Monday, May 30, 2011

Into The Cauldron (Again)

Cauldron Burning Fortune

Earache Records 2011

Canadian power trio Cauldron is back with another molten slab of pure metal straight outta 1986. Burning Fortune is the follow up to their 2009 album Chained To The Nite. That album was great but Cauldron have managed to top it as the songwriting is even better with the tracks being very hooky and melodic.

Cauldron emulates mid 80’s metal perfectly without ever sounding completely derivative of any particular artist. Clearly the band love that era of music and have set out to recreate the sound. They are considered one of the bands in the forefront of the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal (NWOTHM) but in interviews the band repeatedly stress that they just play heavy metal and aren’t part of any trend. Front man Jason Decay was the lead man in Goat Horn and they played a similar style for years before the NWOTHM existed.

The band clearly agrees with The Metal Blog of Metal's position that the 80 minute time limit on compact discs has led to album bloat with 13-16 tracks many of which are filler. It's far better to have an album of less than 50 minutes with 10 or so great tracks that leave the listener wanting more. Burning Fortune is a vinyl-friendly 38 minutes long with 9 tracks in the standard version and 42 minutes long with the bonus track "Serpent Sorceress" on the limited edition.

The album kicks off in a roaring fashion with "All Or Nothing" which is a fast paced, hook laden song about giving your all. It includes backing vocals by Olof Wikstrand of Enforcer. "All Or Nothing" is also the lead single for the album and the band has released a video for it.

"Miss You To Death" is a mid paced song about lost love and would make a great sing along in a live setting. "Frozen In Fire" is an up tempo track about an evil woman that gets hers. This is followed up by "Tears Have Come" which is another song about lost love that sports a great guitar solo by Ian Chains.

"I Confess" is actually a cover of an original by the Detroit band Halloween. This can be found on Halloween's Vicious Demos from 1990 and is a superb fit for Cauldron. Jason Decay and Halloween vocalist Brian Thomas share a very similar vocal style. "I Confess" is also very hooky and another highlight on the album. Next up is another fantastic track "Rapid City/Unchained Assault." This is another fast track with a great chorus and excellent guitar work. Lyrically it seems to be a tale of the unforgiving nature of life on the road. "Unchained Assault" is a short guitar solo that features Ian Chains shredding it up.

"Queen of Fire" is another mid-paced song about lost love and mysterious women. "Breaking Through" picks up the pace and has lyrics about breaking chains and shaking brains. My guess is Cauldron is name checking Silver Mountain and their legendary 1984 album Shakin' Brains. Regardless, it's another outstanding track. Wrapping up the standard edition cd is "Taken By Desire" which is another fast track centered around failed dreams.

The Limited Edition of the album contains the bonus track "Serpent Sorceress" which tells the story of the Medusa. If you don't want to spring for the Limited Edition disc this track is available as an iTunes download. In fact, the whole album is a mere $ 6.99 on iTunes which is a fantastic value.

The Limited Edition also includes a special edition of Chromium Dioxide magazine which is centered around Cauldron. If you are not familiar with Chromium Dioxide it's a heavy metal magazine from Canada put together by two long time metalheads. It covers all sorts of long lost and forgotten metal as well as horror movies, wrestling, etc... It's a really cool magazine and something most metalheads would enjoy. Check 'em out here and order an issue or four.


  • Standard CD
  • Limited Edition CD with one bonus track and a copy of Chromium Dioxide magazine
  • Vinyl in various colors (red, black, yellow and orange) with a copy of Chromium Dioxide magazine.
  • iTunes download


The Bottom Line: Burning Fortune is a fantastic album of traditional metal with clean, mid-range vocals and great riffs. This is pure METAL with zero modern touches or sensibilities. Buy or die.


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