Band- Cellar Darling
Album- The Spell
Genre- Folk, Progressive Metal
Label- Nuclear Blast
FFO- Eluveitie, Nightwish, Huntress
So right off the bat this well produced. Having to incorporate the flute and hurdy gurdy throughout a heavy metal album is not an easy task. Not drowning them out amongst the guitar and vocals can seem daunting but they pull it off with “The Spell”. But to be honest there wasn’t to much to really stand out with the music when it comes to the guitar and drums. Both do their job quite well and compliment Anna Murphy’s vocals perfectly. But in the end they are playing a hard rock riffs and basic fills. Not a bad thing by any means but not to much to blow me away. Steady at best.
Guitars do throw in some neat solos to keep the listeners attention. But riffs leave a bit to be desired. For any of you who are not familiar with the hurdy gurdy then you’re missing out. It’s a the demon child of an accordion and a cello. With a crank on the side. The player will finger the strings while cranking the side crank. It produces the very haunting string sound that no other instrument can replicate. The hurdy gurdy is heavily used throughout the album and keeps that folksy sound. Vocalist Anna Murphy not only plays the strange instrument but is also able to sing like an angel. Her voice carries the music and makes the ears happy. Soaring, melodic vocals cover the entire album with a some haunting bits to keep ya guessing. Also using a very folksy pop sound at times. Something you would hear in a Skyrim tavern as bard plays his mandolin.
Having 3 former long time members of a band I bet you expect them sound eerily similar, don’t ya? Well your not entirely wrong. You can tell they wanted to do their own thing with this band and they do that. But you can’t throw away everything that helped make you recognizable. Thanks to that hurdy gurdy I am able to get hooked like I was originally with Eluveitie. Only difference is that we have entirely female fronted vocals. Each song is able to stand out from the last when it comes to the music thankfully and I know when one song ends and another begins.
For the most part it is alot of hard rock inspired riffs with folksy elements spread all over. Heavy, yet fun. “Pain” opens up the album with some of the albums best riffs in my opinion. The music reminds steady till you hit “The Spell” which uses alot of those haunting folksy vocals I mentioned earlier. “Sleep” is appropriately named due to this slow tempo and relaxing sound. I do believe the strongest song on the album is “Insomnia” it being the heaviest and most melodic song on the record. A heavier intro gets the listener hooked. Anna Murphy’s vocals are at her finest on this track.
Overall I was pleasantly pleased with the “The Spell”. I do believe Cellar Darling are onto something here. They having the haunting folk sound that is hard to come by nowadays. In a way I am glad they left Eluveitie. For people who like folk metal then this is an instant pick up. It’s consistent sound makes it one hell of a listen. Not one weak song on the album.
“The Spell” releases March 22nd on Nuclear Blast
Rating - 8 out of 10
Strongest Song - Insomina