SPELLCASTER – Spellcaster
‘Spellcaster’ is the sophomore full-length release from this Portland-based classic-metal five-piece. To describe this band in terms of others isn’t really that useful, but I suppose Jag Panzer is the closest reference I can think of (which comparison obviously enough contains an element of praise).
The sound is this: clean vocals that soar without crossing over into power metal pomposity, dual guitars that lay down a solid background and create twin harmonies as needed and as much melody as the guys can pack in. The music doesn’t have a particular vibe – so no traces of fantasy/occultism/sci-fi escapism or whatever we normally expect with this genre. But that isn’t really a problem, because Spellcaster are all about the songs and they do a good job of drawing the listener in and carrying them through to a memorable refrain and well-thought out middle eight. The odd touch of speed here and there is extremely welcome and provides a needed contrast and dynamism.
Ok, so ‘Spellcaster’ isn’t set to change the landscape of classic metal, but it is an excellent fix for someone hungry for a decent new band and I look forward to seeing how their career progresses.