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Spell: Opulent Decay
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Spell: Opulent Decay

Melodic/Psychedelic/Heavy Rock
4.0/5.0

From the far west of Canada, Spell rose from the populous and ethnically diverse city of Vancouver in 2013 (after a name change from Stryker). After the transformation, Spell quickly dropped their debut album, The Full Moon Sessions, followed two years later by For None And All. Now the power trio, featuring Cam Mesmer (lead vocals/bass), Graham McVie (guitars/synthesizers), and Lester Spectre (drums/backing vocals), return with their third long player, Opulent Decay. (An explanation of the lyrical theme by Cam Mesmer follows the review.)

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Spell

Spell's musical roots are in traditional heavy metal, but their sound traverses several genres, from classic metal to pyschedelic and heavy rock to, perhaps, even some blues. To these ears, the first two soundscapes seemed larger in their songs. The Spell sound also invokes certain tonal and emotional feelings such as mystery, serendipity, and ethereal nonchalance. Some of this comes from McVie's somewhat pyschedelic and dreamy riffs and ethereal solos. Then the rhythm section drives the songs essential rock beat and groove, yet with something of a mesermising, hypnotic feeling that compliments the guitar parts.

These parts come together in such songs as Psychic Death, Sibyl Vane, Primrose Path, or the heavy, but bliss-filled, Dawn Wanderer. Alternatively, Spell can come across as a straight up heavy metal rock band with Deceiver and Imprisoned By Shadows, both fast and heavy and flooding with immense guitar lines. For some of that ethereal nonchalance, there's the hymn-like and choral Ataraxia, for your personal state of serene calmness.

All in all, with Opulent Decay Spell offers the listener some melodic heavy rock, which angles between the mysterious and mesmerizing to psychedelic trippyness. Light up a doobie and enjoy.

Lyrically, as well as the influence of romantic poets like Keats, Shelley and Coleridge, there's an underlying concept, as Cam explains: "All of the songs deal with the contrast between opulence and austerity, and the decay that results from imbalance. Our drive to avoid suffering is strong, but it can be overcome by the love for another and the desire to put them before yourself. Opulent Decay examines this balance and the dangers that await on either side of the pendulum."



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The Bottom Line

All in all, with Opulent Decay Spell offers the listener some melodic heavy rock, which angles between the mysterious and mesmerizing to psychedelic trippyness. Light up a doobie and enjoy.

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