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The Black Heart Procession:: The Spell (Album Review)

The Black Heart Procession is like a pack of sharks surrounding you, dangerous and ready to rip you limb from limb. You see your impending doom but choose to do nothing about it.
You’re hypnotized, you can’t move, seemlessly stuck in a moment from which there’s no escape. Now,the shark is a beautiful creature, but dangerous as well, and the music that the Black Heart Procession make falls into these two categories also. After 4 great albums you’d expect the novelty to wear out. But see, here’s the deal, it never does.

It’s a long drawn out death march and you’re invited to come, only if you leave your heart and expectations at the door.

The Spell is a return to form for the Black Heart Procession, picking up from where they left off with Amore Del Tropica. The past and the future combining to create a place where you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s dark and cold, like a winter sunset. You pray daylight will never come and that the snow will continue to fall. But your mind races a million miles a minute and the shadows growing on your walls let you know that the end is further than once thought. Unable to focus, you slowly let the music take you away like a chose your own adventure book, never knowing where you’re being led. Themes of heartbreak, isolation, depression and hopelessness keep you warm in a false security, like a siren that has you in her trance.

Tobias Nathaniel takes a cue from the Nick Cave book of lyrical tricks, dark romantic stories that can only be told from the mouth of such a talented wordsmith. Plus, his piano work is amazing. But then again, I’m a sucker for piano and strings, and this record has both. The music is beautifully crafted, featuring members of Modest Mouse and the Album Leaf. Core members Tobias Nathaniel and Pall Jenkins stick to their guns. Creating an atmosphere for bleak nights and long days filled with sorrow. The guitar, violin and drums blend with the piano to create a spooky feeling of desperation. And when you think you can’t take anymore, they continue to tug at your heartstrings only the way that the Black Heart Procession can. The words and music give you the feeling of love gone bad. An empty space that comes from the painful realization that only heartbreak can bring. I could spout off standout tracks, but I believe their all standout tracks. There is not a disappointing song on this record. If you’re unfamiliar with the Black Heart Procession, start here, then work your way backwards. It will be well worth it. (By: Casey Schroeder)