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O Canada, such great metal comes from thee. For me, Anvil has always been the best metal band that Canada had to offer, but as of lately I am beginning to have doubts. I first heard of Cauldron around 2009 or 2010 when someone mentioned these guys and said they are one of the best bands out of the whole revival movement. Now at first I was a bit hesitant to give these guys a listen, but after a while I decided to go on YouTube and search these dudes up. The first thing that came up was their single "Chained Up In Chains", which on my first listen I did not like at all. I though to myself, "Why on earth do people considered these guys an awesome band? I can't see anything great about these guys." However, there was something about that song that made me come back to it many times, and after awhile the song grew on me and I couldn't stop listening to it. After that I decided to buy the full album and experience Cauldron to the fullest.
Now I won't go into a long review that details every song because each one of them pretty is consistent and you will not be bored when listening to them. This album consists of down right fast, aggressive songs such as "Dreams Die Young", "Chained Up In Chains", and slower songs such as "Young and Hungry", and "Bound to the Stake." My favorite song off the album is the 6 minute epic "Fermenting Enchantress", (I completely have no idea what it talks about), which starts out slow with a stunning riff that picks up speed, and then continues with more stunning riffs and lyrics. When speaking of the instruments, the band is somewhat limited. I know everything is done separately, but the band member who sings has to limit both his playing and vocal duties if they would ever want to succeed live. Nonetheless, Jason still does a fantastic job singing and laying down those bass lines. Ian does some top notch guitar work (especially the solos), and although Steel Rider doesn't do anything extraordinary with the drums, he does not fall behind.
I want to conclude this review by saying that while Cauldron may not have the best vocalist out there, they overall have the better songs. I have enjoyed this album from start to finish, and although it took longer for it to grow on me, it has become one of my favorite albums. I have had this for quite a few months now and I still keep on coming back to it. It is safe to say that Cauldron, along with Enforcer, are the top dogs of the entire revival movement.
Cauldron, a traditional heavy metal formed out of the ashes of Goat Horn by running force Jason Decay. Goat Horn had a lot of doom metal elements compared to this album, which kind of surprised me at first, but I got use to it. But anyways, on with it, this is no Goat Horn review! Here we are with Cauldron's debut full-length "Chained to the Nite". As you could probably tell by the album title and song titles, Cauldron REALLY like chains! Chained to the Nite - Chained up in Chains - Chains Around Heaven (cover) and even the guitarist himself "Ian Chains"!
Cauldron are a bit more unique than some of these other new wave of traditional metal bands around like White Wizzard or Holy Grail and I always thought it was because of the vocals. Jason's vocals are highly unique and different! They took me awhile to fully get into but once I did, damn! they're awesome. Somewhat comparable to Dave Allison (ex-Anvil) when he sung on some songs in Anvil! "Stop Me" for example. The vocals show a lot of emotion too, especially in "Chained up in Chains". The whole "HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME" part may be highly cheesy but you can tell he tried his hardest to get the full feel on the vocals there. I couldn't say anything more about the vocals really, but they're very unique and I will enjoy hearing more of them in the near future!
Now, we might as well move onto the bass. The bass is fantastic, it's 100% audible, which I love! Unlike a lot of new bands who complete forget about the bass and keep it low in the mix! Fuck that! Jason's bass tone is amazing as well, it's really fat and chunky, the way a bass is supposed to sound in my honest opinion. The bass lines are very above average as well! Especially the bass line in "Chained up in Chains". It's fucking heavy, dirty, chunky and mean. It's got that Smoke on the Water feel, fucking huge! The other bass lines in the album are awesome too but don't exactly stand out just as much as it does in that song! To sum it up the bass is overall above average. Jason is definitely one of the most talented new musicians in heavy metal music.
Now, the drums. The drums are actually REALLY GOOD! There is a lot of cool double bass, especially on the outro of "Chained up in Chains" which I personally thought worked really well and suited the riff very good. Aside from the double bass, you just have your regular, average drumming with some really cool twists here and there. Though, I must admit I think it was best for Cauldron to bring in Chris Stephenson, he's fucking awesome! Especially some of his drumming in Aggressor, he will do only good things for the band! Overall, average drumming with really good double bass and a few really cool beats here and there.
