Soulcaster - Maelstrom Of Death And Steel

Soulcaster is a relatively unknown band from Belgium that only recently surfaced with their first EP, “Maelstrom Of Death And Steel". The EP is short and takes lots of thematic elements and ideas from the Stormight Archives book series by Brandon Sanderson. ‘Soulcaster’ is actually names of individuals in the series who have certain powers, so the band has quite a name to live up to.

The style is very much in a crossover between fantasy metal and classic old school heavy metal in the vein of groups from Judas Priest to The Lord Weird Slough Feg. It is very raw and very ‘live sounding', so tracks like ‘Truthless Of Shinovar’ or ‘The Wretch’ feature those catchy riffs that balance between rock and metal. Both the guitars and drums are pushed right in the front so not a beat is missed. Other tracks like ‘From Abamabar To Urithiru' have a bit more of a doomy epic pace that isn’t as upbeat but showcases a darker tone for the album.

The only big downside to Soulcaster’s EP is that vocals. They are not bad, just pushed too far back in the mix. While they add to the whole live feel of the album, the echoing singing is a little hard to understand at times and somewhat loses listeners on the story presented. Sometimes it sounds like one vocalist and other times two. Since this is based on a book, the lyrics are a big part of the music so hopefully on future work they’re pushed more to the front. On the quieter tracks they are a little more discernable such as ‘Heretic’s Apprentice’ but mostly lost on the first half of the album.

Still, for those who like fast paced classic sounding heavy metal with kind of a fantasy metal theme and upbeat sound that is sure to be an exciting live show to see, they will enjoy “Maelstrom Of Death And Steel". Hopefully one will hear more epic work from Soulcaster in the future on full length albums to see how the story continues.

2.5 / 5 


1. Truthless Of Shinovar
2. Shardbearer
3. The Wretch
4. The Heretic’s Apprentice
5. From Abamabar To Urithiru