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Spell: Tragic Magic

The third time's the charm for this Canadian band who's latest full-length Tragic Magic contains 10 new concise, highly progressive, and often times heavy songs that show off their influence yet still portray their uniqueness. Spell are Cam Mesmer (vocals, bass, rhythm guitar) and Al Lester (vocals, drums, lead guitar), and though they are now down to a duo, you'd hardly guess that by listening to the dense sounds across Tragic Magic. Blending early '80s Rush with gothic, prog, and hard rock elements, most of the songs are roughy around the 3-minute + mark, and feature some daring & dense arrangements along with some nice vocal hooks and the occasional blazing guitar solo. Lead vocals are not unlike Geddy Lee of Rush fame, especially his style in the '80s and '90s where he toned down the upper register histrionics a tad, and I love how musically you can hear the nice use of synths and keys (played by guests) mixed with the layers of guitars, upfront bass, and intricate drumming across songs like "Fatal Breath", "Hades Embrace", "Ultraviolet", the catchy "Fever Dream", and the dramatic, and quite heavy "Cruel Optimism". Meatier numbers like "Sarcophagus" and "Souls in Chains" let everyone know that Spell are still a metal band at heart, but their take on prog on "A Ruined Garden" and 'Watcher of the Seas" is hard to overlook.

For a completely different take on 'progressive metal', I highly urge you to check out Tragic Magic, the excellent new release from Spell. Though I've liked their previous material, this is head and shoulders more mature and enjoyable. Highly recommended.

Track Listing
1. Fatal Breath 03:52
2. Ultraviolet 03:42
3. Hades Embrace 03:29
4. Fever Dream 03:32 video
5. Sarcophagus 03:42
6. Cruel Optimism 03:48
7. A Ruined Garden 03:41
8. Souls In Chains 04:26
9. Watcher of the Seas 05:24
10. The Watching 02:46

Added: January 29th 2023
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 303
Language: english

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