Spellcaster – Spells of Speed

Steeped with traditional/thrash/speed metal influences, Portland, Oregon’s SPELLCASTER proudly wear their old-school metal influences on their sleeves, as well as the bullet belts on their waists.

It’s a familiar sound, especially with the re-emergence of NWOTM with bands like ENFORCER, CAULDRON and STEELWING at the forefront. But SPELLCASTER has a rawer edge and more thrash influences than the aforementioned bands.

Signed by the excellent Heavy Artillery Records, who are notorious in signing bands of this nature and are doing their best to keep the spirit of this type of metal alive. Spells of Speed is the first entry in the label’s new “Wax Maniax Vinyl Demo Series,” with a limited 200 hand numbered copies. The EP consists of three studio and two live tracks.

Opening with “Chainsaw Champion,” the band pounds away with a blistering riff and some early old-school sounding vocals. This is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. Be it from a signed or unsigned band. It’s just so crushing and catchy. Singer Thomas Adams can wail at times, reminding me of King Diamond, Eric Adams and Steve Grimmitt. Their JUDAS PRIEST worship is front and center on “Locked Down,” coming off as a “Hellion/Electric Eye” homage at first. Some early MAIDEN-era galloping is present as well.

The live tracks are a little muffled and muddy sounding, but it captures their raw brutality.

There’s so many great old-school metal influences that pop up here and there. If you remember and loved bands like POWERMAD, LEIGE LORD, GRIM REAPER and the old Metal Massacre compilation records, then you’ll love SPELLCASTER.

Their debut full-length is promised to be released in early 2011 and it should absolutely slay. They have the talent and drive to push their careers further. Their future is looking brighter by the day.

By Kelley Simms

Go to SMNnews

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