Now...my personal favorite, being a guitarist myself... THE GUITAR! THE RIFFS! YEAH! The riffs on this album are your usual traditional heavy metal riffs. Melodic, fast, slick and sweet. Also, there is a lot of thrashy moments with the guitar, mainly in "Conjure the Mass". Which is definitely one of the greatest songs on this album! There is also a really cool chorus effect on "Chained up in Chains" too that fits the guitar line perfectly, it always grabs me by the heart and stabs me multiple times, so melodic and awesome! The guitar tone is really awesome too may I add, really crunchy and heavy, just how I like it! Ian Chains is a really good guitar player, his style fits the band perfectly. To sum this one up, the riffs are probably my favorite part about this album! Really simple and melodic yet so fun and enjoyable! Now, the solos! The solos are just as good! It's not just random shredding with no emotion / soul, it's got a lot of emotion and you can tell that he tries to make amazing solos, some of my favorite solos in this album right here.
There isn't really much I could say about the production to be quite honest, it's crystal clear! With some bands crystal clear production could ruin the album, but it makes this album just that much better! Nothing bad about, nothing outstanding about it. I'm sure it wouldn't bother anyone, very accessible.
At this point, you're probably wondering "Why did he give it a 85 if he only said good things about it?" Well, that's where i'm at now. The songwriting, the lyrics are what kind of brings this album down a bit. I think the rhyming more than twice in a row over and over again got boring after a while. Especially in....yep! You guessed it! Chained up in Chains! I have said nothing but good things about this song, but here's where the bad comes in... as I said the repeat more than twice over and over again got really repetitive. Don't understand what I mean? Here:
"Chained up in chains under the moonlight
I’m trying hard to make it alright
She’ll never make it out here all night
No other, blinded by her sight
I wish you’d stay here in the moonlight
You’d make me feel like it is alright
Forever with me here in the night
To always have you here in my site"
It works well, but it always has and always will get on my nerves a bit. Eh, only one bad thing about it though!
Well, to finish off my review, I will just say that this album is really amazing and I recommend any Angel Witch, Iron Maiden, Anvil or some of the newer bands like White Wizzard, Holy Grail or Enforcer fans to check this album out! It's a real treat! Full of fun riffs, solos, awesome bass lines, cool drums and very unique vocals!
Chained up in Chains
Conjure the Mass
Dreams die Young
Young and Hungry
Bound to the Stake
When listening to an album, you can look at the album in two different ways: a collection of distinct musical pieces OR one musical piece split up into bits; you either focus on the album as a whole, or on the songs. If you look at this album as a collection of songs, you'd probably be inclined to rate it quite lowly, since the songs are indistinct, follow a basic formula and generally don't vary much. But if you look at it in a "whole album" perspective, it's a pretty good record!
The entire album has a flowing and whole quality to it -- the vocals have little range and are intoxicating in a monotonous way, the constantly pounding secondary instruments and the endless sharp guitar tone producing half-stoner half-thrash riffs puts you in a strange trance. After a few songs, you reach a crossroads in your experience wherein you might a) get really fucking and realize you have a headache or b) nod off to sleep. Now, am I saying that this is a bad album? Not at all, it's just special and unique, and I mean that in the least sarcastic way possible.
The music itself is definitely something you wouldn't mind flowing for a long time. Vocals are high-pitched (and stay high-pitched the whole damn time!), but lack punch of any kind most of the time -- there's no range, no real effort or force, which is a huge pity, because the instrumentation on the album is a thousand times better than the weak effort of the vocals. The riffs are (like I said earlier) half-thrash half-stoner riffs, a bit like newer High On Fire, which gives a nice speed/heavy metal quality to the music. The guitars have an interesting sound too (thanks to the great production): it's as if they were recorded very sharply with high treble, but then someone put a large damper over it. Like an extremely sharp knife that someone then put a blanket over -- it's still sharp, but it doesn't hurt as bad. As for bass, I just couldn't hear it. But I'm assuming that it was played majestically with lots of effort, since Jason Decay put almost zero effort into the vocals.
