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A Suitable Compliment To Chained To The Nite - 79%

CHAIRTHROWER, August 20th, 2017
Written based on this version: 2007, 12" vinyl, New Iron Age Records (Limited edition, Splatter Vinyl)

Caudron's 2009 full-length debut Chained To The Nite represents a personal heavy metal re-birth/ renaissance as it compellingly steered me back towards my adolescent discovery of timeless legends such as Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Megadeth. As well, it allowed me to traverse Canada's endless miles of boreal forests, mountains and plaines without completely withering out of sheer boredom and ennui. That said, with the exception of its tedious "Torture's Too Kind" and scrappy cover of Tyrant's "Making Noise And Drinking Beer", I feel the preceding Into The Cauldron EP suitably compliments what I consider the Torontonians finest hour (with their latest release, last year's In Ruin, as shining runner-up).

Founded by the now defunct heavy/ doom metal band Goat Horn's front man and bassist Jason Decay as well as eventual one-time Cauldron drummer Steel Rider (Al Chambers takes to the skins here), Cauldron wickedly re-captures the "easy livin'" essence and devil-may-care charm of 80s glam fixtures such as Motley Crue, Skid Row and Ratt, yet manages to overcome blatant cheesiness and tackiness by way of grippingly tight, melodic instrumentation and Decay's poignant, heartfelt and downright liberating overtures, which possess an instant-appeal quality that never gets old. (Wait until you hear the debut's "Young And Hungry" and "Chained Up In Chains"; I envy those who've yet to as the joy of discovery's theirs to behold!). As well, Ian Chains (I know, "chains" are evidently a running theme) on guitar shreds with absolute conviction and verve, notably on the later "Conjure The Masses", which unquestionably features him at his apogee, but I'm getting ahead of myself. As far as Into The Cauldron's concerned, you've got a couple arresting arse kickers in "The Striker Strikes" and "Into The Cauldron" proper while "Restless" is a close halting cousin to the upcoming "The Leaven/ Fermenting Enchantress".

The first two tracks border on outright speed metal complete with razor sharp riffing and blistering solos while the foundation and build-up to "Restless" isn't as linear but incremental with a moderate tempo and Decay's drawn-out evocations ("Leave me rest-less…" and "back from the wastelands to compel…"); this track's incepting flow's also highly evocative of 'To the Nite's "Witch Trail". Chains' lead break is classic sizzling emotional fare, which along with its laid-back yet fierce and haunting cadence, is what drew me to Cauldron faster than two shakes of a lamb, er, goat's tail.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said about a couple of the EP's later tracks. "Torture's Too Kind" sounds somewhat bland and repetitive considering Cauldron's usual affinity and knack for nostalgic and upbeat fist-pumping fare i.e pretty much the rest of its eventual discography while the beer can popping/ belching Tyrant cover's a bit too festive for its own good. Don't get me wrong; the boys ardently hit all the right notes but I dunno, Decay has a great engaging voice but falls short of sounding as menacing and convincing as Kermit; his breathless and drawn out vocals are perfect for "Restless" and the like…perhaps "Blood Sucking Woman" or even "Killer Cat" would have fared better?...

On the other hand, fitting-to-an-extent as this EP may be, I highly recommend Cauldron full-length debut - along with the following Burning Fortune, Tomorrow's Lost and In Ruin -, especially the expanded 2CD (limited) edition which includes "The Striker Strikes" and "Restless". Of course, "Into The Cauldron" should've been included as well although I'm thankful the two slight deceptions were propitiously omitted, as they would have certainly detracted from Chained To The Nite's wicked vibe. All told, along with Striker, Sanktuary, Metalian, Emblem and Savage Blade Cauldron's definitely at the forefront of the "new wave of Canadian (traditional) heavy metal".

Into the Cauldron- Heavy, Fast, Amazing - 100%

stallan, October 1st, 2014

From the ashes of Goat Horn rose Cauldron, and Into the Cauldron captures some of the aggression and heaviness of the former band while also showcasing a more melodic side. Every song on here is killer and this EP often ranks as the band’s strongest material.

The Striker Strikes starts things off with speed, heaviness, and solid riffs. This is a really kick ass opener and flows nicely into the title track. Into the Cauldron's main riff and chorus are really catchy (but in a heavy way) and will stick with you. It features a cool fade out section. I really love Jason Decay’s growled delivery of the lyrics. Restless is a more melodic offering. The song has a mid paced mid riff/overall feel and a catchy chorus. Yet at the same time it retains the style that runs throughout the EP. Torture’s Too Kind is my favourite Cauldron track and is in my opinion the strongest song on here. This song just oozes heaviness and aggression. The riffs, the vocals, the drumming, really just everything clicks on this one. This one gives me goose bumps every time. I cannot express how much I want to see this song live. Jason’s vocals get damn near death metal in a couple parts and it blows my mind how awesome they sound. The version I have ends with Axe Cross, a song that starts with a fuzzy, badass bass riff and continues to rage until the song grinds down at the end.

The production on this EP is huge. I love the tone of all the instruments and everything is mixed nicely. Everything sounds full and heavy. I love the bass’ presence. Even though they are a three piece, it is still nice to see that the bass is brought up to a good level. The tone is killer as well. The guitar has a dark and heavy tone to it. The drums have a good sound, the toms in particular.

I love the performances from everyone here. As mentioned, Jason gives great vocal performances, not just on the aggressive stuff, but also in his clean singing. His falsetto scream at the end of The Striker Strikes is just epic. Ian Chains is a very talented guitar player. His riffs are razor sharp and his soloing is top notch. Al Chambers gives a very solid drum performance.

I really hold this EP in high regard as the dark, heavy style that this and Chained to the Nite showcase is done so well and has such an amazing feel. This sound was to be traded in for a more melodic and traditional heavy metal sound on the later releases Burning Fortune and Tomorrow’s Lost. As great as those albums are, to me they just don't compare to this and the debut album. These five songs just fill you with energy, make you want to headbang and sing along at the top of your lungs at a show. I cannot recommend this record enough.

Excellent debut - 85%

Vallomas, April 4th, 2008

Hailing from Canada, Cauldron were one of many many bands to debut in 2007. Created by guitarist/bassist Jason Decay and drummer Steel Rider (of the now defunct thrashers Goat Horn who left behind a legacy of two full lengths and an EP) and with the contribution of guitarist Ian "Kilapatrick" Jones, Cauldron manage to stand out from their peers due to this EP they've put out at the beginning of the last year.

I'll admit I wasn't aware of their previous band so I can't express on opinion about their musical likeness. Cauldron however, play exactly the sort of metal I enjoy. Traditionally inclined, with a heavy NWOBHM lean and the distinctive voice of Decay being their notable features. This EP is too brief to let us draw concrete conclusions, but all four of the contained tracks are both notable and well-crafted. Especially "Into The Cauldron" kicks all kinds of ass but also the mid-tempo "Restless" stands out due to the excellent guitar work. The production is well-done, although this is a self-released album.

Obviously it's too early to tell what the future holds for Cauldron. The start has been good, to say the least, and we expect much from them. "Into the Cauldron" has shaken the waters in the underground circuit to the point where New Iron Age Records rereleased it recently in vinyl form with two extra songs. Let's hope they keep this up.

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