Spellbond Dazzle - Unreal Fairy Tales

It is very hard to place the enigmatic Spellbound Dazzle. They're all over the place. Sometimes it is alternative rock, sometimes progressive, sometimes heavy metal, and even some pop rock sometimes... they're mind boggling and uncontainable. Some may even wonder why they're here on a 'broootal' metal site as Brutalism... but here they are! Their latest album, Unreal Fairy Tales,' is quite a ride for those who dare take a listen. Like a plummet down the rabbit hole by Lewis Caroll, Spellbound have assorted a variety of tracks/ stories that work a little differently and offer very little, if any, repetition at all. Some may be great, and others just eyebrow raisers without a smile at all, but overall it is some very good music.

Tracks like "Intro" are the first sign that the band is crazy. Featuring flamenco acoustic guitar and whistling that makes it feel like it is part of the soundtrack to a bad Spanish romance, this is a prequel to the more rock based "Goodbye My Love." The thicker guitar chugs and distortion instantly draw things closer to metal territory, but it still feels like it is more in the hard rock zone. Then "The Foolin..." draws things back into 'strange' by merging thick guitar riffs and suddenly wildly jazzy, progressive moments in between. "So Close" is a pretty stable ride... save for the wild carnival of an interlude that refuses to disappoint fans of the bands' wickedly eccentric ways. "Monster" is the first track to really sound like heavy metal; it is aggressive and the guitar solos are just downright awesome.

"In My Room" is a drop into soft, almost acoustic territory and the softness sounds like almost haunting Dream Theater territory, if not closer to indie/ pop rock like Cage The Elephant. Of course, "Rullo" shatters that notion by going towards hard rock/ metal instrumental territory while focusing on a more guitar solo path that is akin to John 5 when the vocals aren't in play. "Spaceman" is just a fun track altogether; the energy never dies with this one. "When I Touch..." is actually very groovy and reflects the older hair metal days witha bit of a modern touch. The way the guitar rhythms sound it is just very catchy, and unexpected considering the title. If most expected a weird and wacky track, thing again. "Ruska" gives one last surprise with plenty interesting vocal work, and a good  mix of guitar and fiddle/ keyboard while keeping a jazzy tone with a touch of Queen gang vocal work. It is the most interesting track on the album by far.

Leave it to the outro to settle things out by continuing that flamenco guitar introduction with a bit of symphonic flare and fans are left with quite a ride. Basically this album will probably be a hit or miss; one will either enjoy it or hate it. But, like other eccentric bands such as Diablo Swing Orchestra and Arcturus/ Ulver, Spellbound Dazzle know how to keep things interesting and as far away from 'typical metal/ rock' as one could get. They may not suit everyone's tastes perfectly, but they are sure to attract a wide variety of listeners.

  1. Intro
  2. Goodbye My Love
  3. The Foolin' Of Each Other
  4. SBD
  5. So Close
  6. Monster
  7. In My Room
  8. Rullo
  9. Spaceman
  10. When I Touch Myself
  11. Ruska
  12. Outro

Limited Access Records
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
Dec 15, 2010

Share this: