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Burning Fortune is the second full-length Cauldron release. Cauldron are at the forefront of this resurgence of traditional heavy metal that's going on right now, despite being somewhat new to the scene. After putting out an admittedly somewhat-weak debut album Chained to the Night, it seems like the band is really coming into their own on this release. Jason Decay's vocals sound far tighter here than on their debut album, which still had a lot of traces of Goat Horn in their sound, which I didn't really like to be honest. Don't get me wrong, I like Goat Horn, but I think that this (Burning Fortune) is how Cauldron are supposed to sound. There's still a bit of the Goat Horn sound present, but I don't think it's anywhere near as prevalent as on their debut, which, to me, is a good thing.
The album opens with the very catchy yet fairly simple track All or Nothing, which I believe to be one of their best songs so far. It sets the bar a little too high for Miss You to Death and Frozen in Fire, but the songs are still pretty solid on their own. Tears Have Come is, in my opinion, a stand-out track, bringing out the same stalker-ish lyrics of Miss You to Death with just enough of catchiness thrown into the formula to make it a good listen. Next up is I Confess, a cover tune by a band that I can just about guarantee that most of the people who pick up this album have never heard of before - Halloween. It's not an amazing cover on it's own, but it's still a pretty cool track. Rapid City/Unchained Assault is the next song up. This is easily one of the best songs that Cauldron have ever wrote; it's ridiculously catchy, totally heavy, and is a nice change of pace from the more mid-paced tunes that preceded it. After that, it's Queen of Fire, which is an alright track. Next up is Breaking Through, a pretty Goat Horn-y (hehehe, horny)/earlier-Cauldron-ish (say, the Into the Cauldron EP) tune that I actually really love, despite what you read at the beginning of the review. If you have the standard version of the album, then it ends on a solid note with Taken By Desire. If you have the extended version of the album, then congratulations, because you have another track - Serpent Sorceress (the Fermenting Enchantress' hotter sister), an equally solid tune.
In conclusion, this album is just as the title of this review would imply - solid. There's not much else to say. I think this album is easily better than Chained to the Night, which was an ok in it's own right. This album more accurately portrays the whole 80's heavy metal sound the band are successfully reviving than it's predecessor, which I really dig. To be honest, this album took me a few listens before I started to really get into it, as was the case with Chained to the Night. I think the solidity of this album warrants your purchase of it, as I would recommend. If you're a fan of the heavy metal of olde, or any of the other bands riding this wave of traditional heavy metal success like Ram or Enforcer, than I think you should pick this up and give it a few good listens. Not necessarily a must-have release, but it's definitely starting out 2011 on a good note.