Album of the Week
SpiritBell – Guided by Evil Light (Witches Brew)
SpiritBell were formed from the ashes of an Accept tribute band named Aiming High. Which was a good choice as it’s one of Accept’s better tracks. And that influence can still be heard in SpiritBell. A band that mixes up a whole load of 80s influences, ranging from the aforementioned Accept, to Mercyful Fate and almost everything in-between.
Opening number, The Nameless Soldier has a Doomy feel to it. I also detect a hint of Metallica, both in the vocals as well as in the melody… which occasionally reminds me of Enter Sandman. Throw a bit of Judas Priest into the mix, and some Accept style gang shouts and it’s a strong beginning.
Desert Ghost is a rockier number. And it feels like NWOBHM merging into early Thrash and Speed metal. And it keeping with the title, there are also Eastern influences, which blend in very well, as does the devilish voice that sounds like it was borrowed from Doro’s Fear No Evil album.
As you can probably tell by now, SpiritBell aren’t the most original band on the planet. But I love what they do and older Metal fans like myself will totally get what they are doing.
The Flying Dutchman is the weakest track on the album, so we’ll bypass that and get onto Breath of the Raven. Again it’s an upbeat number and it has small traces of Mercyful Fate, if you listen hard enough. The guitar solo is pure Wolf Hoffmann, but bar that, this is the most original sounding track on the album.
The last track of what was originally going to be a 5 track EP is Full Moon Madness. And this is pure Mercyful Fate circa Melissa and Don’t Break The Oath… but it sounds like it was performed by an early incarnation of Iron Maiden.
This release though, has 5 bonus tracks to expand the running time to 48 minutes. Bonus tracks are often hit and miss, but this is a fascinating insight into SpiritBell from 2012 to 2016. For the most part, they sound like a Power Metal version of Accept, with the pomp of Savatage and possibly a bit of Blind Guardian.
I Am The Vengeance is probably the best of the bunch, but Horgonyt fel!, a demo recording from 2012, which is bolstered by some (presumably) Hungarian Folk and some fist-pumping Thrash riffs, is also a very cool addition.
I think SpiritBell are still finding their feet in terms of which direction they’ll ultimately head in, but that hasn’t stopped them creating an album that’s a perfect homage to 80s Metal.