Released: September 28 (Click Here To Buy It Now On MP3)
Best Song: "King Night"

The genre formerly known as "rape gaze" officially arrived this year, and with Salem at the forefront, it sounded great. Even the music's more PC term—witch house—is met with opposition from artists who want to avoid being pigeonholed, and it makes sense. Salem owes part of their early recognition to their hypnotic Gucci Mane remixes, and King Night proves that their fascination with rap is no gimmick. Although the synths make songs sound like a 3-D horror movie on acid, the drums are clearly a product of time spent with Southern rap. Adding to the effect, Jack Donoghue raps over songs like "Sick" with pitched-down vocals reminiscent of chopped-and-screwed Houston hip-hop. We've been checking for Salem since "Redlights" (which is here in updated form) won us over in 2008, and we're glad to say that the ambitious fusion of styles on their debut full-length works extremely well.

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