Company: Earache Release: 2010 Genre: Traditional Reviewer: EC
Rivals and possibly surpasses other modern throw-backs
It is 2010. 2010 folks. Yet we still have the true bangers and mosh thrashers treating this century as if it is the 70s and 80s. We are in the land of CGI, the age of digital everything and at the very brink of creating our very own sexual robots. Where is heavy metal, the one defining musical genre that breaks boundaries and changes the way music is played and performed? Still in the land of mullets, Daisy Duke and the back patch. I can't put my devil horns on it. Perhaps it is just simply a generation trait...I remember my high school days in the 90s was complete class worship of everything Zeppelin, Beatles and Manson. Was the heavy metal of the 70s and 80s the very best the genre offered and simply DEMANDS total worship year in and year out? How about the new wave of thrash? Just ask artist Ed Repka, the renowned mastermind behind metal's classic artwork (Death, Megadeth, etc.). He is probably the busiest artist on the planet supplying thrash metal covers to most of today's metal bands (Municipal Waste, Guillotine, Fallen Man, Pitifull Reign, do I need to continue?). Which leads me to ask you, constant reader, why do bands like Cauldron find this sound so addictive?
The band comes to England's Earache Records by way of Canada. The country has historically dished out some great metal exports over the years. Razor, Exciter and Annihilator thrashed the maple leaf for years, followed by some great hard rock and AOR in Triumph and Rush. Not to mention THE ULTIMATE Canadian metal icon...Chris Jericho. Following those legendary acts comes the standard metal 101 moniker Cauldron and their Dokken sounding album title "Chained To The Nite". The band put together a solid outing here with true metal force that rivals and possibly surpasses other modern throw-backs like White Wizzard, Bible Of The Devil and Three Inches Of Blood.
Cauldron focus on the RIFF, that single aspect that sinks deep into the metal psyche and sticks; I caught myself humming the riff of "Witch's Trail" while on endless hold with technical support (damn Dell). That is the thing that really sets these retro bands apart, the ability to make riffs that last, riffs that Metallic's leading defense firm Smith-Murray-Tipton-Downing have implanted for life. I don't hear these riffs with the Austrian Death Machines and Municipal Wastes of the world. Cauldron really do a fine job with a limited vocalist, mounting some massive grinding bass lines with a quick-dash-attack of sharp and riviting guitar riffage. The above mentioned "Witch's Trail" creates an addictive lead crossed with Sabbath's down tuned heaviness (like Sweden's Hellfueled). The band uses a simplistic melody scheme to lure in catchy chorus lines in "Chained Up In Chains" and "Conjure The Mass". The group even shows off their metal trivia by covering "Chains Around Heaven", the only Black & Blue song that most would consider metal (it appeared on "Metal Massacre 1"...go impress your friends).
Overall the Canadians should appeal to fans of early Running Wild, Halloween, mid-era Accept and even early Queensryche. Nods to Earache for FINALLY snapping out of their grindcore execution and signing a few true metal acts.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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