"New Gods"

By Lord Randall

Now five albums deep into its career, Canada’s CAULDRON should know what it is, where it’s trying to go, and have a definite plan in place to get there. 

  Leading off with the ham-fisted plod of ‘Prisoner Of The Past’, I’m already dreading the next 40-odd minutes of my life. A lackluster, throwaway solo only slightly less bland than Harvey’s Classic Poutine served over a bed of a rhythm I’m pretty sure my first band used back in 1988 – and it hasn’t aged well, as it sucked back then too. ‘Letting Go’ makes me wish the three-piece had done so when the idea for this song came along, though to be fair the semi-ballad is leagues above the majority of what’s on the menu here, and might have replay potential. A third of the album over now, and ‘No Longer’ returns full force to the utter banality, both lyrically and musically, of CAULDRON at what I can only assume is its normal state of blah after over a decade in the game. ‘Never To Be Found’ very nearly approaches WHITE WIZZARD in its level of passion and quality songwriting, which isn’t saying much at all, but it’s the small victories from what I hear, so credit where it’s due. 

 I could keep going, but rest assured, the second half of "New Gods" is every bit what the first half was, only, if possible, more so. While GOAT HORN (of which CAULDRON was formed from the ashes) at least had some semblance of energy and worthiness, the trio has spent – to my ears at least – its entire existence as the nowadays metal equivalent of any one of the hundreds of bands whose cassettes I only ever saw at flea markets in the early-mid ‘80s. And most of those were shit as well. If that’s where CAULDRON is trying to get, then "New Gods" is a trip there on greased rails.