2016 really started off with a bang for the metal community and there were many strong releases that came out. Cauldron released, “In Ruin,” on January 8th, but I did not buy the album until about a month ago. Better late than never though, because this album is really impressive and I am already considering it one of the best metal albums of the year.
For their fourth full-length studio album, the traditional metal trio from Canada really hit a home run. I honestly felt after their debut full-length album, “Chained to the Nite,” the other previous albums were just continuing what the band had done on that album. “Chained to the Night,” is an epic release that pays homage to eighties metal bands. However, “In Ruin” demonstrates Cauldron’s ability to write catchy songs that captures the spirit of the eighties metal, but also take listeners into this well produced world that is Cauldron’s own sounding creation. From the lyrics, to how the album was recorded and to the guitar riffs, everything is just raised to a higher level of metal music quality.
To start, I cannot begin to stress how important songwriting is and the instrumental presentation needs to fit the songs. Cauldron shows a solid mastery of their instruments and they apply that to their songwriting by coming up with really good tracks on this release. The opening song, “No Return/ In Ruin,” starts out with a very old school thrash sounding guitar riff that develops into a chord punching verse part. Cauldron is able to transition from verse to chorus with great synergy. Ian Chains plays a fierce solo that gets the job done and does not contain unnecessary notes. Also, drummer Myles Deck and bassist/singer Jason Decay provide a strong rhythmic backbone throughout the song.
Track number two, “Empress,” is an enjoyable piece and begins with an acoustic guitar riff. The phrasing of the guitar riff helps amplify Jason’s lyrical presentation during the song. Following it up, “Burning at Both Ends,” hammers out a fast paced tempo that appropriately matches the song’s lyrical theme. “Hold Your Fire,” the fourth track on the album happens to be my favorite song. The main riff can stuck in your head for hours. It is not an extremely technical riff, but the simplistic hard rock chord progression is the perfect match for this song. Also, Jason’s vocals sound amazing to where I can hear how he has progressed as a vocalist. Overall, “Hold Your Fire,” is just a great simple classic metal style sounding song.
Even after a great song like, “Hold Your Fire,” Cauldron is not finished offering more killer tracks. “Come Not Hear,” begins with an isolated riff from Mr. Chains and then kicks off with a thunderous drum and bass build up. There is a very melodic chorus, which is interesting given the song’s dark subject matter. The next song, “Santa Mira,” has a more thrash bite to it and the guitar playing at times conveys such raw attitude. “Corridors of Dust,” reminded me of the Cauldron sound from the early albums, which I think is not bad at all.
For track number eight, “Delusive Serenade,” the band comes up with a very creative instrumental piece. They use acoustic guitars and cleverly construct diverse sounding sections. Ian sort of steals the show with his lead guitar playing and acoustic fills, but the band sounds super tight on this instrumental. Finishing up the album, “Outrance,” rips into a heavy jam of old school metal worship, yet contains that distinct Cauldron sound. For nine songs I swear you can’t find one out of place tune or filler track.
Yeah, the review for this album is a little bit late, but I really want more people to check out this album. Cauldron’s “In Ruin” took me by complete surprise, especially since the band has played it very safe and sort of released the same album in my opinion since “Chained to the Nite.” Honestly, talk about a band stepping up their game and putting together a phenomenal album. If you are a fan of traditional classic eighties metal and good melodic hard rock/metal music, you need to check this out.