The Birthday Massacre
Under Your Spell

01. One
02. Under Your Spell
03. All Of Nothing
04. Without You
05. Counterpane
06. Unkind
07. Games
08. Hex
09. No Tomorrow
10. The Lowest Low
11. Endless

Chibi – Vocals
Rainbow – Guitars/Programming/Vocals
M.Falcore – Guitars
Rhim – Drums
Owen – Keyboards
Nate Manor – Bass

Nothing and Nowhere (2002)
Violet (2004)
Walking with Strangers (2007)
Pins and Needles (2010)
Hide and Seek (2012)
Superstition (2014)


Recorded at Dire Studios (Toronto), The Altar Studios (Toronto, Canada), and Desolation Studios (Toronto, Canada)
Produced by Rainbow and M. Falcore
Mix engineer, mixing at Fader Mountain Studios, Vancouver, Canada by Dave Ogilvie
Karl Dicaire – assistant mix engineer
Noah Mintz – mastering at Lacquer Channel, Toronto, Canada
Owen MacKinder – album art and design

Released 2017-06-09
Reviewed 2017-06-28


Wow! That was what I was thinking when I took on the opening track of the new, the seventh album from Canadian music heroes The Birthday Massacre. It follows the brilliant Superstition, the great Hide and Seek, the Outstanding Pins and Needles that was shamelessly praised in my review, the excellent Walking With Strangers, the equally excellent Violet, and the strong debut Nothing and Nowhere. They have a discography that would make almost any band extremely envious and of course I had high expectations for this album as well and with opening track one these expectations are more than answered. But in the end I would describe this album as a rather average Birthday Massacre album, something that means an excellent album.

It is of their style with the distinct synths, the violet sound, Chibi’s vocals that are clear and strong and sometimes whispered and haunting. Then we have the gothic stuff, the guitar riffs, the somewhat darkish mood and everything. We recognise their sound, but they have also evolved and brought some fresh thinking into the album. It sounds fresh yet familiar, the production is excellent as usual and the album is quite varied even though I think it feels a tad on the long side and the ending isn’t quite as interesting as the beginning. They could have done well by shortening the album a track or two, not that it is bad but the end feels a bit long.

Like several of the albums by The Birthday Massacre this album has some super-duper outstanding tracks varied with some tracks that they could have done without, not bad tracks just a lot less interesting compared with the highlight tracks. I think the opening track One is absolutely outstanding and one of the best tracks ever by this band. The title track is also a wonderful track, it starts brilliantly but then the album looses a little towards the end, I think it is kind of like albums like Hide and Seek, Violet, Walking With Strangers to name a few, there are some outstanding tracks but also some that in comparison feels a bit less exciting – good but not as exciting as their best. Perhaps they could have kept this album a bit shorter but I still think that it is another great display from a band that never disappoints and always feels relevant.

For a while I am caught under the spell of this great album, the first track One is the best track released this year – at least as far as I have heard. It is definitely an album worth tipping one’s hat for, it is exciting and great and I think it is well worth looking closer at. An impressive album that once again showcases a band that always manages to make fresh yet familiar music that is exciting and captivating. And while it may be an average album for these guys, it is a still a great album and the opening track is one of the best tracks they have made. Great stuff!





Label: Metropolis Records
Three similar bands: Silvery/Nightwish/Alphaville

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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