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Cauldron - Burning Fortune - 70%

ThrashManiacAYD, February 26th, 2011

It comes as accepted that when any scene flourishes it is always to the cost of bandwagon jumpers attempting to justify their inclusion with sub-par, contrived music. No doubt heavy metal and it's recent revival could tell of a number appearing with nothing to say and no great knowledge of the genre, however this is an argument that could not be levied at Canadians Cauldron. Their sound both on debut LP "Chained To The Nite" and now on "Burning Fortune" is distinct, confident and metal to the bone - Cauldron don't attempt to be the fastest or heaviest for they know they are metal, and frankly, I'm more than happy with that. Earache labelmates Enforcer have rightly assumed the mantle of leaders of today's heavy metal pack but like them, Cauldron have a unique sound and the feel of a distinct purpose about their music.

With an analogue production job that to my ears sounds both intrinsically 80's in nature (especially the vocals of Jason Decay) yet with some of the heavier post-2000s about it, songs like "Miss You To Death" and "I Confess" rest at the softer, melodic end of the hallowed NWoBHM sound and feel, while it takes faster tracks like "Rapid City/Unchained Assault" to push Cauldron closer to the Diamond Head's and Saxon's of their sound range. Think mid-80s Ozzy teaming with Angel Witch and you wouldn't be too far out. The natural benefit of this analogue production over today's compressed, polished, Pro-Tools sound is that a band's true abilities are exposed for all to see - yes, it might not be a total benefit in Cauldron's case as Decay's voice and the overall song constructions lack the strength of Enforcer (as a case in point) but their willingness to take this route is commendable and one of a band with no false delusions. If only more would follow suiteā€¦

At 9 songs long and only 38 minutes "Burning Fortune" does not exceed it's welcome and leaves with the impression of a capable band happy to play the music they love, but one who still haven't yet exploited their full potential. The tunes might be catchy and ready for the live show but with too many still resting comfortably in the 'decent' zone it will take a few more in the 'great' category to push Cauldron's mark on upwards into the heavens of heavy metal, the place where their passion deserves to reside.

Originally written for www.Rockfreaks.net