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Under A Spell – The Chosen One

Under A Spell
The Chosen One
by Patrick McMahon at 28 February 2021, 7:27 AM

With a very unique type of metal power, UNDER A SPELL are going for big exposure with an official release of “The Chosen One”. A band that hails from Dallas / Fort Worth, is not only working the metal scene that was home to PANTERA, they are leaving a powerful legacy for their children and generations to come. The message is crystal clear: if you have a dream, you should go for it. Front woman Pam Rosser and Husband / Bassist Tom will certainly meet the mark with this energy.

In an album that is primarily inspired by vintage metal roots and the not-so-bright arts, “Padurea Neagra” leads the album. Named for a Romanian swathe of land that kind of looks like a Pac-man snake, the track is completely owned by dissonant guitars. It offers introduction, but as with most metal albums does not feature vocals. “Voodoo Doll” is more synchronized, and bring vocals to the front. The not light arts abound within the lyrics, and the promise of icons being ritually needled is heavy on my mind as I realize I have to review the track. I feel like there are production shortcomings, and I confirmed that by watching the bands youtube videos. The actual sound they play with is not accurately captured by the album, and that is the only complaint I have. The production gives a sense that all of the pieces are separate and thin. In reality these tracks are fantastic. “The Chosen One” is next, because I love a title track. An especially bold part of this track is the vocal harmonies, with mesmerizing effect to the attack of the song. There are a few missed steps with the guitar production, in my opinion. Some sections of the guitar seem a few frames off from being synced together. Usually it is more difficult to note that stuff, however, it seems the two guitarists were on very different tones which made it highly noticeable. Small gripes aside, the track delivers the metal.

“Cast a Spell” begins acoustic, which hits a sweet spot along side the vocals. When the first minute passes, witchy metal begins again! This time the transition features guitar laden with wah effect, slightly out of touch with the rhythm which is diving head first in to the jam. I can not state enough that the album and all of its components are just seemingly missing a dedicated producer to deliver on what the band brings to the table. Overall, I really like UNDER A SPELL. I think the concepts and the grooves they bring deserve to be brought into the metal world. I did not honestly like the album though. There are too many missed steps and simple things to be corrected that a sound engineer should have been able to spot and correct. So those are my thoughts: give the band a listen because they are very enjoyable, skip the album and hope for a great sophomore effort.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 4
Production: 1

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Padurea Neagra
2. Voodoo Doll
3. Forever Done
4. Judgement
5. The Chosen One
6. Invitation to a Dark Sleep
7. Into the Dark
8. Cast a Spell
9. Atihad
10. Crushed by the Stones
11. My Dead Life
Lineup:
Pam Rosser – Vocals
Jason Gully – Guitar
Stergas Stockwell – Guitar / Vocals
Tom Rosser – Bass
Eric Smith – Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Publishing
     


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