Female vocals, Melancholic, Technical
"From the troubadour of a folk metal, Anna Murphy has transformed herself into a vestal, guiding us through the nocturnal mysteries of an atmospheric and progressive world."
CHILDERIC THOR (07.05.2019)  
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In 2008, when "Slania" was published, who could have imagined that the one who provided both female singing and fiddle-wheel parts on this first offering of Eluveitie would later become a true artist, singer and complete musician with a strong personality and universe?  Few people certainly. Anna Murphy multiplied the adventures (at Nucleus Torn for example) before leaving in 2016 for reasons of musical differences. Lethe's trip-hop experiments, which associate him with Tor-Helge Skei (Manes) and the desire for emancipation, may also explain the resignation of a popular group. 

Embarking with her two of her former accomplices, guitarist Ivo Henzi and drummer Merlin Slutter, the young woman set up Cellar Darling the same year. "This Is The Sound" was created in 2017, followed two years later by "The Spell". Listening to her, we understand why the Swiss woman could not continue dancing the jig with Chrigel Glanzmann and we can especially appreciate how right she was to want to fly on her own. On the one hand, and notwithstanding these Celtic borrowings to which Anna remains attached, the score she weaves with Cellar Darling evolves light years from the death folk of her former home harbour, more adult and multidimensional. On the other hand, "The Spell" goes beyond the last Eluveitie, if, once again, the comparison between the two formations really makes sense. 

Because which genera can Cellar Darling be linked to? There are many of them. Atmospheric, progressive and folk metal bubble at the bottom of this pot with its mysterious aesthetic. From the first are extracted a female song twisted with emotion and a way of highlighting the melancholic and tripping atmospheres ('Love Pt II,','Hang' which could be sung by the old siren of The Gathering). In the second, the trio draws an evolutionary architecture ('Drown'). Finally, the third is embodied by the use of traditional instruments (flute, fiddle), but always combined with a heavy and electric base ('Pain','Insomnia'). 

The result is an extremely personal signature that can reach a wide audience - or close access to cold ears. Long and compact at 63 minutes, varied in its sound and emotional palette, "The Spell" impresses and seduces with its breathtaking success. Its superb setting reflects its image: twilight and enigmatic, torn between light and tragedy. Anna Murphy is the keystone, bewitching and skinned ('Freeze'). From the troubadour of a jumping folk metal, although dark, the beauty has turned into a vestal guiding us through the mysteries of a nocturnal and phantasmagorical world of which "Death", by summoning both Pain Of Salvation and King Crimson, is the most vertiginous envelope. Powerful, the menu soaks all along in an ocean of despair materialized by this expressive voice, alternating between feverish and combative. 

A work of great density, as fragile as it is vigorous, "The Spell" requires to be listened to many times in order to taste all the treasures nestled in its depths. Its great diversity, which at no time breaks its cohesion, could therefore disconcert but undoubtedly elevates it to the rank of masterpieces, a term that is certainly overused but so justified in describing this dark and colourful record that will be a landmark. 

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01. Pain
02. Death
03. Love
04. The Spell
05. Burn
06. Hang
07. Sleep
08. Insomnia
09. Freeze
10. Fall
11. Drown
12. Love Pt. Ii
13. Death Pt. Ii

Anna Murphy : Chant / Hurdy-gurdy
Ivo Henzi : Guitares / Basse
Merlin Sutter: Batterie
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