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“It Was Predestined” by Maelstrom

Artist: Maelstrom
Title: “It Was Predestined”
Label: Perfect Storm Recordings
Release Date: 10/20/2008
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 3/5

Long Island’s own Maelstrom offer up their origin story as being formed in the fires of the eighties Thrash Metal scene and while this is the first that I have ever heard of them, I had to admit that the listener clearly gets a solid introduction to what they are all about with their EP CD “It Was Predestined”. It’s an interesting listen to some extent that takes the elements of Thrash and blends them seamlessly into more of a Technical and Melodic Power Metal type of band. There is break neck speed drumming courtesy of Daniel Kleffmann that thunders all around the album and makes this much more than a conventional Thrash Fest. The guitar work is extraordinary from Joey Lodes, who is apparently a Julliard lecturuer and Guitar Player columnist, and at every turn there is an intricate guitar lead break that shows dexterity and fluidity not unlike the stuff we find from guys like Michael Romeo of Symphony X bringing to the table. Clearly this is offering up a winner in terms of its musical composition and then we come to the vocals that are bringing these stories to life and that department finds Gary Vosganian stepping up to the plate. I will not lie and say that I was an inistant fan of his voice because I just wasn’t sure about what he was doing with it and in the end I would have to say that a band of this type does not usually have a singer of this type handling the duties. Instead of a high pitched screamer which material like this often necessitates, Vosganian is more of a growler, talker, and low pitched deliverer of the words that make up their tunes structure. He is very dramatic at this presentation as well and sometimes was a little over the top in my opinion, so my recommendation is that one listens to the EP a few times before casting stones against him because in the end he makes it work for the band. My hope is that his stage presentation is of equal dramatics and that we find him getting really “into it”, because it is at times like listening to some kind of Metal Opera taking place.
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