For None and All

by Spell

supported by
Skyler Isaac
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Skyler Isaac There's some great writing and musicianship at work here. Cool vocals and a great vibe. Excellent. Favorite track: River of Sleep.
Matthew Rukgaber
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Matthew Rukgaber I dare you to listen to the first track and not hear the Beatles' "We Can Work it Out" in the chorus. The melodies on the whole record are that catchy. Musically, you have a slightly heavier and progressive slab of classic early heavy metal, akin to Praying Mantis' 1981 NWOBHM classic "Time Tells No Lies." There is a reverbed out production that gives it a retro feel, and the most excellent and effective use of backing vocals I have heard in a really long time. 2016 top contender. Favorite track: Madame Psychosis.
clockhour
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clockhour Very NWOBHM-ish (reminds me of Limelight) well-crafted songs. Lots of impressive guitar leads. Fine production. Favorite track: The Veil.
Héctor Hurtado Grooscors
Héctor Hurtado Grooscors thumbnail
Héctor Hurtado Grooscors Heirs of the NWOBHM sound, these Canadians delivers powerful riffs with a dark vibe. Also, you'll find great keyboards arrangements and a vocal performance with a wide range. FFO: Mercyful Fate, Angel Witch, Cirith Ungol, etc. Favorite track: Madame Psychosis.
Bill Hook
Bill Hook thumbnail
Bill Hook Discovered through Fenriz. Whipping Sigils is possibly one of the best songs ever recorded. No exaggeration. That chorus section is just one massive eargasm. Favorite track: Whipping Sigils.
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about

As any true devotee will recognise, the creation of heavy metal that genuinely chills the blood and raises the goosebumps is about more than carefully constructed stylistic posturing, more than slavish devotion to the diabolus-in-musica rulebook, and more than a devotedly purchased vinyl collection of crypt-kicking classics. It’s a feeling, an atmosphere, and an attitude that together prove hard to quantify, and even harder for the casually acquainted to summon. No such worries for Vancouver’s Spell however, who display on their second full-length and Bad Omen Records debut For None And All that they’re in possession of more heart, chutzpah and sinister sleight-of-hand than a dozen of their contemporaries.

Spell, a power-trio comprising Cam Mesmer (lead vocals/bass) Graham McVie (guitars/backing vocals) and Lester Spectre (drums/backing vocals) started out life as Stryker, playing ‘80s-inspired and thrash-damaged metal, before they made the decision to change their moniker to better reflect the more oracular style that was evolving in splendid isolation in British Columbia. “I like the mysterious sort of mood that the name 'Spell' sets” explains Cam. “So much of this world is focused on elucidating, deciphering, explaining the world around us. That's too analytical and pedantic for me. I believe there is just as much value in mystifying, shrouding, cyphering. The only real truth is one you arrive at yourself, so it won't help if I tell you what to think. Take what you want from it. I'd like Spell to be a force in that direction.”

Looming into the darker quarters of the consciousness like some gloriously nightmarish analgam of the mystical ambience of the ‘70s and the jagged attack of the ‘80s, For None And All makes no secrets of the classics that have informed its feverish drive, yet Mesmer insists that the band see themselves as a contemporary beast. “Although obviously we love 70's bands and idealize a time when rock 'n roll could be loud and weird and unique and experimental without being so self-conscious, we don't consider ourselves to be a throwback or pastiche act in any way” Indeed, whilst the discerning listener will be able to hear traces of the mystical aura of Blue Öyster Cult and the seductive contortions of King Crimson and Rush on For None And All, and also the malevolent and righteous bravura that Judas Priest and Scorpions made manifest throughout the ages, what Spell excel in more so is a suspension of disbelief that transforms these infectious psychodramas and tales of the supernatural into a turbulent and tempestuous psychic shockwave that raises pulse-rates as easily as it haunts the dreams.

