By Sarah Kitteringham
Spell’s second album For None And All is available for pre-order from Bad Omen Records (http://spell.bad-omen-
The sonic territory covered by Vancouver’s Spell on their follow-up to 2014’s The Full Moon Sessions is quite frankly astounding. While their debut had a rough, if occasionally awkward, charm that somewhat perpetuated the sonic territory covered by their previous band Stryker, the newest offering by the trio is a huge leap forward. The unusual spoken word/high crooning style of vocalist Cam Mesmer remains largely the same, while the rich atmospherics offer a depth previously unavailable to the band.
Opening with the galloping riff of “Madame Psychosis,” the music immediately exudes richness. With a nicely balanced mix, the trio skirts integrates progressive, psychedelic, and classic metal elements, complete with warmth and dynamics exacerbated by the fact the album was exclusively recorded live to analog tape. Truly, the creation of For None and All was an exercise in precision and intimacy, completed while the band lived in a farmhouse.
“The Sickness Unto Death” is a particular highlight with its unusual synthesizers and guitar licks. The lengthy solo provides a ripping reprieve from other, more communal sections, while the layered vocals parlay an existential loneliness heightened by the thematic lyrics. The instrumental “Séance” is also entrancing, providing an eerie and occasionally jarring segue that eventually is dominated by wavering keys before seguing into driving follower “The Veil.” The track has particularly impact due to husky spoken word lyrics that lay just below Mesmer’s higher crooning.
Released by Bad Omen Records, For None and All is a triumph. Simultaneously sounding old and new, the album offers new highlights with each listen. Spell is more than perfectly fitted to a city that boasts Order of the Solar Temple, Gatekeeper, Mitochondrion, Ahna, Auroch, and numerous more gems in its collective witches brew.For None And All, Spell