Here we have the second full-length album from Texan metal act Under A Spell, and when I saw the press release raving over the singer and saying they were for fans of King Diamond I knew I had to hear what it sounded like. It commences with a riffing guitar in one speaker, then the rest of the band comes in and we are into “In A Dream” – it sounded a little dated but was good value metal none the less, then Pam started singing. As soon as she started I stopped what I was doing and stared at the speakers as while Pam has a high voice, often sounding almost as if she is channelling falsetto, that does not mean it is something I want to listen to when placed against the music as she just does not have the control and presence required: this is not something to be enjoyed, instead it is something to be endured if the listener can bear it. It also does not help that the production has been put in a way that the instrumentation is somewhat muddied and very much in the background, playing the supporting role to a “front woman who possesses an angelic voice that can shake the very foundations of the earth” (that’s what it says here, although I do think they must have bene listening to something very different to me).

I am not sure how Matt Thompson (King Diamond) got himself roped in to play drums on all tracks, but I cannot imagine he was involved with the final mix, as this feels very much a self-produced and released album in every way. A while back I was offered their debut album, which at the time I declined, and in many ways I wish I had done the same with this one.

Rating: 4/10