Maelstrom of Death and Steel
CD and 12” vinyl
A brand-new entity hailing from Belgium, the sword-swinging brigands of SOULCASTER shall make their mark across the metal underground with their five-song Maelstrom of Death and Steel. In a swift-but-satisfying 22 minutes, SOULCASTER erect towers of fantastical heavy metal might, evincing a stout grasp of epic-yet-punchy songwriting and a whole host of unique contrasts which render this recording advanced beyond the band’s young years. Raw yet refined, atmospheric yet aggressive, moody yet majestic, SOULCASTER bring to life both bloodshed and arcane intrigue, swords and sorcery.
Not for nothing is the record titled Maelstrom of Death and Steel: the name embodies the ongoing turmoil in Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson, the book series that lends the band its moniker and forms the setting for the entire EP.
Initially, the concept behind SOULCASTER was to recast forebears of the epic metal tradition – Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road, Slough Feg, and early Blind Guardian – and their literary antecedents (Tolkien, Moorcock, Robert E. Howard) and do a modern interpretation of it: thus, newer fantasy as the inspiration, and also more contemporary classicist heavy metal like Eternal Champion, Sumerlands, and Visigoth. But, what results across Maelstrom of Death and Steel is entirely SOULCASTER’s, as the band’s blend of musical influences both metal and otherwise makes the record a rich ‘n’ sumptuous feast of fantasy and fanaticism. Of especial note is the rhythmic thrust they employ, galloping like steeds of the apocalypse or at least in a manner more post-punk than other epic metal battalions – truly, sounds of the battlefield here – which are all the more heightened by the big and booming and somehow distant production style, lending even more mystery to SOULCASTER’s ruminations on steel & spell.
Unselfconsciously unique whilst honoring heavy metal’s iron-clad customs, SOULCASTER thrust you into a Maelstrom of Death and Steel!