02 03 Metal Melancholy: ALBUM REVIEW: Spellcaster - “Spellcaster" 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

ALBUM REVIEW: Spellcaster - “Spellcaster"


SPELLCASTER 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 Vranizan.

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 off.

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. 


Reviewed By: Sanjeev Kalra

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