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On disc: Spellbound Dazzle

Unreal FairyTales - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Unreal FairyTales

Unreal FairyTales
(Limited Access Records - 2011)

There isn't much I can tell you about Spellbound Dazzle, just that the Stekovic brothers moved during the Yugoslav wars to Italy and later started Spellbound Dazzle.
They kick off with an intro based on Spanish guitar, reminds me a bit of Friday Night In San Francisco. Then some whistling and they head with heavy riffs in Goodbye My Love, but then you expect a heavy track, then you'll be surprised by the slow melodic passages which follow metallic parts - plus some hints of Balkan beats and folk. They cross borders, mix different styles - literally crossover. This mix of genres reminds me slightly of Croatian-Slovenian outfit Analena and Croatian band Hesus Attor. It seems to be a Croatian thing to mix sounds that way... Even if some will love them for the varying sounds they aren't offering something for mainstream listeners. So shows SBD reminiscences to crossover bands, pop and Balkan sounds. Heavy riffs lead you into So Close, but by now it's crystal clear that there will be abrupt changes and different sounds - incl. turbo-folk - mixed into an very unique sound. Monster has a catchy vocal line, even if they take you onto another sonic roller coaster ride. Monster is probably the best way to tackle Spellbound Dazzle... In My Room starts acoustically, just guitar and vocals - and shows Kreso Stekovic as a singer who has a large range of styles to offer. The others join in, but this time they seem to stick to the chosen path - the song becomes a powerful ballad then a balladesque rocker. Great tune, but not very representative for Spellbound Dazzle. The other songs also offer a wild mix of sounds, but metallic riffs are the basis for all of them. At Spaceman you even find classic citations as well as vocals which seems to be inspired by some NWoBHM band. Ruska kicks off with Balkan pop combined with heavy guitars, but then you get some counter part a cappella passage before they return to Balkan beats. The rhythm shows similarities to SoCal partly. What a mix! With Outro the chapter Unreal FairyTales is closed.
Everybody who is open-minded and not just listens to metal should give it a try. But be aware that Spellbound Dazzle is no musical fast food!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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