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With traditional metal becoming a force in the world again, many bands have come from the shadows to deliver their take on the genre that was put on the map in the 1980s. Some bands have “got it” and have made their mark, while others are trying to find their own niche. Canada’s Cauldron is one of those bands still searching.
The three-piece do a fine job of crafting songs, but most flutter around the mid-paced drubbings while keeping it low on up-tempo, fast riffing. The first three songs are virtually indistinguishable from each other. “All or Nothing” is a solid opener, but the next two don’t ratchet it up and move forward from that.
The best songs are “Rapid City/Unchained Assault” and “Breaking Through.” The former is fast and incredibly infectious and gives the feeling of driving through the city. The lead part at the end puts the icing on the cake as well. The latter is another breath of fresh air with the bombastic and machine gun riffing of Ian Chains and the aggressive approach to the vocals by Jason Decay.
Something that does separate Cauldron from other bands is the lyric approach to the songs. You are not going find fist-raising anthems or rockers about partying and living the metal life. Most tracks on here deal with dark love as in missing somebody or lamenting somebody’s loss. This is a good direction to take and adds to the mood of the songs. They even picked “I Confess” to cover from the rather unknown band Halloween to add to the theme.
Also on the plus side are Decay’s vocals. He does a good job capturing the high vocal registry, but also maintaining control with a mid-ranged delivery during the verses of songs. However, I am not particularly fond of the guitar tone on this album. Its clear sounding, but I wished it had more crunch to it and was just plain heavier.
In the end, Cauldron cooks a decent metal offering. If they mixed it up more and brought upon more memorable riffs and choruses then this would have been amongst my favorites of the new breed, but they are just not there. They have much potential and that is shown in songs like “Rapid City” and “Breaking Through.” They can definitely offer up something better in the future.