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The Birthday Massacre - Under Your Spell album review

Alluring mix of electronica and metal

Cover art for The Birthday Massacre - Under Your Spell album

A lot of bands have tried to blend electronic-style gothic pop with more aggressive, guitar-fuelled power. Few have made it work as well as these Canadians. Under Your Spell is their seventh, and best, album to date.

It opens with the brightly sparking One, before the title track and All Or Nothing reveal a darker, more cinematic side to their style. There are times, as with Without You, when they come a little too close to Yazoo, but for the most part they nestle nearer the Depeche Mode attitude, with the brooding Unkind and the disparate, haunting The Lowest Low being real gems.

Chibi’s exotic vocals are a constant focal point on an album that proves these genres can co-exist.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.