"Burning Fortune" (Earache; 2011)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Canadian trio Cauldron continue to ride the metal preservation route, as this band wired with authentic classic metal circuitry demonstrates their vintage ways on their latest nine-track affair "Burning Fortune."

Boasting basic yet effective songwriting efficiency resonating with the spirit of heavy metal from the early to mid '80s, Cauldron lays down a melodically driven vintage sound that teeters somewhere in between a Sunset Strip hair metal band (with choruses as big as their hair) and a down and dirty proto-metal troupe with bursts of snarling aggression.

Exuding a pronounced sense of simplicity that blissfully captures sentiments from the era they aim to recreate, Cauldron supplies a bounty of nostalgic time machine trips on this disc that at times go heavy on the cheese yet rarely wane from following the old school heavy metal playbook.

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"Chained to the Nite" (Earache; 2009)

Reviewed by Spudbeast

Thirty seconds into the first song on Cauldron's debut, "Chained to the Nite" I had to double-check the release date. No way this could have been released in 2009! I thought archeologists must have discovered the record in the tape deck of a fossilized 1985 Pontiac Trans Am.  But this Canadian trio, who formed  from the ashes of the mighty Goat Horn, do an excellent rendition of the 80s metal vibe, channeling early Dokken, "Headhunter"-era Krokus and a nice shade of Mercyful Fate all supported by heavier and thrashier guitar riffs.

The CD opens with "Young and Hungry," a mid-paced, riff-heavy anthem that showcases the band's intention to throwback to the heyday of heavy metal, with clean and high vocals by Jason Decay. There's a certain something haunting about his voice, which is comparable to Alice Cooper's. "Conjure the Mass" increases the tempo, and is quite reminiscent of Goat Horn's  doom-thrash style. "Chained Up in Chains" opens with a nice clean intro, then explodes with an epic, Rhodes-esque riff, with great structure and body, a perfect example of the talent behind this band. With a slow build-up and more clean guitars, "The Leaven" builds into a doom opus; at over six minutes long, this is the lengthiest song on the album, and that allows for some nice solo work by guitarist Ian Chains.

Melodic Thrasher "Dreams Die Young"  ups the BPMs, a nice changeup from the previous song. The fastest song on the album, "Dreams Die Young," is also one of the best. "Bound to the Stake"  -- the most Mercyful Fate-influenced song -- has an awesome chorus you'll be singing along to. The next song, "Witch Trail," has riffs that could be off the first Iron Maiden album. Heavy as hell, "Midnite Hour" gallops like steel horse, and should get your head banging. Closing up the album, is "Chains Around Heaven" a more upbeat song that again shows the heavy 80s influence.

Cauldron pays tribute to the glory days of metal, without parodying it. A very tight album, one of the best so far of 2009! I expect more great things from Cauldron, and hope they don't share the same fate as Goat Horn.

"Chained to the Nite" is a must for any metalhead who wants to relive the days when metal was king.

Cauldron: Jason Decay - Untuned Vocals & Sharp Bass Instruments; Ian Chains - Burning Metal Axe Crosses; Steel Rider - Snaked Skins.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2011 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:11 -0500.