is an American Heavy Metal act hailing from Portland, USA, and their second
release after their 2010 whirlwind, “Spells of Speed”, comes after a barrage of
line- up changes, which saw vocalist Thomas Adams and drummer Shad Covert
depart, with lead guitarist Tyler Loney taking up vocal duties and enlisting of
guitarist Bryce R. VanHoosen and drummer Colin
The change in the line- up definitely
coincides with a marked change in the band’s approach towards, at the very least,
album covers. While the “Spells of Speed” cover was a pencil sketch containing
skulls and evil smiles and enough bad omens to render a soothsayer comatose, “Spellcaster”s
cover is relatively tamer, with five long- haired dudes (a.k.a – the band
members) hanging out within a burning circle.
Speaking for the music, it must be said
that given the deluge of Modern Metal chugging machines, it’s quite refreshing
to hear a band in this day and age give off the sound and energy that is the
trademark of many of the great classic metal and speed metal bands, but with
its own brand of stylistic influences.
The riffing in “Spellcaster” might come
off as a tad slower on the whole as compared to “Spells of Speed”, but still
carries huge merit. The way the power and speed is delivered, though, is a work
of art in itself. Many speed metal bands prefer to start with an explosion of
sound and flames and blurred fingers, and on that count, “Spellcaster” is the
model of restraint, politely letting you settle into the track before setting
The major tracks to look out for are
“Haunted” and “Clockwork”, both of which have some truly sublime guitar licks
and display a tendency of being at the right place at the right time; and the
into to “Voyage” is about as good as intros in this genre can get, which is
then followed by some of that quick riffing I talked about earlier. There is,
however, the matter of the vocals. While not bad, they do have a tendency to
wear on you after a couple of songs and sound a little flat at places.
Overall, “Spellcaster” is a decent record
released from an act that looks like it will go places, and a must listen if
you are an ardent fan of the 1970s/ 1980s metal scene.