Monday, 18 January 2016

Cauldron - "In Ruin" (Album Review)

By: Richard Maw

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 08/01/2016
Label: The End Records | 
High Roller Records



The riffing of “Burning At Both Ends” is pure Accept, adding a teutonic flavour to the Canadians' Brit worship. The reverb soaked drums and higher tempo of “Santa Mira” is pure 80's metal while the more sombre “Corridors of Dust” echoes the sounds and hooks of “Chained To The Night”.  This is an homage, pure and simple. Music from the past, being played today and with modern chops and studio equipment that can accurately create the sound that the band want to hear.   They sit as a dependable and impressive retro outfit. Kind of the Overkill of retro metal, perhaps? And that is a very high compliment, by the way.



“In Ruin” CD//LP track listing:

1). No Return / In Ruin
2). Empress
3). Burning at Both Ends
4). Hold Your Fire
5). Come Not Here
6). Santa Mira
7). Corridors of Dust
8). Delusive Serenade
9). Outrance

The Review:

Cauldron are Canada's finest NWOBHM style export and they have  a rather unique sound, combing as it does the grit of early Maiden or even Motorhead and RTL era Metallica with a  vocal approach that is similar to Def Leppard in terms of sound and melody. Having only heard their first album “Chained To The Night” I was interested to see where the band had gone on this record. Certainly, the 80's drum sound is present here, as are the kind of melodic thrash breaks that peppered my other listening experience of them. The first (quasi) title track is a belter for sure and is absolutely committed to the recreation of the past. No modern sounds here, this could genuinely have been put out on a  major label thirty plus years ago and no eyelids would have been batted.

There is an acoustic intro to “Empress”, and you know exactly how the track is going to sound as the first electric power chord crashes in. It would seem that the spirit of Diamond Head really lives on here. The choruses are catchy and the melodies are of a high quality throughout. The snare drum, in the style of 1981-1987 or so, is wet and hollow sounding. The riffing of “Burning At Both Ends” is pure Accept, adding a teutonic flavour to the Canadians' Brit worship. The reverb soaked drums and higher tempo of “Santa Mira” is pure 80's metal while the more sombre “Corridors of Dust” echoes the sounds and hooks of “Chained To The Night”

The Likes of “Hold Your Fire” and Come Not Here are enjoyable mid-tempo romps through steady Priest-esque riff territory. You get the themes of witchcraft of course, as well as themes of excess and so on. I must impress upon anyone reading this that this is not a step forward in any way: not for the band, not for the metal genre, not even for retrogressive metal. This is an homage, pure and simple. Music from the past, being played today and with modern chops and studio equipment that can accurately create the sound that the band want to hear.

The slower instrumental track “Delusive Serenade” takes in the melodic lessons of early Metallica and creates a moody and effective dirge. The excellently titled “Outrance” swings forth in a final statement of intent. It is a fitting closing to a good, solid record. Cauldron may not have the “cool” factor that a band such as In Solitude had, but they are not nerdish like Natur, either. They sit as a dependable and impressive retro outfit. Kind of the Overkill of retro metal, perhaps? And that is a very high compliment, by the way. 


“In Ruin” is available here

Band info: facebook


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