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Cauldron/Joe Thrasher Live in Ottawa

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Tuesday, January 23, 2007 @ 4:29 PM

At the Cafe Deckuf, Ottawa, Ca

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Remember the aforementioned Cauldron/Joe Thrasher show I promised y'all about on my previous Kill Cheerleader show review from last month assuming you had the chance to read it? Well, it's here and there's no catchy story behind it although I think on that particular week my landscaping job was slowly winding down for the winter (which has yet to arrive in Ottawa) so after a particularly long day I checked this show out after getting the invite from 2 of the bands on the bill (and actually arrived on time for a change which is pretty rare for me sometimes). So, since I don't have a catchy intro to this review we'll just start off with the review right here.

The first band to take the stage that night were local thrashers Bastardator who have been in existence for little over a year. You wouldn't know it in their music as their brutal thrash onslaught and clear vocals sounded so tight you'd swear that they've been a band for at least 5 years. Actually, maybe they have although you'd think that during that length of time they'd have a site up on MySpace or elsewhere but that aside, the music is the main priority for this band so that they at least will have something to promote. So far, I was sold as was a good number of people in the audience that night. The pit started going on a small level when they opened up with "Night Terror" and only gathered momentum as their set went on, through "Twisted Perceptions", "Legions Mean War", A Sodom cover I didn't recognize at first but may have interpreted it as "Incest", the uber-catchy "I Control The Night" ("I control the night/I own these streets/If you come across me/Know my language"), "Eternal Destruction", an excellent cover of Celtic Frost's "Into Crypts Of Rays", "Sudden Death" and up to the closing song "Bastards Of Mayhem". Soloing, musicianship, melody, coherent vocals....that's how thrash was done back then and so far for Bastardator, the student has passed the teacher and benefited greatly from it.

Want to learn more about the band and perhaps bug them a bit about getting a website and mp3's of their songs up in the near future? E-mail their drummer at theamebix@yahoo.com but only serious inquiries, please. And thanks to their drummer Jo for letting me nab their setlist to review them.

I was told that the next band, Toxicator, were fairly young, but I was under the assumption that "young" was to be interpreted as "up-and-coming independent underground metal band" rather than "a good 5 years under the legal drinking age". Very reminiscent of when Old Skull started out in 1989 except they were awful and couldn't play their instruments yet we all made a big deal about them because they were like, 12 years old and played punk and, like, they wrote a song about why they hated Ronald Reagan. Wasn't that gnarly? No it wasn't. Toxicator were thankfully the opposite. In fact, despite the presence of all of the band members' parents in the audience which was an all-ages show, the band were still lucky to even honor the show date at all as their lead singer Brian was recovering from a broken leg after being struck by a car but he still went ahead and did the show anyway in a wheelchair without even considering a replacement. Granted, the band may have looked like Timmy & The Lords Of The Underworld onstage but their delivery put them almost on the same level as Testament and Exodus that night give or take a shorted amp or two. Guitarists Skyler and Adam traded riffs with complete ease while Brian even managed to rile the crowd - half of them wearing Toxicator T-shirts - up a bit and help get a pit started despite having to be confined to his wheelchair most of the time (wonder what that says about our moshpits if a guy with a broken leg manages to get a moshpit started? Curious in general). I wish I had the chance to bogart their setlist as well as the only song I recognized from them was their anthemic number "New Born Metal" and a cover of Morbid Angel's "Dawn Of The Angry". Not bad for a band whose lineup weren't even conceived in the womb when Steve Tucker and Chuck Schuldiner signed their first record contracts. Highly recommended but don't get your hopes up on them learning Def Leppard's "Another Hit And Run" for their next show.


A lot has changed for Joe Thrasher since I last saw them at the same venue opening for Goat Horn last winter. Bass player Gumby actually moves more than 4 feet onstage now, their drummer Jim occasionally wears a shirt while playing, their guitarist Matt has actually managed to learn how to sweep-riff and palm mute even faster than before and, most notably, they have a new vocalist named Scott who has that bit more range when he sings. The band spared no time in getting their thrash on, speeding their way through their catalogue such as "Joe Thrasher", "Run To Your Mommy" and their new song "More Hate" among other songs from a recently-released demo I'm regretting I had a bit more money to have bought that evening. This was also coupled with a blistering version of Motorhead's "Iron Fist" and an attempted cover of Overkill's "Elimination" which was abandoned midway when Gumby thought that the band were still playing "Iron Fist" and came in a second too early with the wrong bass riff during the solo. Somewhere in between I was powerbombed by a stagediver wearing a full metal studded jacket while being the only person unfortunate enough to bother catching him. I haven't been right in the head since although I've found most Joe Thrasher and Toxicator fans to immediately pick up someone that fell during a moshpit and to not to be as violent compared to Collective Soul fans.

And yes, that last sentence was actually true.


Goat Horn may have Hibachied their last beer keg into history at least in name but Cauldron came to life that night as a band reborn. Musically, they're picking up where Goat Horn left off and even cut out the ceremonial beer keg torching performance from their show, focusing instead on the tunes. Some of them - particularly "Rise Into The Night" and "Threatening Force" - were from the second Goat Horn album which never saw the light of day and will instead be part of the band's upcoming Into The Cauldron EP while the others such as "Striker" and the EP's title track were bonafide Cauldron originals. Melodic while retaining its brutality and sense of humor and its confidence, Cauldron managed to satisfy fans of both bands that night with their performance. Not much to really add to that performance other than the girlfriend of the lead vocalist of Bastardator came close to having her eye taken out by Jason Decay's BC Rich Warlock bass. 5 times. I actually took count for fear that that stagediving incident during the Joe Thrasher show almost gave me permanent brain damage and I'd lose my ability to count. And unlike myself with that guy in the studded jacket, the Germans and the Greeks won't know what hit them when Cauldron pillage their festivals this coming April.


So, to summarize, 4 local metal bands for $8 was a good deal especially with the headlining band making a comeback with a vengeance. Courtesy of Matt from Joe Thrasher who helped make this possible.

Burning. Metal. Tits.

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