February 4th, 2016
Cauldron – In Ruin
Retro reverberation will set you free, and there’s plenty of it on In Ruin. While most ’80s bands soaked everything in layers of reverb to give it an arena-ready quality, Cauldron do it for the sake of sonic appeal. The vocals are absolutely delicious, but the drum sound deserves some sort of special commendation, so I made this:
The snare hit in particular sounds like an echo from metal’s past, a time where every riff or neo-mystical lyric felt larger than life. Actually, metal’s alleged glory years were filled with garbage, whether it was desperate pop crossover attempts or too many tinny ballads. If anything, Cauldron does such a great job idealizing old school heavy metal that you’ll forget how bad a lot of it actually was.
By stripping away the crap of old school metal throughout In Ruin, songs can be broken into two categories: chuggers and thrashers. The chuggers like “Empress” and “Hold Your Fire” are where everything smokes, with whiny vocals brooding over gargantuan riffs. “Delusive Serenade”, the only instrumental, might be the best track, starting soft and eventually pulverizing the listener with massive layers of power chords and solos. The thrashers don’t have the same impact, but you’ll bang your head until it falls off anyway.
In your last moments as you look up at your decapitated body spurting blood out of the big hole in your neck, you’ll look back on In Ruin as January 2016’s best heavy metal album. Your severed head will roll over to your old record collection and start chewing up all your less good Ozzy and Saint Vitus albums while your body will keep it’s fingers crossed that Cauldron won’t have another four year layover between albums.