You often catch that look. A band is on stage and all the members glance at each other with that “I’m feeling it” expression. The band is in the pocket, they have gelled and have become one cohesive unit and reach a sort of runners high for musician. This is exactly what happened to Portland’s heavy metal band, SPELLCASTER, going into their third (and Prosthetic Records debut) full length album, Night Hides The World.
Though it wasn’t on the stage where this happened, it was in the rehearsal room. Founding member and bass player Gabe Franco elaborates, “We have formed a hive mind together, which I assume will happen to any musicians who manage to play together 3 to 4 times a week for years on end.”
A team is always stronger than the individual. When synergy is reached, the group becomes unstoppable and output is at its highest, greatest and most effective. SPELLCASTER achieved this, allowing each individual to hit his peak performance which benefited the whole. Franco explains, “during our first 2 albums we were pretty selective – others might say nit-picky, about what riffs/lyrics we would use and how we wanted to sound, with this album I think we all collectively realized we are competent musicians and learned to trust each other more”
That trust gave way to 8 powerful, classic metal tunes. Biting sharp riffs from the twin guitar attack of shredders Cory Boyd and Bryce VanHoosen blend seamlessly with the rock-solid backbone of Franco and drummer Colin Vranizan. Tyler Loner adds soaring vocals on top of massive choruses to create the ultimate SPELLCASTER album.
Formed in 2009, the band’s debut EP, Spells of Speed, was self-released but later reissued by Heavy Artillery Records in 2010. The band toured the US with Evil Survives in support of the reissue, before returning to the studio to work on their debut full length. In the summer of 2011, Under The Spell came out to much acclaim, comparing the band to fellow Pacific NW metallers, Sanctuary and Metal Church.
Following this release, the band hit the road again, touring up and down the West Coast and all throughout the US. It was after this that band member changes and Heavy Artillery being sold resulting in them label-less painted a bleak picture for the band. Whereas other bands may have thrown in the towel, SPELLCASTER came out swinging harder than ever. New members were added and some roles were changed, then the band hit the road again, while writing for their second album. The self-titled, self-released, Joel Grind produced album garnered the most buzz the band ever had. They toured all throughout North America as well as headed overseas playing through Germany, The Netherlands and at the Headbanger’s Open Air festival. Many labels took notice and ultimately, the band signed with Prosthetic Record and began work on their third LP.
The recording for Night Hides The World was held in Oakland, CA and Portland, OR with Zack Ohren (All Shall Perish, Exmortus) handling production and mixing duties. The visceral achievement SPELLCASTER reached has created their fines release to date. Whereas previous releases were often compared to bands that have come before them, Night Hides The World sees the band standing on its own feet. They wear their influences on their ripped off battle vest sleeves of course, but the unit created has given rise to a modern, mature take on the classic genre of heavy metal.
Tyler Loney – Vocals
Cory Boyd – Guitar
Bryce R. VanHoosen – Guitar
Gabe Franco – Bass
Colin Vranizan – Drums
Spells of Speed (EP) 2009
Under the Spell 2011
Night Hides the World 2016