I was quite shocked and filled with extreme happiness when Howie Bentley informed me that he would would resurrect his spiritual CAULDRON BORN child out from the ashes.
The comeback from the dead featured three members from the classic 1994 line up (Howie Bentley on guitars, Bill Parsons on drums and Shawn Kascak on bass) plus the mighty voice of ETERNAL WINTER, the mighty Matthew Knight himself.
“Legacy of Atlantean Kings” which was actually a re-recorded and re-arranged edition of the “…And Rome Shall Fall” classic, was the first result of the band’s resurrection.
The second and most important chapter on this new era of the cauldron is the “Cold Steel for the Necromancer” new album. A release that brings the band back where it belongs: to the pantheon of Epic / Power Metal.
I will put it straight and simple: The album is a masterpiece. Through this release Howie Bentley highlights the CAULDRON BORN vision, a vision that has not changed since day one of the band’s existence: The release of inspired, complex and the same time so into the point, Epic / Power Metal totally connected and inspired by Sword & Sorcery literature.
Bentley delivers some of the most outstanding guitar themes of his entire career in this album. The lead guitars parts and the solos are fantastic. Alex Parra has also delivered some great guitar work. The songs are based on adventurous structures, emphasized by this solid and technical rhythm section: Bill Parsons have delivered some excellent drumming and the same goes for the amazing bass performance of the one and only Mike LePond (SYMPHONY X, HEATHENS RAGE etc), who recorded bass on the new album. Oh boy, this is a total blast.
Of course I have to make a special reference, to the excellent vocal performance of Matthew Knight. Please allow me to point that the vocals are one of the strongest features on the new album.
I would not refer to any song in particular simply because this is an album to be listened on its entirety. I have already placed “The Cold Steel of the Necromancer” next to the CAULDRON BORN classics, and I consider it as a classic in the Epic / Power realm of our age.
Bands like CAULDRON BORN and artists like Howie Bentley is the main reason that publications like FORGOTTEN SCROLL exist. Well yes dudes. This is the underground. To be locked on your room full of records and books enjoying some inspired and complex Steel, shaping your own pictures through the deep, epic lyrics, as you try to discover the hidden meanings or create your own!
All hail CAULDRON BORN!
Years ago the world swept into darkness: the vile forces of false heavy metal music dominated the land. Feeble, mumbling sounds protruded from puppets of the industry lords and people were slowly engulfed into this travesty. However, in an unexpected turn of events, warriors from the deepest realms of the underground rose to the challenge to fight for true heavy metal. Among them, he who was born of the cauldron, a grim steadfast figure, a one who walked a lonely path, fought fiercely, and returned to the abyssal dwellings of the underground. Years have passed, the industry lords wore a different mask embracing true heavy metal only to milk it with the obscenest way. And upon that time the warrior from the cauldron left again the catacombs where he dwelt, only to deliver…. “Cold Steel for the Necromancer”.
Yes, friends, CAULDRON BORN are back. And let me make it clear for you, if you are not familiar with CAULDRON BORN, there are some pretty good articles for the new Avril Lavinge album, apparently it will interest you more. Because here we are talking for one of the most obscure bands that rose in the 90’s (and a little later). Howie Bentley had always been active one way or another, he begun the record label “Echoes of Crom”, he did Sabbath inspired albums with BRITON RITES and he published novels, short stories, and books with DRM publishing. But let’s be serious: what we need are insane Cauldron Born riffs and the new album is full of them.
Continuing the path of “Swords, Sorcery and Science” EP, CAULDRON BORN deliver once again an overdose of classic U.S. Epic / Power metal but in the most twisted way. Guitar driven songs blended with insane high-pitched vocals. Epic harmonies, fast tempo and an overwhelming atmosphere that reminded me of all those fantasy paperbacks of the 60’s and 70’s. I have rarely see bands that dominate their songs with riffs at such a level, as it is obvious that Howie with his guitar shows the path for the other instruments for example on songs like “Full moon Revenant” or “Steel Juggernaut”. There are a couple of sudden tempo changes like the last track “A Grim Homecoming…”, however the album is reminiscent of “…And Rome Shall Fall” rather than the band’s debut.
The ongoing guitar insanity is intense especially in the absolute highlight of the album “Mask of the God Hunter”, “Full Moon Revenant”, the title track and the magnificent “Thannhausefeer’s Guest”. There is also the characteristic “clumsy” vocal line that CAULDRON BORN are known for, for extra insanity. It would be no exaggeration to say that there is no other band that sounds like CAULDRON BORN.
Frankly, I am rarely as excited as this one. This album sounds as if it was released for all of us who searched the last pages of magazines full of MACHINE HEAD and FEAR FACTORY articles, for some traces of classic metal. This is pure power metal madness, a future classic, another swift blow to the soft belly of modern music industry. Here me now, the cauldron is boiling again, so deceivers and feeble hearted take care. This is a fair warning.
We have reviewed the limited edition of the album that was released by Echoes of Crom Records. A standard edition featuring a different front cover will be available on the next few weeks, you can get updates on this edition on the band’s official bandcamp site & facebook page. A vinyl edition will also be available on Cult Metal Classics.
Check the discussion about the album on our forum pages.