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SPELLCASTER Night Hides The World

By Rob McNees, Vinyl Aficionado
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 @ 6:42 AM


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SPELLCASTER
Night Hides The World

Prosthetic Records




As a music collector & Vinyl aficionado, like a drug addict I'm always looking for another album. There's just so much music out there to be discovered. And I find that there's not that many newer bands that get me excited these days. But one newer band that does is Portland Oregon's SPELLCASTER.

Originally formed in 2009 and going by the moniker LEATHERWITCH, they first came on my radar in 2010 as SPELLCASTER with the excellent release Spells Of Speed, and followed that with Under The Spell in 2011 both on the now defunct Heavy Artillery record label. As the label was sold, this found our chainsaw champions label-less and wondering about their future.

Fear not tho, as Prosthetic Record came to the rescue and a new alliance was formed. Which brings us to their new offering Night Hides The World.

"Aria" kicks things off in fine fashion as a asskicking uptempo banger. Tyler Loney's vocals are in fine form and the melody throughout this opener is infectious. The twin guitar attack of Cory Boyd & Bryce VanHoosen is shredtastic as well.

"Night Hides The World" is a much more subdued tune but not a ballad, with a "Desert Plains" from JUDAS PRIEST type of feel to it. Heavy, but in a moody sort of way. Well done.

"The Lost Ones" will be a great riding song. Early in the morning, virtually empty highway, no thoughts or worries, just lose yourself in this mid-tempo creeper as the melody takes you away. But, as the blast beat kicks in from drummer Colin Vranizan and they kick it into another gear, you may need to watch that speedometer! A nice twist there.

"Betrayal" has a great riff to bang to as Tyler's voice soars. The band has taken the time to work on song structure and melodies on this album and it shows. Two back-to-back 6+ minute songs, but like the glory days of METALLICA, they never feel that long or bring you to boredom. Not everyone can say that, not even METALLICA these days.

"I Live Again" takes the tempo up a notch before settling into a nice groove. Lots of nuances and surprising touches on this album as well.

"The Accuser" has a nice acoustic-like interlude before kicking into gear with a tasteful thrasher sure to get the pit going live.

"The Moon Doors" sees the band showing their chops with tempo changes, slick dual guitar trade offs, shred solos and riffs galore. While their last self titled album was produced and mixed admirably by TOXIC HOLOCAUST's mastermind Joel Grind, N.H.T.W. was helmed by Zack Ohren filling those same duties this go round. The production here giving the whole band time to shine, with the clarity to hear each member effortlessly. Excellent indeed.

Final track "Prophecy" is also the longest, clocking in at over 7 minutes, this one really shows how the band have matured since their inception. Maybe one of Tyler's finest moments as his melody is one of the strengths of this track. Surprisingly the band stays mid-tempo on this one throughout, forgoing the need for speed to let the track breathe on its own organically. A good choice methinks.

Bassist & founding member Gabriel Franco and his cohorts have forged a collection of mature Power Metal here and I'm duly impressed. Much like their US counterparts HOLY GRAIL, their musicianship and songwriting skills are ever improving and this bodes well for not only their future, but the future of American Metal in general. It shouldn't be too long (I hope) before these lads get a shot on a big time European Tour to show there wares, and maybe some elusive festival dates as well. Fingers crossed lads.

And for my vinyl family out there, there will be wax available. The cover looks amazing on the larger scale to boot. So fire up those turntables!

4.7 Skulls Out Of 5.0

Grab your copy of Night Hides The World in the KNAC.COM More Store right HERE.


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