Spanning their entire career The Birthday Massacre have consistently wrote emphatic songs that shatter the facade of adulting while remaining true to the dark youthful spirit that first set them apart from the crowd. Having matured as artists from their introduction in 1999 their music has stayed true to their roots. The seventh album Under Your Spell is everything a [The] Birthday Massacre album should be and delivers a highly polished and exuberant record teeming with personality.
The opening staccato on the first track, with a trademark cold synth patch, confers to the innocence of unconditional love a sentiment mirrored in the lyrics that reflect on independence and understanding. The beauty in sadness conveyed through mixing these concepts is a poignant theme that the band ramp up and present with due care and the emotion continues through until the end.
Melody is the showrunner on this album with the heavy guitar chords being a passive trait. It compliments the ensemble perfectly while adding weight to the power behind the feeling these songs inspire. Under Your Spell is an emotional album full of haunting dynamics expressed in top form where the dance between organic and otherwordly sounds create a dense atmosphere that holds a forlorn treasure. There are enough hooks here to transport you into John Carpenters’ The Fog, the original.
Helping to define and shape the passages and the abstract feeling on Under Your Spell is an outstanding sound production. The synth sounds spread from saccharine to struggling and their expression is wondrous. When these voices intertwine with the natural and honest voice of Chibi it becomes more than music, it becomes its own dimension of love, heartbreak, honesty and death. The Birthday Massacres’ seventh album is a redeployment of all the parts which make them stand out and above the rest.