If you’re a tired fan of traditional heavy metal who needs to hear proof that the genre can still pack the proverbial sucker-punch without reckless, mind-numbing imitation, then Cauldron’s Burning Fortune is going to be the album to warm your Valentine blues.
The Toronto natives, who formed from the ashes of Goat Horn in 2006, bring their second album to the stove with new drummer Chris Steve from fellow Ontario metallers Aggressor, taking over from Steel Rider. Steve does the exact job he’s meant to, providing some classic but controlled double kicks to give a sturdy foundation for guitar – all making itself known with first track All Or Nothing.
Speaking of guitar, there may be a rugged, raging style in Cauldron’s riffs that would do more than enough to appease the fan of Maiden or Priest, but there’s also a hugely catchy element about it too, and when you experience the fine balance this creates, it’s very rewarding.
You only have to hear Queen Of Fire to catch them at their best. There’s plenty in this cooking pot to muster a stir, and when there’s a heartfelt chorus layered over some strong traditional chord sequences and backed by reflective picking, you would think it would be enough. But add a rocking solo in towards the end of the standout effort, and it’s complete.
Sure there’s a little cheese and the occasional line that don’t exactly give the Canadians the award for best lyricists (Miss You To Death), but it’s all led with an endearing charm that constitutes as Cauldron’s underbelly. An absolute must for lovers of traditional metal that crave to see the torch carried on with a different flame burning.