REVIEW: Cellar Darling – The Spell


REVIEW: Cellar Darling - The Spell

22 March 2019 - Nuclear Blast


Following the story of a girl who falls in love with Death, after which Death curses her to an eternal life, separated from Death. She wanders Earth trying to seek her way back to Death. This is the story that CELLAR DARLING used as a basis for their new album "The Spell", out on 22 March 2019 through Nuclear Blast. 

The band was formed in 2016, after a major lineup change in the camp of folk metal legends ELUVEITIE, resulting the trio to form CELLAR DARLING. The new formation created their own sound, and own vision and thus released their emotional debut "This Is the Sound" in 2017. While the band incorporates many different styles in their music, people often describe their sound as progressive folk. 

"The Spell" is a story foremost. Listening to the songs separately almost feels like a sin. It's not giving you the same immersive experience that the album provides. Moreover, the songs by themselves are not the kind of usual material that represent the album completely, or stick to your head. Not that the songs aren't hauntingly beautiful, by themselves they feel a bit taken out of context. They do grab the attention, but again... I feel that the context of this album is of utter most importance. 

"The Spell" is an immersive piece of art that explores perhaps less traditional ways of storytelling in music. The narration in "The Spell" is the most important part of the songs, it's done by creating atmospheric sections that have perhaps what would seem very strange combinations at the time. The album is a mixture of different genres, with eerie folk melodies that sometimes even sound surprisingly jazzy, riffs that remind of doom metal ("Death") and atmospheres that we can find back in progressive rock and metal ("Love"), "The Spell" is certainly not the easiest album to digest, but give it a little time and it will surely be worth the while. Interestingly there are a lot of different bands I can connect to the songs, at times I get a Devin Townsend vibe even, but no one would assume that any of these sounds would fit together. This is where CELLAR DARLING proves you wrong, mixing and matching different styles and atmosphere, the bands are masters in creating these beautiful soundscapes that intrigue you from the first second until the last. 

The experimental character of the album is precisely what's so great about it. It creates a very immersive, and especially emotional experience that can induce instant goosebumps at different times during the listening experience. This is the main difference with their debut album "This Is the Sound", their debut set their foot in the world of folk metal, however, "The Spell" is a more mature story that captivated from start to finish. 

While the Grimm brothers collected ancient fairy tales traveling from mouth to mouth from generation to generation, Cellar Darling create their own grim fairytale through their music, which allows an immersive and emotional experience for anyone listening. 



Anna Murphy - vocals, hurdy-gurdy, multi-instrumentalist
Merlin Sutter - drums
Ivo Henzi - guitars, bass


1. Pain
2. Death
3. Love
4. The Spell
5. Burn
6. Hang
7. Sleep
8. Insomnia
9. Freeze
10. Fall
11. Drown
12. Love pt. II
13. Death pt. II