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X marks the spot - 90%

Angry_Malmsteen, January 2nd, 2007

Cauldron Black Ram is a side-project with members from Stargazer, Martire, and Portal. I must say they put out better material than their ful-time bands, kind of like Down if you know what I mean. Everytime I've put this CD on I've never been let down, even when I don't feel like listening to it. Also, they sing about pirates.

Even though CBR are listed under black/death metal the music here does have remnants of sludge that give it a Bolt Thrower vibe. The overall speed of Skulduggery isn't too fast or aggressive for death metal. Think of Morbid Angel's - BATST. The actual guitar tone isn't even that heavy. I'm impressed mostly with the vocals and riffing. Imagine Abbath's vocals, now mix them with some death metal and that's how they sound on here; eerie, raspy, haunting, dark etc. listen @ 2:35 on "verily hollow demon" for a perfect example. The guitars sound very loose and fat-bottomed, and that is where the sludge vibe comes from. The riffs are heavy as hell. Like I said, they're not that fast, brutal, or even complex, but they absolutey crush in their own way. Overall every single song on here is pretty good and there isn't really a bad track, except for "old smuggler" which isn't even a song. All it is are drums and a vocals. Vocals that sound like a guy falling down a flight of stairs while coughing too hard. This doesn't really help the album at all, save for the fact it is the last track which makes it slightly less ghey. "Atop a firey steed" and "devil bellied" are easily the 2 best tracks on here so if you like them, you'll like this album. for fans of slower death metal and sludge metal.