“If there's a horror element to our sound, it's because the world is a horrifying (and wonderful) place” reckons Mesmer. “We all struggle to find ways to nail down some meaning or rationalization to explain why we're here suffering, but I don't really believe in this. Existing is terrifying – be terrified, and love that terror.” Make no mistake, this is a band with a formidable grasp on their chosen metier, and their self-styled ‘hypnotising heavy metal - as chronicled on For None And All - is a delirious and life-affirming elixir indeed.

credits

released May 13, 2016

SPELL is:
Cam Mesmer – Bass/Lead Vocals
Al Lester – Drums/Backing Vocals
Graham McVie – Guitars/Synthesizers

Additional backing vocals by JP Abboud and The Grand Inquisitor

All music by Spell
Lyrics by Cam Mesmer, except Whipping Sigils by Al Lester

Produced, recorded and mixed by Felix Fung at Little Red Sounds in November, 2015
Mastered by Greg Mindorff at Suite Sound Labs, January 2016
Cover photography by Cara McKenna
Logo by Sean Coggins

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Track Name: Madame Psychosis
As I sank into my mind
Complacent not satisfied
She fell upon me by surprise

A gaze that thawed what once was numb
The voice that found me struck me dumb
Could only shiver in her sun

Look into her eyes
And if she calls out your name
Then you’ll need her
Listen to her voice
No matter what she says
You’ll believe her

Alone and wretched on the shore
Worthless till I found some more
Nothing left here to adore

My purpose suddenly came clear
At any cost I’ll draw her near
And cease to suffer pain and fear

Without return I willingly
Both disfigure her and me
Veil my love with tragedy

With every breath her name I’ll sing
And give myself to suffering
No matter what this fate will bring
Track Name: Whipping Sigils
I whip the sigils
Command the names
You must obey me now or
Return again to the flames

You stand before me
I’m overcome
For I cannot perceive you
In the form which you’ve become

Within this circle
You heed my word
But once I step outside
A slave I am and you my lord

Please hear my warning
Don’t tempt your fate
The powers that you summon
Will destroy you, it’s too late
Track Name: Too Late
Return
Return
Return
Too late

One thousand miles across the sea
A single candle burns for me
Though its flame shines bright today
With every hour wax drips away

Beacon shine and guide my soul across the water
Lungs will fill without you and I'll be pulled under

One thousand miles across the land
A flower's held by faltering hand
Though it blooms now bright and tall
With every moment pedals fall

Without light to guide my way I'm doomed to wander
Without beauty life is lost
Track Name: The Sickness Unto Death
We shall return
I know for sure
If time won't tell
I surely will

Bind my arms
Tie my legs
Drink this poison
To the last dregs
Breathe this dust in
To my last breath
Feed this sickness
Unto death

We shall return
I know for sure
It's growing late
I've sealed my fate
Track Name: River of Sleep
I lay down one bright evening
In a cold dark mountain stream
Where the echoes of my heartbeat
Were heard only by the trees

And the water washed over me
As seasons whispered over me
My blood flowed towards the sea
And there I felt eternity

Oh, the birds perched near to see
As the children of earth feasted on me
My body returns to nothing
Overcome with joy, I began to sing
Track Name: The Veil
Far from home, break of day
All alone, my own way
No escape, leave this place
Never rest, on we race

Cus we can't begin to see
What's beyond this sanity, long to be set free

Watch reality crumble
It means nothing to me
People falter and stumble
Doomed to absurdity
Into the void I surrender
To gaze beyond the wall
Out of my mind I will venture
To learn we must fall

Sacrifice my own life
Rise above mortal strife
Learn to see reality
As an art preformed by me
Track Name: Dark Desires
Please go mercifully to sleep
Into a dream so much less bleak
Another world keeps you entranced
A battered mind at last relaxed
I lie awake, a bridge between
Your cold hard world and peaceful dream
Can't watch you rise up once again
To face this world of suffering

Each night inspires
These dark desires

Beneath a veil, your smile betrays
What your conscience dares not say
The truth is not just physical
It dwells amongst the beautiful
May steady hand do right by you
I'll bear this burden for us two
With one last breath I set you free
May you dream eternally
Track Name: Vanitas
“Once I was what you are,
Though the distance seems so far
Do not fear this certainty:
I am now what you shall be”

As I fled from deep despair
Paralyzed by doubt and fear
Tore myself from nostalgic dreams
Something caught me suddenly

I pressed on with energy
My lungs heaved in harmony
As I sang I came to see
The music came from none but me

Three ancient princes lay before me
They took up as I faltered
Harmonizing solemnly
“We are what you shall be”
And I realized my song
Had been their epitaph all along