Quite the gloomy record, Black Heart Procession’s “The Spell” outdoes the band’s previous releases as it exceeds all possible expectations of darkness and desolation. Opening with a warning that poses as a goth-like piano prologue, the record kicks into the title track, a shadowy mid-rocker with haunting vocal harmonies and a guitar groove that leads to a powerful, but downtrodden, chorus. “Not Just Words” brings back the piano but also introduces welcomed major chords, a more upbeat pop offering with strings and acoustic guitars. Pall Jenkins’ vocals still strain and reach barely over the band’s instruments, but with lasting effect charge ahead and demand attention, a sort of confidence that sometimes just isn’t there during these kind of affairs. Ultimately, you wish “The Spell” would kick in with an all-out rock ‘n’ roll song, something to change the tempo and overwhelming grief, but it doesn’t happen. Live, this will be either totally mesmerizing or totally draining. Maybe both. Note that the show’s recently been moved to Double Door. (Tom Lynch)
August 6 at Double Door.