The problem with Traditional Metal is in the title, it’s traditional, hence it’s been done before by bands who created the sound, and that we now love. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Def Leppard, Diamond Head, the list goes on. These bands shaped the new wave of British heavy metal and produced albums that are now part of our psyche, part of our very being – so when a band comes along and takes these trusted formula and add very little to it, it’s hard to really accept it for what it is. This is precisely what Cauldron offer up here, on their sophomore album. You’re not going to find anything new or exciting; all you will find is a comfortable, unchallenging style that offers catchy tunes played at a rockable pace, with a good standard of musicianship. It all sounds fine on paper, but having the talent doesn’t automatically equate to a good album.
One thing that clearly stands out against Cauldron, is Jason Decay. Immediately it’s pretty obvious that he doesn’t have the vocal capabilities to carry the band forward, and he simply relies on fairly standard vocal lines, with very little deviation throughout the course of the album. It works for the first few songs, but eventually becomes rather tedious and very mediocre – yet he does somehow manage to create the odd catchy moment. Tears Have Come, Miss You to Death and album closer, Taken by Desire all have rather enjoyable choruses, it’s just the poor, uncreative verse lines that severely let the band down. Every time a song feels like it’s about to go somewhere the band are held back by his lacklustre abilities. The Music, on the other hand, is a constant highlight throughout. Whilst the guitar tone does very little in terms of energy, the riffs and most notably the solos, are all fairly solid through the course of the album – they’re not fantastic, nor mind blowing, but they manage to whip up the occasional head nod, followed briefly by a slight hint of air guitar – one notable moment arrives at the end of Rapid City, where guitarist Ian Chains, for some reason, feels the urge to go utterly bat shit crazy and wants to rip both the guitar and pick to shreds, something we fully support.
Overall Burning Fortune is a good album, but one that could easily be forgotten. Cauldron have managed to do very little in the way of experimentation and instead played it fairly safe, it’ll offend as much as it will delight. Of course though, with an album like this, it’s never going to be one you’ll be excited to play – why play this when you can delve back into the 80s and pick out Screaming For Vengeance, Number of the Beast or Wheels of Steel? On a more positive, and final note, this is the bands second attempt, and credit should be given for the high quality of singable, straight up enjoyable songs – which is a step forward from their debut. With that in mind, Cauldron may be average now, but they clearly have the potential to record a much better album.
For Fans of: Blaze Bayley, Enforcer and White Wizzard
Album Highlights: All or Nothing, Rapid City and Miss You to Death
Burning Fortunes will be released on the 14th of February and can be pre-order here.