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The Black Heart Procession

The Spell



Four years after the Black Heart Procession strayed off-course with the Latin-infused flop Amore del Tropico, the group is drifting in a sea of familiar melancholy on The Spell. "Tangled" opens with minor-key piano drama that tussles like the tides, cresting in songs like "The Letter" and "Places." Pall Jenkins' lonesome moans over Tobias Nathaniel's swelling bass and piano make a conscious return to the group's haunting, earlier recordings. But rather than rekindling old glories, these songs are cut with a stark rock edge protruding mostly from the pounding of ex-Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer. "Not Just Words" is a captivating stab at applying BHP's gloom to straight-forward songwriting. "The Waiter #5" is a droning episode of a song cycle that brings BHP full-circle, back to the murky sound that made the group interesting in the first place. 4 stars

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