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Cauldron – In Ruin (Premiere)

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The “revival” trend in metal is going through its cycles, as it will inevitably do until the sun explodes. Some bands get unfairly lumped in with less-worthy peers – Municipal Waste is the best example of this – when they were around well before the scene exploded and survived the aftermath. Toronto’s Cauldron is now entering their 10th year as a band, and despite being attached to the trad/vest/throwback metal wave that’s been in decline for a while now, they show no sign of giving up (or worse, trend-hopping).

Formed in the ashes of underground classic doom favorites Goat Horn, Cauldron takes inspiration from the usual suspects: Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, Diamond Head, etc. Jason Decay (vocals/bass) has a distinct Don Dokken quality to his voice, and In Ruin might be the best showcase of his vocal talents thus far. Guitarist Ian Chains solos like it’s 1986, with “Come Not Here” and “Burning At Both Ends” highlighting his knack for phrasing emotive playing. “Santa Mira” is a total highway rager while the epic instrumental “Delusive Serenade” showcases the band’s songwriting prowess.

Above all, In Ruin is – like Cauldron’s previous three albums – a lot of fun. That’s still a thing we’re allowed to have in metal, right? Fans and bands alike can come across as pretty humorless when it comes to this music, which is richly ironic considering what many said bands sing/scream about and dress like. Yes, Cauldron look like they walked in from the set of Fast Times at Ridgemont High and sound like your uncle’s record collection; i.e., things that are still awesome 35 years later. What’s wrong with that?

—Chris Rowella

In Ruin is out this Friday, January 8 on The End Records. Pre-order here. Follow Cauldron on Facebook, on Twitter at @Cauldronmetal.

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