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Spellcaster – Night Hides The World album review

New album from classically styled metallers Spellcaster lack an infectious edge

If you crack into Spellcaster expecting a doomy, proto-metal voyage into the darker realms of occult rituals and psychedelia, you’ll be somewhat confused to instead find a familiar-sounding classic metal band referencing the likes of Metallica, Metal Church and Magnum.

Their third studio outing sees the band recommitting to their love of melodic hard rock, powered by meticulously arranged duelling guitars and the clear and dramatic stylings of vocalist Tyler Loney.

Night Hides The World boasts all of the elements of a great metal record: surging riffs, prismatic solos and taut, muscular grooves but the songwriting fails to deliver any of those hummable, head-bobbing earworms that command repeated spins. Opener Aria and the title track showcase tight musicianship and honest-to-goodness passion, but the over-sanitised production has removed any potential snarl or swagger. Only The Moon Doors and Prophecy give any real sense of the band going for the jugular, behind a siege of pounding riffs and blazing solos. Not bad, but not terribly memorable, either.