The Birthday Massacre
Under Your Spell


3.0
good

Review

by Simon STAFF
June 16th, 2017 | 72 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Keep your love, I'm here for the music.

Have you ever had that cold wash feeling, sitting there in your pyjamas at 7:30pm of the evening, drinking a fresh brew – before going to bed an hour later – and realizing, just maybe, you’re a little out of touch with certain things as you're getting older; a little set in your ways, with an ultimate realization more and more things distort your own views as you get older, or, indeed, things go beyond your understanding entirely" There are certain topics an artist can touch upon that never did anything for me 20 years ago, failing to connect to the dreaded love/relationship thing is certainly one of them. So it becomes difficult to offer your complete immersion to a project an artist is offering when, right off the bat, you aren’t seeing eye-to-eye. Shunning the lyrical content helps, but in turn, it affects the replay value. Sure, I don’t mind the topic in question – if it’s handled less on the nose and in a more interesting manner, but overall, I find it really isn’t for me; less so as I grow older. However, while listening to The Birthday Massacre’s new album, I was met with a conflict of emotions on all fronts.

You see, this should be my worst nightmare: the album cover alone warns its listeners of a mushy, soppy Tim Burton-twisted love story that is reserved for the angsty teen, while the album title sounds suited to a Stephenie Meyer novel; but being that I’m a casual fan of the band I was willing to give this my attention. The results for Under Your Spell are interesting: I was engaged by so many things this album got right; while equally menaced at a clash of things that don’t sway with my own views. Under Your Spell’s overall production and tone has an ethereal quality to it: Chibi’s vocal effects hold the same level of gelling with instrumentation as a Chelsea Wolfe record would – and this is a great quality that managed to hold my interest until the end. The production makes the synth-pop and new wave influenced music supporting Chibi, weighty and powerful; coupling the two qualities together makes even the bland elements pertained here marginally interesting.

The drawbacks to this are as equally prevalent though; firstly, for all the novelty the production and its bells and whistles provides, the cracks on any one of the tracks soon begin to show around the halfway mark. The likes of “One” and “All or Nothing” set off promising, with a decent groove and accompanying synthesizer (Which is one of the more consistently strong qualities here.) galvanizes what are realistically, bland and uninspiring riffs. Furthermore, for everything Chibi gets right with her vocal arrangement and all-round solid performances, her lyrics just don’t cut deep enough for my liking: talking about a relationship gone wrong, or longing for that missing person is such a tired topic; and even though it would be idiotic of me to dismiss this subject matter as redundant – due to it being something every human being relates to – as I said before, there are ways around tackling this weary tale, and unfortunately here, a spade is a spade.

Still, it’s not a bad album. For all its shortcomings, I listened to Under Your Spell with minimal effort; vocals and production work hand-in-hand at creating a pretty engaging sound, and fans of the band should find little to fault. For all my disliking of the insipid themes here, I still think it warrants a spin for interest, but for anyone immune to such topics, you’ll find even more to like here.

Good.

EDITIONS: DIGITAL//C̶D̶//V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶

PACKAGING: N/A

SPECIAL EDITION: N/A



Recent reviews by this author
Joanne Shaw Taylor Reckless HeartSaver They Came with Sunlight
HEALTH GTA: Online Arena WarThe Claypool Lennon Delirium South of Reality
Rotting Christ The HereticsHEALTH VOL. 4 :: SLAVES OF FEAR
user ratings (65)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Advent (3.5)
Turning the darkness up to 11....



Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2017


15194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

As always, constructive criticism welcome.

pizzamachine
June 16th 2017


14131 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haven't listened to it yet. 5/5



Good review though your summary is full of it

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2017


15194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Not really, it's just how I feel about the subject overall. It sums up my feelings towards everything this album offers.

EvoHavok
June 16th 2017


7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great read, though I don't really agree with parts of it. I think the guitars in the bridge of "Unkind" are more interesting than they've been in years. As for the lyrics, they still managed, like on older albums, to add some quirkiness to what could have been pretty insipid otherwise.

Digging: Children of Bodom - Hexed

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2017


15194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Valid points, man. The album just held it together I felt. I wasn't expecting much tbh, so it was a decent surprise.

EvoHavok
June 16th 2017


7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Considering you gave it the same rating as Violet which is my favourite, that's fair. Have you heard anything from Walking with Strangers or Pins and Needles? The latter, especially, is more rock-centred, though this band never does anything complex with the guitars, they're more like textures in the whole wall of sound.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2017


15194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've checked some of them as they've first came out, but only one spin. Like I say, I'm a pretty casual fan of these, but I don't remember the lyrics being this full-on.

EvoHavok
June 16th 2017


7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ah, indeed, this is the first album where the lyrics are focused this clearly on a certain theme. It was a conscious decision on all the main songwriters' part, according to interviews.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2017


15194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That makes sense then. haha Which is your fave album by these guys? I take it from your rating you dig these guys a bit?

EvoHavok
June 16th 2017


7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I actually said a few comments above, I think you missed it, lol. Yes, I've known them for years, but I've been on a big roll jamming all their stuff the past month or two.

DrGonzo1937
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2017


15194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ah, fair enough haha. Think I might have to go back to Walking with Strangers and Pins and Needles then.

Advent
June 16th 2017


176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, A++ Would read again.



Pins and Needles is still my favorite by them. As I've mentioned previously elsewhere, Walking with Strangers is the best representation of their unique style, and Pins and Needles is their most accessible.



Lyrics in songs don't stick out to me as much unless they're trash garbage (e.g. Three Days Grace - Car Crash) or really good and kind of cryptic (e.g. AFI - Silver and Cold).

pizzamachine
June 16th 2017


14131 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is 5/5 as expected 😄😄😄



No Tomorrow is boss

EvoHavok
June 16th 2017


7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It could almost fit on Violet. The second half gets so dark and creepy, plus that one synth part before the last chorus rules.

pizzamachine
June 16th 2017


14131 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I know right? Best Birthday Massacre song in a while

Advent
June 16th 2017


176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

No Tomorrow slays agreed

pizzamachine
June 16th 2017


14131 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

m/

Gmork89
June 21st 2017


7804 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

You.Dont.Want. Some-body.



Good review but I love this.

Sabrutin
June 21st 2017


5963 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Got and ripped the vinyl today, I'm quite happy with the results (and finally no more Spotify chains for this one). I should invest more into TBM wax if I get the chance. Anyway this is becoming my new 2nd fave, the more I listen the more confident and tight it all seems

EvoHavok
June 21st 2017


7679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Based on some results I've seen for older stuff, I assume it's using the CD master, but you can still pick out more dynamics, eh?



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy