“Guided By Evil Light”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Spirit Bell is a Hungarian band who pay homage to the traditional ways of metal. Press describes them as a heavy/doom metal band…I would say they are a traditional metal band that leans a little bit towards doom. Think of them as a cross between Mercyful Fate and Candlemass, but nowhere near the level of those two giants.

The band sounds clunky and hamfisted in spots but their earnest love of metal shines through. Vocals are on the squirelly side and the Hungarian accent is pretty outrageous as times (“I Am The Wengeance!” singer Pixi shouts at one point) but again, there’s something endearing about them. A nice surprise comes on their fine cover of Cirith Ungol’s “Doomed Planet”, when Pixi actually does a very good imitation of Tim Baker’s hoary tones. Not easy to pull off!

One nice thing about the album is that it is really HEAVY! Production is great and the guitar crunches heavily away while the bass has a ton of bottom end. That makes tunes like “The Desert Ghost” and”The Nameless Soldier” satisfying listening. The band usually plays at a solid mid pace or even an Iron Maiden gallop that gets the head banging.  Since “Genghis Khan” was already taken as the name of a metal instrumental, they give us “Ivan the Terrible” instead and do pretty well with it. Another “galloping” tune is “Horgonyt Fel!”, sung in the original Hungarian and sounding better because of it.

Not an earth- shattering record by any means, I still like these guys and recommend them to trad metal fans.