Forge for a while now, but also from the fact that these guys are active in the Indianapolis metal scene, and big advocates of not only themselves, but of other great bands in the scene. With that said, I took the time to listen to The Voice Of Reason a few times through, and to make sure that I was listening not as a fan, but as a critic. Here are my thoughts:


The Voice Of Reason is a solid album from start to finish. The production quality is great, making it easy to listen to, but also to hear everything that’s going on. These guys aren’t super-technical, and they’re not necessarily doing anything innovative with their sound, but that’s okay; they know their music, they know their sound, and they know what they’re good at. One of the things that they demonstrate is diversity in their sound while maintaining consistency. The songs range from thrashing shredders to down-tempo ballad-feeling tunes that succeed at evoking the introspective ear (‘Believe’). Dustin Strole gives his vocals a workout as he moves back and forth from melodic cleans to gut-wrenching roars, but he does it well; he obviously knows his range and sensibly works within it, while never sacrificing any of his power. The guitar work of James Donner and Dustin Chavez is tight, but I think only hints at what these guys are really capable of. Tracks like ‘Red Stained Plains’ evoke the riffing of Amon Amarth at times, while other tracks definitely pull from the New England metalcore sound; these guys obviously have talent, and I’d like to see them stretch their wings a little more by writing some riffs that push the boundaries of their comfort zones and really challenge themselves and each other. Jesse Curtis on bass and Jason Dinwiddie on drums lay down thunder as a tight-as-hell rhythm section that drives the rest of the band while maintaining an unshakeable foundation that gives the guitars and vocals the elevation they need to soar.


All in all, The Voice Of Reason is an impressive first offering. The original demos that Catalytic released in 2013 were good in and of themselves, but hearing those tracks get that studio polish and go through some of the evolution that is expected of produced studio work demonstrates that these guys take their craft seriously and are always looking to improve upon and perfect things that are already considered good. The Voice Of Reason is going to stay in my personal rotation for a while to come, and I can guarantee you’ll be hearing it regularly on The Forge; I only hope that there’s a label somewhere smart enough to pick it up for distribution. Catalytic is poised to help put the Indianapolis metal scene back on the map, and I’m proud to say that you heard it heard it first on The Forge.