All in all, this is a good slab of speed stoner metal, if you enjoy flowing music about witches & bitches that sounds like it would be great to get wasted to. I hope these guys get a full-time singer who can sing or Jason tightens his act up a shitload, because the only thing that really detracts from this album is the monotony, which can easily be broken by a stronger and mightier singer. Highlights include "Chained Up In Chains", "Dreams Die Young", "Young and Hungry" and if you have the limited edition with bonus tracks "The Striker Strikes".
Cauldron are a new band, already considered at the fore front of the NWOTHM (New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal) that's kicking up some dust in the underground. It's pretty obvious that the band draw the majority of their influence from NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal Band) bands like Angel Witch, Grim Reaper, and Iron Maiden, as well as Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and bands of that nature. Knowing that, and being a fan of both the NWOBHM and NWOTHM, I was excited to buy this album. But after listening to this album, I was more than a bit disappointed.
One thing that bugged me about this album was the way they spelled night in the title, but that really doesn't matter at all. I never really heard the "goofy" lyrics the albums songs were supposedly loaded with, but that's probably because I couldn't really get into these songs enough to actually pay attention to whatever Jason Decay (the vocalist) is saying/talking about. The rules for reviewing albums on Metal Archives say you're supposed to talk more about the songs themselves, not just the whole album in general, but if I did, I'd be repeating myself - this album's just bland.
There's a heavy Black Sabbath influence to the bands sound itself (probably being that most of the members were once in the doom metal band Goat Horn), but it really comes across as boring. Decay's vocals don't really give the band much more personality, either. His voice just doesn't click with the music at all. Imagine Taylor Swift fronting The Sword - it just doesn't work. His voice itself sounds reminiscent of Kevin Heybourne (Angel Witch), but whinier with the range of Ozzy Osbourne (virtually nonexistent). The songs all seem to run together, and the album itself just doesn't seem to show any razzle-dazzle.
In conclusion, Chained to the Nite isn't anything new. And it's not a "It's nothing new, but this still sounds cool and unique to some measure" kind of nothing-new attitude the majority of bands associated with this movement seem to have. The song Chained Up in Chains is worth a listen or two, but none more than any other NWOBHM obscurity you might find clicking around Youtube or a blog site or some other musical outlet. I think Cauldron are shaping up to be a real love-em'-or-hate-band, seeing the mixed reviews they seem to be getting. I'll be leaning more towards the hate-em' side of the debate, at least until they record and release some new and hopefully better material.
Before listening to any of the tracks from this album, I was told that this band was many things. They sounded like "iron Maiden and Iced Earth with a hint of Rainbow", "like the guys from Saxon had intercourse with the guys from Angel Witch while the dudes from HammerFall watched". And I was a huge fan of lead singer Jason Decay's previous band, Goat Horn, who I really believed were headed for international fame and recognition. I was quite excited to review this album. But upon listening to the first track, my enthusiasm turned into confusion. I was confused that this band was going to "revolutionize the spirit of traditional heavy metal", I was confused that this was coming from the same guy who fronted one of the greatest Canadian metal bands of all time, and overall, I was confused about how a fairly goofy band has received worldwide attention.
Now, I'm not saying Cauldron are a bad band. I really do love the riffs and the melodies of the songs. I think in terms of riff writing, they really can be compared to their idols. Their image is also awesome, and they put on a hell of a good live show.
I'm just saying that what they're doing is nothing new. I mean, sure the songs are catchy and fun, but if I wanted catchy and fun, I'd reach for "Lightning To The Nations" or "Mob Rules". It's a far stretch to say that this is a bad thing, but honestly, when I heard about how good they were, I was expecting them to have a hint of originality and flair to their sound.
The vocals are pretty bland. Decay was never a great vocalist, even in Goat Horn, but atleast they went with the music. In Cauldron, he just seems like he's trying too hard, and it doesn't seem to work. He's obviously not trying to be the next Halford.
