Classic metal. Traditional metal. Heavy metal. Sometimes that is exactly the cure for what ails you. Guitars, bass, drums, and a singer who can wail away. No added studio effects, no gimmicks, no bullshit, none of that. Just something that sounds like it belongs on your turntable or in your CD player, whether that’s in 1986 or now. Well, that is what you get with SPELLCASTER and their third album Night Hides the World, out now via Prosthetic Records. Eight tunes with that old school sound that also feel incredibly fresh in today’s musical landscape.
Vocalist Tyler Loney sings his ass off and the twin guitar attack of Cory Boyd and Bryce VanHoosen has classic metal riffs for days infused with a 70’s rock sound at times. The rhythm section of bassist Gabe Franco and drummer Colin Vranizan provides a pulsing backbone that’s like a thick cut of steak, cooked to perfection. And the songs? Well the songs are what make the engine go. Opener “Aria” fires away with both barrels, the whole band letting it be known they came to play, and the title track has an infectious melody with some serious punch, courtesy of Franco’s bass lines.
“The Lost Ones” has that vintage guitar work I was referring to earlier and as a result it was an immediate favorite. The arrangement and groove of “Betrayal” had me like “Whoa!” when I first heard it, making it one of the album’s best cuts in my anything but humble opinion. “I Live Again” sounds exactly like what a Side Two opener on a piece of vinyl should sound like. It’s hard, fast, and heavy, with no fucking around, just the way Maestro likes it. The chorus instantly grabs you by the balls and doesn’t let go.
Speaking of fast, it’s all ahead full on “The Accuser”, the whole band locked in on something on the horizon they’re targeting. Whatever it is, it won’t stand a chance once they get there. “The Moon Doors” fires up the riff machine NWOBHM-style, something I always love, and Loney has arguably his best vocal on the disc here. For the closer the band opts to go seven-minute epic with “Prophecy” and just…wow. Top notch work on this one, fellas. The group is dialed in, and the track moves along briskly, never once dragging its feet.
All told this new SPELLCASTER album is fantastic, and there’s nothing bad I can say about it. I will say this, though: if you’re a fan of classic heavy metal then you simply must own this record. I cannot stress this enough. Night Hides the World is available now, so whether you have to click, swipe, hand someone cash, or whatever, add this to your collection posthaste. You’ll be glad you did. This one is definitely going in my Top 25 of 2016!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM