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Spellbook – Magick & Mischief Award winner

Magick & Mischief
by Will Travers at 26 September 2020, 9:23 PM

Some bands will go their entire lives being known as they always have been. Others will chope and change occasionally before they decide on a more suited name. SPELLBOOK (ex WITCH HAZEL) is such a band. Having been known as the previous name for nigh on 13 years. Now we have their first release under the new banner, “Magick & Mischief”, so lets begin.

The artwork, conceived from the mind of Chad Keith, brings all of the tracking from this record alive in visual form. Doing a great service and justice to the album itself. Opening the record is “Wands To The Sky”. Straight away there are clear influences, with stylings taken straight from the heyday of Heavy Metal and some Psychedelic themes coming in as well. “Black Shadow” follows with its groovy hook and anthemesque chorus that just cries to be belted out at full volume.

The bluesy and groovy stylings continue through “Ominous Skies” and into “Not Long For This World”  where we see a change of pace and the track definitely resonates more as a pseudo ballad before building into a bouncy and driving end section that brings us quite nicely into “Motorcade”. Instantly I get the feeling of some Desert Rock coming in here, slick bass licks and a furious driving rhythm keep this fantastic track in line with the record’s incredibly high standards.

“Amulet / Fare Thee Well” is sure to be a hit with all listeners. It was honed as a live track before being committed to recording, I am sure that by utilising this as a method of quality control then SPELLBOOK will not go far wrong. I am certainly a fan of this one, with developed structure, changes of pace, depth of sound and a shifting style that just gives this track the edge and makes it my pick of the album. As the final track for this album comes into my headphones I find myself, as I often do, sad in the knowledge that this is to come to an end, but at the same time I am always appreciative that I get to listen to such good music and commit my thoughts to paper. “Dead Detectives” is an 11 minute epic that just goes on to deliver everything that has been fantastic throughout the record. Mesmerising vocals, impecabble musicianship and profound professionalism that blows it out the water.

I have to give this album top marks, I honestly don’t think that I would change a thing. This has been truly eye opening and I cannot wait to see where things go from here for SPELLBOOK. The band has gained a fan and I have gained an incredible new set of music to listen to on those long journeys. Fans of BLACK SABBATH, ALICE COOPER and BLUE OYSTER CULT do not miss this amazing band.

Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Wands To The Sky
2. Black Shadow
3. Ominous Skies
4. Not Long For This World
5. Motorcade
6. Amulet / Fare Thee Well
7. Dead Detectives
Nate Tyson – Vocals
Andy Craven – Guitar
Selbert Lowe Jr – Bass
Nicholas Zinn – Drums
Record Label: Cruz Del Sur Music


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