Released: 2008, Stormspell Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
The metal scene still has some true pearls that it´s holding somewhere in the darkest depths of the underground metal scene. I think that I have now found one of them again. Cauldron Born managed to release two highly appreciated albums (BORN OF THE CAULDRON in 1997 and ...AND ROME SHALL FALL in 2002) before they split up (such a pity), and now the band´s very sought after debut album, BORN OF THE CAULDRON, has finally been reissued (originally released by Underground Symphony in 1997) - who else other than Stormspell Records, that has really dedicated their energy towards re-releasing some true underground metal gems on their roster.
Cauldron Born is - first and foremost, a metal band put together by 4 amazingly talented musicians 15 years ago - in 1994 precisely, who have really got a true winning idea of what Cauldron Born should be all about musically (and lyrically, too. Sword and sorcery/fantasy lyrics based on Robert E. Howard stories. Pretty cool and fascinating stuff all in all). I would call Cauldron Born as a progressive, or technical true metal band based on the very complex and obviously very challenging musical approach that they have managed to pursue on their ear-caressing debut album. Ever since I was spinning through BORN OF THE CAULDRON, I was pretty much overwhelmed and totally sold by their great musicianship that they possess (or possessed, to be more accurate with all of you) in this fine ´epic barbarian metal´ band (as it´s stated proudly with the bold letters on the sleeve of this disc). I think it´s kinda unfair to compare bands to each other all the time, but then again that´s only reasonable because people have this tendency to ask of each other: ´Which bands would you compare them to?" So, let me be responsible for my tiny crime (again) of throwing out the following names in comparison to Cauldron Born: Helstar, Psychotic Waltz, Watchtower, Candlemass and Queensrÿche. Well, at least these 5 band names came instantly to my mind when listening to this disc, but I´m already certain many of you manage also to dig up some other names from your personal music libraries as fair comparisons to Cauldron Born.
What makes Cauldron Born such a unique and killer sounding force? To put it simply: They simply were all amazingly talented MUSICIANS (yes, put it preferably in big capital letters) that truly understood how to break from the mould a little bit and twist some steel in the name of creativity and sheer challenge. They use a lot of unusual time signatures, weird yet unexpected rhythm and tempo changes within their songs (just like a band like Psychotic Waltz did when they were still around), awesome lead work, very enjoyable and tricky bass lines - accompanied of course with Danny´s incredibly good and strongly dramatic sounding, high-pitched vocals. Think something along the lines of James Rivera and Geoff Tate vocally, and I think we are quite near to Danny´s vocal range. The guy isn´t just your ordinary vocalist in a metal band; he sounds incredibly trained, and it all sounds like nothing´s impossible for this guy whenever he feels like stretching his voice from an easily flowing singing style to these very high-pitched screams. Man, this guy is really damn good at everything what he does vocally.
If you were wondering where on earth that Candlemass reference came from, I think you won´t wonder it any longer right after you have heard the title track of the album, "Born of the Cauldron". I had to go back to the sleeves of the CD and re-check the credits again if there was Leif Edling´s name somewhere there, printed on the credits regarding this particular song in question. "Born of the Cauldron" is pretty much pure Candlemass worship, no more - or no less. As the bonus track on this reissue, "Lucifer´s Hammer" from the mighty Warlord wouldn´t have been any cooler choice to get in for the CD as a bonus track. Yes, it´s a totally different stuff compared to what Cauldron Born do, but it´s Warlord, so it´s hard to question their choice to cover that song from this classic US metal band. It still sounds great in Cauldron Born´s treatment, believe me.
As most of the releases from Stormspell Records, this is limited to 1000 hand-numbered copies (10th anniversary edition), remastered from the original DAT tapes, and comes along with with a revamped artwork, new introduction and liner notes written by Howie. Be sure to act fast because this release may already be sold-out by the time when you are reading this (last time I checked their store only had 16 copies left). Absolutely a worth picking up release in here.