CD REVIEW: BELTANE FIRE – Spellbound
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
If you have a penchant for something a bit different, Beltane Fire’s long-awaited debut album may have the uniqueness that you hunger for.
Constructed lovingly by vocalist Soda Lee and drummer Leroy Cleaver – life-partners and soulmates, and both long-term features of the Perth, Western Australian music scene – Spellbound explores themes of love, light, Pagan mysticism and earth magic.
Lee is a woman who just bursts with passion – for music, for Leroy, for life and for good – and that comes across in her individual vocal style, with a breathy yelp like an adolescent wolf. It’s a miracle that she is singing at all, as she lost her vocal range completely for over a decade due to a rare condition. The listener can hear her pour her heart and soul into every song on Spellbound.
Musically Beltane Fire deliver an exciting and vibrant shade of bluesy hard rock, with an occasional sharp metal edge, featuring blistering guitars from the likes of Tony McCuskey, Michael Vdelli (Vdelli) and Jamie Page (Trilogy, Black Steel) ensuring each song sounds electric, while Cleaver and bassist Leigh Miller’s rhythm tracks throb relentlessly.
Club Voodoo, Bring On The Knife and Wolfman all delve into the gothic horror genre, while White Spirit High, Priestess, Forever and Lady Of Avalon see Lee exploring her pagan beliefs.
Spellbound is a collection of excellent songs, which has sprung from the well of belief this couple share. They’re not trying to change anyone’s thinking or preach at the listener, just rock out with their friends – and what they’ve created is a remarkable piece of work that deserves to be heard far & wide.
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