Maelstrom- It Was Predestined

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Sunday, April 5, 2009

While there seems to be over a dozen metal bands named Maelstrom that have existed over the years, New York’s Maelstrom originally formed in 1988 and released two demos before disbanding in the early 1990’s. Now, nearly twenty years after they originally formed the group’s lead vocalist decided to reform the band with new instrumentalists and record material that had been written back in 1988. Entitled It Was Predestined, this three song EP definitely showcases that Maelstrom not only had promise back in the 80’s but also showcases that should they stick around they still have promise now.

It Was Predestined certainly has some of the stylistic elements that many of the thrash and power metal bands around this time period had, but there are also elements of progressive rock present as well. It’s rather surprising that this material was written over twenty years ago, as there are melodic harmonies and transitions between styles that are fairly common place in this day and age that weren’t nearly as prevalent back then. There is always a lot going on throughout the course of this EP, but it never gets too overwhelming and listeners will be able to enjoy it whether they analyze every little bit and piece or not. And as the group decided to record this now, these songs have been given stellar production values and a true chance to shine.

Unfortunately, I’m not convinced that the vocals have fared quite as well. As I’m not familiar with how this band sounded back in the 80’s, I don’t know how vocalist Gary Vosganian sounded but on It Was Predestined his style is sure to be one that listeners either love or hate. His overall vocal style is a cross between thrash talking/screaming and higher pitched screaming/singing that is similar to many of the power metal vocalists out there. This mixing of styles isn’t necessarily bad, but Vosganian’s voice has a strange pitch to it that listeners may or may not be able to get into. Hopefully if Maelstrom does move forward as a band he will continue to hone his vocals and grab even more listeners.

Maelstrom certainly showcases promise, and listeners will find that the three songs on this EP deserved to get the treatment they’ve been given. The vocals could use a little bit of work, but the instrumentals are stellar and this group could definitely go places. I’d like to see them move forward from here and continue to write new material, as while the songs offered here are enjoyable there is still so much more ground that this band could cover. Hopefully Maelstrom will keep at it this time around, as with more music of this quality they could easily land a deal with a label in no time at all.

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