Spellcaster is a traditional heavy metal/speed metal band hailing from the United States. Though I heard their debut EP shortly after it came out, admittedly I lost track of the band shortly afterwards, until coming across their second record, “Spellcaster”. The album was initially supposed to be re-released on Stormspell Records, but instead was re-released by Germany’s Hellion Records. Now that you know how to get it, the question remains: is it worth buying. For all fans of this style of music, it’s a definite yes. There’s no doubt that Spellcaster’s songwriting skills have improved exponentially since their first EP. Each song is filled with many great hooks, complete with hard-hitting riffs, bouncy leads, and immensely catchy vocal melodies.
There is one problem with this record, however, and it is not easy to pinpoint. Put simply, it just doesn’t feel right. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that is not a very valid criticism, but what is frustrating about this album is that all of the elements are there; they just don’t come together perfectly. The most obvious reason for this is that Spellcaster’s singer is just not up for the task. He’s technically competent, but doesn’t really have a particularly interesting voice. This description is really a microcosm for the entire record. Although the band is not sonically different from their peers in Cauldron, White Wizzard, or Striker, they are just not as impactful.
As mentioned earlier, this is not a reason to avoid this record. In fact, if you dig speed metal, you probably can’t get enough of this style, and it’s fair to say that Spellcaster is still better than most of the bands in this style. They’re just missing that extra intangible quality to send them to the top. If the vocalist could come at these songs with a slightly different approach, there’s no doubt that this would be a top-tier release. In any case, it’s still an impressive effort, and one that shows considerable growth from the band’s beginnings.
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"Ghost of My Memory"
3.7/5 or 74%.
Written by Scott