Released: 2009, Earache
Some of us at Metal-Rules love these types of success stories. We have been flowing and supporting the band for almost ten years now, from the early days of Goathorn to now their big breakthrough as Cauldron. The band has endured a few ups and down, label shifts, member changes and finally land on one of the more respected labels, Earache, for their full-length debut. In terms of image and presentation CHAINED TO THE NITE is one of the most ‘metal’ releases I have come across this year. From the album cover with the naked chick in chains to the album theme of chains, this album was brewed in the metal cauldron of the 80’s for sure!
Many releases these days come with stickers that say, “For fans of band X” or “Sounds like band Y” and so on. These are usually just marketing hype to draw attention to the CD on the racks and more often than not the stickers are pretty inaccurate. CHAINED TO THE NITE has a sticker that says “Traditional Heavy Metal for fans of Dokken, Queensryche and Diamond Head”. My immediate reaction was disbelief for two reasons. Even though I love both bands, NO one wants to sound like Dokken or Queensryche these days and two, I know what Goathorn sounded like. Goathorn were much heavier, faster, doomier, alcoholic and raunchy then Dokken or Queensryche could ever hope to be.
Well, was I ever wrong! Cauldron have had a significant change in terms of direction and sound. I might even say after first listen, I was a little taken aback and disappointed but now I see why the name-change. Cauldron (although it is still two of same guys) has shed the remains of Goathorn and are truly a new band on their own. They DO sound like Dokken, old classic Dokken at their heaviest. I am truly impressed. The songs are smoother, more mature in arrangement and composition than before. These young guys have created a great collection of traditional Heavy Metal. There is no other way to describe it, no Thrash, no Power, No Death, just…metal! The vocals have range and some power, the solos are very classically inspired and the whole album never gets too frantic. It just crunches along heavy and in the pocket and the whole 80’s metal concept is further cemented by the bands choice of covers, namely Black ‘N Blue’s “Chains Around Heaven”. An awesome choice, although I suspect none of the band members were very old (or even born) when the original was released! The whole album is comfortable to my ears, maybe a little too comfortable for someone who grew up with Dokken, Black ‘N Blue etc. However, I’d rather have a dozen bands like Cauldron doing this style than another unnecessary deathcore act saturating the scene.
The Limited Edition comes with a bonus disc that features two songs from their debut EP in 2007, INTO THE CAULDRON. Not much of a bonus if you happen to own the EP and the tracks could have fit on the regular disc quite easily. However a bonus is a bonus and it is a treat for new fans.