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Review: Maelstrom - It Was Predestined
It Was Predestined

Label: Perfect Storm Recordings
Year released: 2008
Duration: 18:45
Tracks: 3
Genre: Power/Thrash

Rating: 3.25/5

Review online: November 20, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
It Was Predestined


I read somewhere that the material on this EP was written back in 1988, but not recorded until now.  Maelstrom are one of those bands that showed up a bit late and vanished when grunge took over, back when the forces of suck took music over.  This may be "old" material, but it really doesn't sound like it - and not just for a production point of view, so my guess is that they must have re-worked this a little bit to make it sound less "dated"(?)  Either way, this is interesting but does not necessarily warrant the praise I've read about it.  It Was Predestined is a mix of Heavy/Power Metal and Thrash, never really settling one way or another, so woven are the genres in the compositions.  It's a little upbeat at times, but there's a predominantly dark atmosphere that surrounds all three songs, a lot of it brought forward by the somewhat harsh (but clean) and aggressive vocals.  Exception to this is in opener "Arise" when female vocals kick in chanting "Ariiiise!  Ariiiiise!"  A "what the fuck" moment if I ever had one.  This clashes with the rest to the point of making my teeth hurt.  It's a short passage but it sticks out like a sore thumb... On "A Futile Crusage" female vocals can also be heard, but in a more King Diamond-ish kind of way, but at least there it fits with the song.

Moving on... The songs are pretty intricate at times, and after some 20-25 listens I'm still hearing tidbits that I hadn't really noticed before, so despite the short length there's enough to keep you busy in here, if you're so inclined. Slow, dark, kind of haunted-sounding passages are just in the right places, epic-sounding, more or less medieval passages add a little bit of an upbeat feel to otherwise dark music, and they do kick it up a few notches with a few speedsters as well - although I wish they'd left the double bass out in a couple of places, it just doesn't fit.  The band has an interesting approach to the genre, or I should say "mix of genres", so even though I don't find the EP all that appealing from an entertainment point of view, it is an interesting listen for the technical aspect.  Will this be enough for Maelstrom to get noticed?  We may have to wait if they can deliver the goods on a full-length first.

Other related information on the site
Review: It Was Predestined (reviewed by MetalMike)
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