Spell - The Full Moon Sessions (Hard and Heavy Records)

Unabashedly backwards-looking, but none the worse for that...
Release Date: 
18 Apr 2014 - 11:30pm

Spell – the artists formerly known as Stryker – have been possessed by heavy metal. I know this because there’s a track on this 6 track EP called – you guessed it – Possessed by Heavy Metal, and, as accurate summations go, you can’t make things much clearer than that. For in The Full Moon Sessions what you get is just under half an hour of raw, rough and ready unreconstructed heavy metal thunder, full of screaming arpeggiated soloing, dramatic drum/bass stabbing and wailing vocals all of which come repeated verbatim from the 1982 heavy metal for beginners handbook.

There’s a sense of glorious naivety at play here that makes Full Moon… an absolutely enjoyable listen. This isn’t hipster retro, always keeping one eye on the post modernism to make sure that what you’re hearing is ‘ironic’ enough. Spell do this because it’s the natural thing, the metal thing, to do. When they start the fabulous Too Wild to Live (Too Young to Die) off by sounding like dead ringers for LA sci-fi metal outfit Warrior (Fighting for the Earth is the track you'll be 'recognising' when you give this a spin), it’s because that’s the riff they wrote, not because they are trying to pull off some sort of whacky Steel Panther exercise in cash generation via the gift of nostalgia. This is metal to its spandex-striped, bullet-belted core, and I love every minute of it.

In fact the only thing I don’t like about The Full Moon Sessions is its comparative brevity. Twenty Seven minutes and fifty eight seconds is simply not enough to get your teeth into, but I guess it’ll have to do for the time being. If in your head thrash metal never happened, then this release will absolutely rock your denim cutoff  off, but even if your metallic kicks are generally derived from harder and heavier (sorry) material then this, Spell still warrant a listen.  Pure, unabashed steel rarely sounds this good.