Spellcraft - Tears Like Rain
Melodic Death / Gothic Metal
5 songs (27'44)
Release year: 2002
Reviewed by Marty
We've had this particular promo kicking around for a while so I thought I'd give it a go. Spellcraft is a band from Italy that are trying to make a name for themselves in the growing Melodic Death Metal scene. They have had decent exposure in their home country and in Europe opening for bands like Morgana's Kiss and Novembre. For a self-financed demo, this is not bad. They play a melodic death style with some gothic textures, mainly with the vocal delivery style and sound a bit like older Paradise Lost with some similarities to Sentenced and Dark Tranquillity. The music is heavy, very heavy with a mix of tempos and very angry and passionate, but clean vocals.

The title track, Tears Like Rain gets things going with a very basic and electronic-like style of drumming. It doesn't take very long before the heavy and almost synthesized guitar blasts into the mix. This band really has captured a great guitar sound on this CD. The guitars are so over-driven that the chords just seem to explode from their amps. An angry vocal style is accompanied by some cool riffs. Their lead vocalist sounds a bit like a younger James Hetfield with a dash of King Diamond (the angry style not the high falsetto!!). The second track, This Feeling, features a more dramatic and pounding heavy sound with a touch of gothic influences. The emotion in the vocals really brings Dirk Thurisch Angel Dust to mind. Season Five is a more Sentenced style song and is more straight ahead and more accessible than most of the other tracks. It even has some cool speedy Thrash Metal interludes that spice things up a bit. After a mellow and almost jazzy(?) intro, Equilibrium rips into a heavy groove that is maintained through much of the song. The final track, Stolen Time is again, very much influenced by Sentenced and aside from being one of the few tracks to feature great double bass drumming, it's also very unique in it's use of weird and abstract atmospheric interludes throughout the song.

I really think this band could benefit from the services of a top-notch producer, someone who can take the vision that this band has for itself and help them to find their direction. They have a good sound and a decent delivery both musically and vocally, it's just that some of the tracks seem to wander aimlessly and really fail to provoke any sort of reaction from the listener. I hear lots of influences in their sound but there's also some originality there that creeps through on every track. With a proper production and more work on tightening up their arrangements, which could come if the band gets label support, I think they would have a quality product to offer.

Killing Songs :
none really but This Feeling and Season Five are decent songs
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