Soulcaster - Maelstrom of Death and Steel
Dying Victims Productions
Heavy metal
5 songs (21' 19")
Available: August 28th, 2020
Reviewed by Andy

It may be a side effect of increasing age, but I find myself enjoying traditional heavy metal more and more these days: Clean deep-voiced singing, fast but doomy riffing, sword and sorcery lyrics. Or perhaps it's because so many great new bands are taking up the banner as their influences age. In America we've been getting strong new contenders like Sumerlands and Visigoth; across the Atlantic, projects have started popping up in response with their own take on the sound. Which brings me to new Belgian outfit Soulcaster, which will release its first EP at the end of August. Influenced by the resurgent American heavy metal scene, they provide a short but unique offering of their own in the form of Maelstrom of Death and Steel.

The weird production may take some getting used to. The vocals are way back behind the guitars and drums, as if sung from a mile away, and the bass is pretty far down in the mix too; the guitars take virtually all the space in front. The tracks, each cut down to 4-5 minutes, cram in fluttering solo riffs jumping all over a driving rhythm guitar. Even the tracks with slower rhythms give a sense of density.

Within the small space the band allocates for itself, you can get some pretty good tunes. Truthless of Shinovar and The Wretch are two of my favorites, both quick-stepping pieces with a deep-voiced delivery, but From Abamabar to Urithiru is also worthy of note. It seems clear that Soulcaster's just starting to get their sound worked out, but this little EP is a very promising start.

Bandcamp: https://soulcaster.bandcamp.com/releases.

Killing Songs :
Truthless of Shinovar, The Wretch
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