The lyrics are fairly goofy, but you can't blame them for this, because the songs are supposed to be like that.
I dunno. I'm not sure I really get this traditional metal tag. Hopefully the band will break up soon and Goat Horn will get back together. Until that happens, I think I'll play this record once more, and than leave it.
It's bands like this that have caused me to open up a passion for newer wave bands. The new wave of traditional metal is full of surprising and excellent bands, this one being one of them.
When I had first heard of Cauldron it was through a best friend whose cousin was the drummer for Goat Horn / early incarnation of this band. I didn't think much though of either band until I came across this release. Even though the days of the traditional metal classics are mostly over, Cauldron has reinvented the wheel in their own regard and made what could be a classic of their own. I'm usually much more pessimistic to a new album when it grabs me so suddenly, but this may just be an exception.
This carries everything you'd expect from older traditional/power metal bands from both lyrics and the riffs themselves, but takes advantage of the advances of modern recording that it still has a new luster to their tone. Most of the songs are pretty mid-paced and powerful, however I've got to say this album is incredibly catchy. We've all sang the choruses of Maiden and Priest, well this time around I can't help but sing along to tracks like "Bound to the Stake" "Young and Hungry" and "Chained Up in Chains" over and over again every time I play the album. The songwriting is incredibly solid, and this album can be enjoyed repeatedly, even in sequence while other albums become more dull with each listen, I find myself discovering something new to enjoy on this album with each spin.
This is definitely an excellent release, and a good indication of the direction of the more modern traditional/power metal bands who capture the old sound. This and White Wizzard are both highly recommended as the forefront of modern traditional metal bands! Get this if you can!
This is the first full length album by Canadian heavy/thrash metal band Cauldron. Cauldron formed when the doom metal band Goat Horn broke up. They play a more traditional style of metal, sounding like a thrashier version of Iron Maiden or other NWOBHM bands. They released one EP prior to this album. This is definitely in the run for metal album of the year for me. The album is fast, fun, and catchy as hell.
Traditional metal has been on the upswing for the last several years. Cauldron joins a growing list of bands that play traditional metal that includes The Gates of Slumber, Grand Magus, Twisted Tower Dire, Wolf, and Icarus Witch. Cauldron's reference points are bands from the NWOBHM and early thrash metal bands like Slayer or Overkill.
The band plays short, choppy, staccato guitar riffs that call to mind Iced Earth's Jon Schaffer, over a galloping bass line, very similar to the style of Iron Maiden's Steve Harris, bringing the best of both styles together into a very well-done whole. The bass can always be heard very well in the mix, which is a good thing on this album because it is a major highlight. The guitar solos are incendiary, yet another influence from Maiden and their ilk. The drums are done capably but are not an outstanding feature of the music. They are played well, but the real focus of the band is on the riffing and the vocals.
Jason Decay provides the vocals for the band and, while he is not one of the better metal vocalists out there, his vocal style seems to fit reasonably well with the music. Decay's vocals bring to mind early Dokken, which is a bit of an unusual style. They are higher with a little bit of a whine to them. This is not a bad thing by any stretch, but they are something of a grower.
The lyrics are a little cheezy, the band certainly seems to have an affinity for chains. The album is titled "Chained to the Nite" and there are songs called "Chained Up in Chains" and "Chains Around Heaven". It's something of a theme. Despite the repetitiveness, the vocals are fun and do not detract from the music at all. The songs are extremely catchy and can easily become lodged in the brain for days at a time. Once again, that's not a bad thing.
The only complaint I really have is that my version comes with a bonus disk with just two songs on it. I am a little torn between liking and disliking that idea. On the one hand, the complete album is there and available to be listened to as the band intended. On the other hand, this is a short album, so why not include the bonus tracks at the end of the album? I guess ultimately I would prefer to have the bonus tracks at the end of the album instead of a separate disk. Just personal preference.
This album is fun and very catchy. The band sounds like they had a great time doing it which is communicated well to the listener. I look forward to seeing what the band does from here. This album is highly recommended to people looking for new metal bands that play the traditional genre the right way.