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Good old times - 80%

androdion, October 8th, 2012

The Canadian power trio is releasing its third album and intends on continuing to spread the gospel of traditional heavy metal far and wide. Armed with a will to rock and all the lessons learned this is an album that is bound to please fans of the eighties.

Cauldron is a fairly recent band with only half a dozen years of existence but they're hardly newbies. Lead singer and bassist Jason Decay helped gave birth to the band after the demise of his previous one, Goat Horn, and current axeman has gained a bit of experience with the legendary Thor, the Canadian band not the Norse god, while newfound drummer is already an experienced performer as well. The band has been on a good writing streak after a well received debut album back in 2009 and a sophomore effort released just last year, which was also seen as a natural progression from its predecessor. And that's basically the premise for this new album, to continue down the yellow brick road in search of the Emerald City. Cauldron isn't here to reinvent the wheel but instead to pick it up and roll it down the hill in burning flames. The early eighties were a place where the NWOBHM scene was ruler and lord of all things dubbed "heavy" before it would branch out into a myriad of different genres and styles, and it's this time and age that the Canadian act is trying to emulate. Metal is a cyclical thing, and given the resurgence of old school death and thrash in these past years the revivalism spirit was bound to extend itself to other genres as well.

It's in this set of newer bands trying to take inspiration from heavy metal acts of the earlier generations that Cauldron is slowly building a well deserved niche to thrive upon. I've always been a sucker for melodic hooks, and while I prefer more the post-NWOBHM boom and less of the hard rock oriented acts it's also a fact that Angel Witch is one of my favourite bands of that period. All things considered it's quite easy for me to enjoy Cauldron for what they are, and the way they mix more radio friendly hooks and choruses with the near speed metal instrumentation of bands like Satan or Blind Fury makes this album much more enjoyable than I expected it to be. There are plenty of riffs here to spellbind you as much as there are soothing melodies and rocking ballads to warrant the attention of non-metal fans. At its core Tomorrow's Lost is a metal album but it does carry with it a not so subtle hard rock influence and vibe that makes it strangely enthralling, although it does require you to be in the right mindset to be able to fully appreciate it. People expecting any sort of aggression will be heavily disappointed, but if you're after a good old heavy metal album to rock out with your friends and have a good time then you'll love it.

The album starts with the raging opener "End Of Time" and its quasi-speed metal up-tempo drum beat that immediately catches your attention. It doesn't take long before Jason's voice is presented in his peculiarly nasal and soothing tone. The chorus is catchy and the solo later on is quite the delight, making this a very interesting choice for opening the album. The following, "Born To Struggle" is a more mid-tempo rocking act that brings to the table the more melodic side of the Canadian collective, driving you along in caressing harmonized guitars and gentle vocal lines that become more enchanting with repeated spins, and the lead work proves once again to be pretty effective. Tomorrow's Lost is never an album to present you with too much of the same and instead it aims for a nice balance between the speedier moments and the more rock oriented songs. While "Nitebreaker", which is a total Satan worship song, provides you with enough speed and an infectiously good main riff and hefty rhythm its follow-up, "Summoned To Succumb", brings again the mid-tempo melodies and the image of two guitarists waving their instrument up and down and their necks left and right. At times I think to myself that I'd like for them to indulge more in the sped up moments and make this a more aggressive album but I can also ride along with the slower songs with a grin on my lips, so I guess that the choice of making this album as varied as possible was indeed a good one.

The album is very consistent throughout its nearly forty minutes of playing time, which with only nine songs makes up for an easily digestible album that's bound to be on repeat. In fact this is an album that becomes better with repeated listens as its initial impact isn't as strong as it could be. However, once you play this album a few times you'll be more and more enticed by it and more willing to give Tomorrow's Lost some air time. Virtually all songs have a riff or guitar lead that's good enough to stick with you and a vocal line or chorus that is infectiously catchy and memorable. It's not like we haven't heard all of this before but I don't care much for lack of originality when the presentation is passionate enough, and more so when the riffs and guitar melodies gel so well with the vocals and provide for such good moments. That's the case with this album and songs like the rampaging "Burning Fortune" or the surprisingly great sing-a-long tune "Endless Ways" are clearly highlights on a work which is very cohesive. The only point in this album which seems out of character is that scream near the end of "Fight For Day", as it feels a bit dislocated from the general feel of the album and fails to add anything to the song. But that's a minor mistake in an otherwise very consistent album.

Many newer bands are sprouting nowadays, building their inspirations and sonic output on better days that are long gone, and despite my poor knowledge of Cauldron's back catalogue I have to say that the Canadian trio may be one of the best. It's very hard to sound original when everything has been done time and time again, so where these newer bands can be distinguished is in their ability to create unoriginal music that still sounds great. Cauldron seems to be on the upper hand with Tomorrow's Lost, which surprisingly enough took my playlist by storm and is having a lot of difficulty in getting out at the moment. Fans of the NWOBHM scene, more traditional heavy metal or even 70s and 80s hard rock may find something for them as much as I did, as this album proves to be a good balancing number between the elements which made that season as memorable as it was. This Canadian act is definitely a name to follow for the next few years if they're able to keep up the pace and quality, and I for one think that they deserve their own place in the sun.

Originally written for and posted at Riff Magazine