Spell is back in 2022 and they're looking a little different. Spell is now a duo featuring Cam Mesmer and Al Lester, which Mesmer notes was a decision made after the release of their third record Opulent Decay in 2020. "These strange times have encouraged us to look up from the doldrums of our daily lives and reflect more critically on what we're doing and why," reckons Cam. "For us, this involved stripping away a lot of bullshit to reach a more essential, distilled and purer version of what Spell is."
Spell is now streaming the lead single "Ultraviolet" off their coming album Tragic Magic, whose runtime treads the line between dreamy progressive rock in the vein of King Crimson and more straightforward old-school heavy metal like Blue Öyster Cult. What I'm really loving about this track is the sparse use of synthesizer as a backing to Spell's particularly gentle heavy metal throughout the track… and the chorus is going to be stuck in my head forever as well. I mean seriously, how great is the use of vocal effects in the chorus to really drive it home?
"The themes on this album are more concrete, guided by personal experience," said Cam. "Tragic Magic has to do with mental illness, ageing, the death of a loved one, the decay of time… this is what ‘tragic magic' means to us – loss and tragedy outside of our control, which fundamentally alters our perceived reality."
Tragic Magic is out October 28. Pre-orders are available here. As for how the record was written and conceptualized, Cam offered "Life has gotten harder and less hospitable for many people lately, so it didn’t seem appropriate to flaunt excess," he added. "This album is our response to the world as it currently is: music for an ascetic age."