Not too long ago Eluveitie frontman Chrigel Glanzmann made the somewhat baffling decision to boot and replace basically the entire lineup of the band, including Anna, Merlin, and Ivo who went on to form their own group, Cellar Darling, as a trio.
On March 22, the group will be releasing their second album, The Spell, through Nuclear Blast Records. If you haven’t heard the group before you may be struck by how dissimilar they sound to their former band, digging more into progressive and doomy sounds, with a slight twist of folk—Anna is a hurdy-gurdy player, after all. This album also finds her playing flute, among a few other things, with Ivo taking up both guitar and bass duty and Merlin covering percussion.
I’m glad the group went their own direction because The Spell really does stand out, already commanding a lot of attention by just the second track, “Death,” featuring a great, slightly jazzy flute solo. “The Spell” is another standout track which deservedly got put out as one of the singles for this record, with a spooky, moody atmosphere and a fantastic showcase of Anna’s singing ability. “Hang” is a melancholic ballad about suicide with a catchy, deceptively upbeat sounding chorus.
“Insomnia” is the first overtly metal track with tongue-twister wordplay and syncopation to keep things proggy and interesting, and another powerful, emotionally-charged chorus. “Drowning” features an ear-catching odd time signature for its opening line, in 9 but grouped in 4 and then 5.
While I can keep pointing out the strengths of individual tracks, everything on here stands out in one way or another and this is more than worth listening to. Highly recommended.