Cauldron - Chained to the Nite
Earache Records
Heavy Metal
9 songs (43:43)
Release year: 2009
Earache Records
Reviewed by Thomas
Surprise of the month

Canada is maybe not a metal hotbed, but there is no denying that the relatively few bands coming from there often come off as pure quality. Bands like Razor, Exciter and Sacrifice quickly comes to mind when thinking of the Canadian metal scene, in other words, thrash. This however, is some mighty fine heavy metal exported from Toronto. Cauldron is the remains of the highly acclaimed and absolutely brilliant Goat Horn who took underground doomy heavy metal a giant step forward. The only member who remains from the old days is vocalist and bassist Jason Decay who has steered this band in a little heavier and upbeat direction. Chained to the Nite consists of a formula that very often proves successful when perfectly balanced. Thrashier NWOBHM-influenced heavy metal with faint hints of catchy power metal makes this simple yet varied record a constant visitor in the stereo, as the trio provides rock solid songwriting, strong riffs, melodic and soulful leads, thin yet somewhat aggressive vocal work as well as a powerful presence that never shows signs of going anywhere else. In other words, your attention will not fade away unless you’ve been on an experimental/alternative/atmospheric/progressive metal trip lately, and this just becomes too simple and too “in here” rather than “out there” for you!

Unlike the now stagnating thrash-revival that have bored us out of our minds for the last couple of years, new quality heavy metal bands, both retro and modern has been popping up on a frequent basis. Along with Icarus Witch, Slough Feg, Wolf and Grand Magus, Cauldron manages to capture some of the magic of the early days and transform it into something of their own. The guitar-riffs are choppy, staccato and always catchy when layered over lively galloping bass and drum-patterns. Some of the thrashier riffs like the one on the album highlight Conjure the Mass could’ve almost been pulled straight out of Rust in Peace, and Jason Decay’s nasty vocals also brings back the feeling of the somewhat unfinished and dirty vocalists that roamed the genre back in the day but still managed to be perfect for their particular band even though they weren’t the most gifted of performers. On The Leaven / Fermenting Enchantress, they include some of the doom-influences that probably has been hanging on since the Goat Horn-days, and this song, with its simple yet creative axeman-ship stands as one of my personal favorites, and due to the track’s length, I get a slight Phantom of the Opera feel. Not necessarily because of the similarities, but rather the feel, the structure and the almost constant shifts in rhythm and shape. The power-anthem double bass-driven Dream Die Young is somewhat reminiscent of Deris-era Helloween with its energetic full-speed riffing and the relentless attitude that backs up every song on Chained to the Night.

There are really no down-points about this album, but if there were to be something, the vocals may come off as a little lackluster at times. However, living in the age of absolute perfection, I find this like nothing but a breath of fresh air as it brings back retro vibes and timeless emotions that shouldn’t be forgotten, but seems to drown in the sea of various core-bands that will never have the same impact. Chained to the Nite is not quite as good as the new Slough Feg but it doesn’t come in many points behind, and this will definitely stand as one of the highlights of 2009 for me both because of the music and the cover art.

Killing Songs :
Conjure the Mass, Chained up in Chains, The Leaven / Fermenting Enchantress, Dreams Die Young, Bound to the Stake
Thomas quoted 86 / 100
Goat quoted 68 / 100
Other albums by Cauldron that we have reviewed:
Cauldron - Burning Fortune reviewed by Stefan and quoted 58 / 100
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