Sunday, April 4, 2010

Cauldron Born - Born Of The Cauldron

The band claims themselves to be “Epic Barbarian Metal”, and…that sounds about right to me.

Here we’ve got a release that falls into the Manilla Road school of power/heavy metal, and fans of the style know what that means: the riffs are huge and catchy, but not without immaculate care in their construction; the vocals are high as hell, channeling an early Geoff Tate in this instance; the songs wind and twist like the ancient labyrinths that are belted out about in the lyrics.

It seems more straightforward than a lot of Manilla Road, though, but it’s still very good. My only gripe (talking about the reissue, don’t know about the original) is that the production suffers from that too-loud-for-the-speakers issue that’s plagued many records recently, most notably Metallica’s Death Magnetic. You can kind of hear the riffs snap, crackle and pop as they breach some kind of intangible clarity threshold, but it doesn’t really hurt the music itself.

The performances are enthusiastic, and the songs are written creatively and fluidly. It’s a good album, but because the original version was very limited and the reissue completely did not help matters to that end (1000 numbered copies), if you’re a fan of the style, get one while you still can.

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