Released: 2011, Earache Records
I don’t know how we missed this one! Cauldron’s sophomore album BURNING FORTUNE came out on Valentine’s Day this year, 2011. They passed through town recently and I grabbed a copy, having been a fan of Jason since his days in Goathorn. I realized no one had written a review for this album yet and I feel it fully deserves our attention. I reviewed the debut back in December of 2009, so here we are two years later. In that review of the debut CHAINED TO THE NITE I commented about the sticker on the front of the album. Following that line of thought, again this album, still on Earache Records, comes with another promo sticker. This time instead of saying ‘For fans of Queensryche, Dokken and Diamond Head’, the sticker says, ‘For fans of Judas Priest, Angel Witch and Raven’. Everybody wins! There is also an endorsement quote from the mighty Malcolm Dome declaring that the band has recaptured the magic of the NWOBHM. I couldn’t agree more!
I feel that the songs on BURNING FORTUNE have a slightly more NWOBHM feel than the debut which had a bit more of a Dokken feel. Either way, the fans get some killer music. It’s short; nine songs, 38 minutes and one cover of the relatively obscure American band Halloween. That’s half the fun of cover tunes, hearing new bands do versions of older, more obscure songs. The original songs are rock-solid that just cruise along in that 3-4 beer zone on a Saturday night.
The performances are locked in but not too clinical or antiseptic, the bass grooves, the drums thunder along and the guitars weave their spell. Most of all it’s fun. The riffs are catchy and memorable and not overly complex. The solos are not too over the top either. Decay’s voice is clear and distinct and sits perfectly in the mix. He not a shouter, screamer or growler, he has just a great rock and roll voice. There are some most infectious and addictive choruses on cuts like ‘Miss You To Death’ and ‘Tears Have Come’. It a great blend of performance, song-craft and the elusive Metal ‘feel’.
The attitude, tone and tempo all remind me of the so called glory days of early 80’s Metal but then I realize we are STILL in the glory days when inspired bands like Cauldron put out superb albums like BURNING FORTUNE.