CD review CELLAR DARLING ‘The Spell’

(8/10) Cellar Darling, that’s Anna Murphy, Ivo Henzi and Merlin Sutter. Right after the three guys parted ways with Eluveitie they initiated there new band Cellar Darling, named after the 2013 debut of Anna Murphy.

Three years after having premiered with ‘This is the Sound’ it is the sophomore album ‘The Spell’ that picks it up right were the band left of with the debut. With an approach that doesn’t include ‘standing still’ the trio shifted their music to a next level. Building on the achievement of ‘This is the Sound’, Cellar Darling managed to create an even more intensive album.

The sound of this album is a logical continuation of what you know from the first album. Cellar Darling is again merging various genres, leading them to a sound that has an own identity. On the one hand it’s the folk influences that are still present on the new longplayer, but it’s also harsh metal riffs that stand next to soulful and fragile parts. Together with some progressive element Cellar Darling delights fans of well-crafted metal. This album has the potential to create excitement with fans of bands like Opeth as well as it reminds, based on the vocals, of Anneke van Giersbergen. These are just two out of many other bands I had to think of while enjoying this release.

What’s new this time is the fact of the album being built on a concept. Based on a first idea Murphy had during a hiking tour a whole storyline was put together overtime. ‘The Spell’ tells the story of a girls, born into a world of pain and damage, searching for the meaning of life in such a context. Last but not least she falls in love with death. The story, although being an abstract one, became a personal one for Murphy too and I think that this is one of the key factors for making this album to such an emotional journey.

Something unusual is the audiobook that carries the entire story too, read by no less than Murphy herself. This allows another deep dive into the storyline of ‘The Spell’.

‘The Spell’ is more than a metal record. It’s a release that’s build on a holistic approach with music, lyrics and artwork working together extremely well. Cellar Darling’s second album is a brave and bold next step that helps to establish the band on a broader level. Good work and good album.



  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

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Heavy Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: March 22nd, 2019



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