It has been five years since their debut album ‘Mark of the Beast’, even longer since ‘The Beyond’ EP, and this Italian traditional heavy metal group have picked up exactly where they left off.  Laura’s vocals have not changed; the style has become a mix of fast and mid paced retaining a high pedigree of the vintage sound. I previously wrote about influences akin to Priest and Riot, the PR material leans to Warlock which I would agree with, not sure about Acid though, more Stallion and Hellion (US). But you kind of get the feel of where this album sits.

‘Class of 1999’ is cool, a sing along one, in fact all are. The track ‘Heavy Rocker’ is a touch more melodic and has me thinking of sitting in the 80’s listening to Ratt and LA Guns, maybe right or wrong, it has that feel for me. The instrumental ‘Terror at the Metropol’ is really damn good, it even inspires you to add lyrics, it’s a good piece of music and actually, probably the strongest in terms of the arrangement on the album. Once you have dragged yourself away reluctantly from the ‘Nightmare’, the ‘Headbangers’ completes the cycle and entices you to spin again. Since their debut there has been a lot of bands coming around with a similar style, when SOTJ first came out on the scene, they were more unique. I still think this is still a strong album, but there are many comparable albums around at the moment.

Overall ‘Breaking the Spell’ is enjoyable, there hasn’t been much development from their last outing, like or loathe that trait if you will, it’s a release that’s happy and fulfilling which is a good place to sit.

(7.5/10 Paul Maddison)