Back in the mid and late 90s, the heavy metal scene was full of progressive and black metal bands. But the fans seemed to miss the classic heavy metal sound, so it was a matter of time a new wave to breakout which would resemble the traditional bands. CAULDRON BORN from Georgia, Atlanta, and later Kentucky, formed by the guitarist Howie Bentley, were one of the first bands of that movement, and gained significant recognition in the underground heavy metal scene mostly because of their 1997 Born of the Cauldron debut, which a was great mixture of HELSTAR, JAG PANZER and early FATES WARNING.
The second album of the band, …and Rome Shall Fall, was released in 2002, and it introduced David Loudon on vocals, who replaced their first singer Danny White. The album received mixed reviews back then, as the band preferred to play a more straight-forward kind of metal, speedier and heavier, rather than technical as in their debut. Others liked that change, while others thought it was less successful and did not sound as creative as their first attempt. In any case, the band split-up afterwards, but now CAULDRON BORN is active again with their new singer Matthew Knight and a new second guitar player, Alex Parra. But Legacy of Atlantean Kings which we discuss here, is not their new third album, but a re-recording of …and Rome Shall Fall with the new members.
The purpose of this album is clearly to introduce the new singer to the fans of the band before the release of new material. The album does not have many differences from the old version, and this includes the vocals also. David Loudon had a Michael Kiske style, while Matthew Knight is closer to the Bruce Dickinson school. The common link of both singers is perhaps John Arch, and this is why the sound of the new album does not have many notable changes.
It is great that in 2021, Legacy of Atlantean Kings is enjoyable and shows that the band has still many things to offer to the fans of heavy metal. In general, the album is very up-tempo and it has a similar heavy/power metal vide to the first three albums of ICED EARTH. It preserves its epic tunes, and songs such as “Dragon Throne”, “Clontarf” and “By This Axe I Rule” are truly great. It doesn’t have those technical -doomy -progressive touches of the first album, but the record hasn’t lost its initial powerful and barbaric feeling.
It was nice to see the return of CAULDRON BORN and this new re-recording is a good chance for the old fans to remember the band, as well as for the new fans to get acquainted with its material. The fact that the band has re-recorded their second album perhaps shows that the actual third album will follow this sound and not the debut, but in any case, CAULDRON BORN seem strong and active, making their fans even more impatient for some new material.