Ask me to name a rock trio that hails from Canada and has a singer with a distinctive voice and I immediately shout Rush. But this is were the comparison ends since were are not talking Rush but Cauldron here. More specific, the band's second full lenght release Burning Fortune.
To pinpoint Cauldron is not a gimme, but if Rush is on the progressive side of the rock border, Cauldron is the very opposite. The album has a strong eighties NWOBHM feel, but borders on classic rock. Burning Fortune consists of nine solid rock tracks that can compete with bands such as Priest, Motorhead and old school Def Leppard. What is nice about this album is the uncompromising manner in which Cauldron plays it's pure retro hard rock, something that has to be perceived in this techno oriented era.
Combined with fine musicianship and simple but catchy melodies it trumps many of the wannabee Dream Theaters and Iron Maidens that spent years in a studio to get their sound right but forget why they went in there in the first place. What stops me from going full marks here is the vocals. Jason Decay is probably not a bad singer, but on this record his dreary and uncharacteristic voice manages to hold the tracks down rather than lift them. This would not be unconquerable should the production be outstanding, but in fact the no more than plug and play production is not coming to rescue as well.
Which is a bit of a disappointment because at the end of the day Cauldron has penned down a bunch of more than acceptable rocktracks that once passed the finish line get registered in my brain as a strong but nevertheless monotone and restrained effort that could have been better.
But having said that, I certainly don't deny them a great future because Burning Fortune shows plenty of potential. My guess is that a different use of vocals and a freshed up production might do wonders next time around. A Rush type of career may be asking for too much, but who knows. When I first picked up 2112 I had that same feeling. We know how that turned out.
What is nice about Cauldron's Burning Future is the uncompromising manner in which Cauldron plays it's pure retro hard rock, something that has to be perceived in this techno oriented era.
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