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By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 @ 8:34 AM

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New Gods

The End Records

“Where are the anthems for our youth? What happened to music that meant something? THE WHO at the Kingdome, or KISS at the Coliseum... Where is the "Misty Mountain Hop", where is the "Smoke On The Water"... Where is the "Iron Man" of today?” – Cliff Poncier, Citizen Dick, Singles

For as long as I’ve been championing their praises on KNAC.COM either in concert review form or simply placing their last few albums amongst my year-end Top 10 lists, Hogtown’s trad metal champions CAULDRON have always seemed to remain beneath the radar save for a select few who appreciate their metal to be raw, powerful, direct, invincible and yet catchy and easily relatable. Those are all attributes which, as metal fans, we have all come to expect from many of the legends of our time throughout the last 50 years or so since the genre was birthed practically from a lyric in STEPPENWOLF’s “Born To Be Wild”.

Fast forward to the last couple of months in 2018 and lately, we’ve seen many of those same legends announce farewell tours which many of us have likely seen coming, though it pained us to admit the inevitable arrival of the reckoning day at hand. From KISS to SLAYER to OZZY OSBOURNE among others, time has not been at its kindest towards many of those same legends over the course of the past few years and have prompted many of those same bands to announce that the days of their lengthy touring schedules are numbered. At the same time too, we’ve been too unfairly skeptical about who shall replace them, practically blaming the next generation of bands for not meeting the same expectations set by their predecessors. This, in turn, has left us continuing to ponder who will be the next torchbearers of our music in a morass of mainstream which has only gotten worse over time.

Turning attention back to CAULDRON, maybe they could be one of many bands who have not only posed the question, but have poised themselves to answer it with their fifth album, fittingly titled New Gods. It’s a significant departure in terms of mood and tone from the band’s previous material as New Gods harkens more towards immortality, coming of age and other more bleak-sounding topics reflecting more on facing adversity rather than battling it.

Opening numbers “Prisoner Of The Past” and “Letting Go” are perhaps the purveyors of the dark brooding tone of New Gods. Frontman/bassist Jason Decay in particular on the first track reflects on being “a prisoner of the past/Don’t know how to make it last” as the morose riffs of Ian Chains and the funereal drum work of Myles Deck accompany him. “Letting Go” is also bleak in nature, made more so by Decay’s whispered and desperate vocals by the end of the song, harkening back to much of BLUE OYSTER CULT’s earlier material. Other numbers such as “No Longer”, with its semi-catchy chorus, the fast and heavily SABBATH-influenced “Drown” and the slightly more uptempo “Never Be Found” which sees a return to the band’s strong NWOBHM influences from their first two albums are also somewhat steeped in moody undertones but they still delivered lots of energetic riffs and rhythm.

The odd songs out of the group would ultimately be “Save The Truth/Syracuse” which is the longest song on the album, chiming in at almost 6 minutes. “Save The Truth” in itself is a slammer of a song while the follow-up instrumental “Syracuse” is a surprisingly riveting synth solo that expands to a further 2 and a half minutes but seems a bit unnecessarily tacked on otherwise, an almost inside riddle amongst the band members that few of us will get. “Together As None” also feels a bit out of place on this album with its anthemic chorus reminiscent of latter day DEF LEPPARD but still manages to work with its dark lyrics all the same.

In a moment in which bands are popularized and discovered based on the amounts of hits and follows their social media pages attract and almost making us yearn for the days of American Idol to increase their profile, CAULDRON have heated up that same age-old question that Cliff Poncier had asked 26 years earlier about the existence of the anthems of our time with New Gods, ready to put lean and lifestyle music to the flame.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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