Formed in the late 80’sLong Island’s Maelstrom has had quite a journey to get to this point of “It Was Predestined”. They have always been a blend of styles and to this day have remained as such. Although only an EP, this is quite an interesting offering. There is no template or cookie cutter approach here. There is no envelope or boundary with this one. They simply pull from the likes of melodic, operatic, thrash, and others to create their rather unique sound.
The bass and guitar work is handled by the renowned Joey Lodes. The elements he incorporates are truly unique, classic overtones, fast and furious, bluesy, melodic mainstream riifs are all in his arsenal. These are blended in such a fashion and style that would make the likes of Eric Johnson sit up and take notice. Daniel Kleffmann takes percussion duties and adds his creative style of play in lock step with Lodes.
Fast and rupturing one minute, mid paced the next all the while never missing a beat. For all I know this guy rolls his sticks at every other beat. Gary Vosganian takes vocal duty and takes an interesting approach to those tasks as well. Almost at a black metal growl but not quite, not really a thrash approach but somewhere in between. It may seem out of place on the more melodic parts but with the load of talent this delivery just seems to work well. It allows Vosganian to add extra emotional layers that may not be afforded to him had he stuck with a more expected melodic delivery. At times he is almost theatrical in his delivery.
Given all this its nearly impossible to describe the music in any coherent fashion. It lays somewhere between Dimmu Borgir, Iron Maiden, and Warbringer. They really may have put themselves in their own genre. This seems like an odd combination but it really works. How many thought what the heck is Sleep doing putting out a 55 minute song and that just works.
It is an enjoyable listen, something new and impressive around every corner. Its one of those releases that grabs you slowly and pulls you in, by the second pass through it has grown nice strong roots. It’s rather like reading a Stephen King novel, every pass through brings one or two nuggets that you never know existed. That is, the Maelstrom is, every new listen brings a little note or beat that you never noticed before. Can you really ask more from music, than to bring a new a refreshed experience every time. Maelstrom delivers albeit in a short EP format but nonetheless they deliver! Well done!