Tuesday 31 March 2020

ALBUM REVIEW: Spell, "Opulent Decay"

By: Chris Markwell

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 10/04/2020
Label: Bad Omen Records

“Opulent Decay” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1). Psychic Death
2). Opulent Decay
3). Sibyl Vane
4). Primrose Path
5). The Iron Wind
6). Dawn Wanderer
7). Deceiver
8). Ataraxia
9). Imprisoned by Shadows
10). Saturns Riddle

The Review:

Season of riffs, and mellow moshfulness… we find ourselves in times where music is needed now more than ever to soothe the soul, and send the mind to higher, happier planes.  There has never been a more apt time to discover new music.  Never. 

May I humbly recommend Vancouver heavy metal trio Spell

April 10th 2020 sees the release of Opulent Decay”, their fourth album.  It’s a true nostalgia-fuelled romp through the gardens of Sabbath, with sojourns through Dio valleys and the Thin Lizzy rivers.  It’s a journey your ears deserve to take, because you’ll find new, virgin audioscapes on which to traverse. 

Let’s get to the work itself: Spell are three gents who look like they were forged from three ingots of original heavy metal, and make music that resonates with that classic sound of old.  But it doesn’t sound outdated; far from it, in fact.  It feels new, and refreshing, and vital.  It’s like being a treasure hunter and finding a horde of plunder.  Except, this time, the whip and fedora aren’t required to find this plunder… although I’m sure they help.  Ahem. 

The music itself is ten tracks of glorious metal, spacier than an orbiting satellite, and riffier than Steve Harris of Iron Maiden chugging with Gary Moore and Tony Iommi.  Album opener ‘Psychic Death’ has this radiating, rolling drum beat which pulls the bass and guitar around as though it was their chariot, driving them onward to the battlefield that is your speakers.  Personal favourites for me include ‘Sibyl Vane’, which is a “Bad Reputation”-era Thin Lizzy rock song, with some truly mesmerising bass licks, courtesy of Cam Mesmer (great name), and ‘Deceiver’, which has this opening riff that reminds me of Annihilator’s ‘Never, Neverland’, before slamming into this powerful, Dio-era Sabbath style heaviness.  But get this: Cam’s voice on this track sounds like Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran.  And it works!  I don’t know how; I don’t know why… but it just works.  Hybridisation at its most magical. 

Spell’s latest album “Opulent Decay” is an enchanting slice of expansive heavy music.  The soundscapes breathe, move like a living being, and carry you along in their arms.  It’s a comforting journey, made with love and real craftsmanship.  Spell deserve to cast their magic on you.  On April 10th, 2020, let them. 

“Opulent Decay” is available HERE

Band info: bandcamp || facebook