Metal music in all its forms has been pressing on for decades — but that doesn’t mean its core can’t be made fresh again anyway. In a modern heavy music landscape bursting at the seams with experimentation, Canada’s Cauldron shared their 2018 The End Records full-length New Gods — and established themselves as aiming for the album’s namesake titles in the process, at least in a tongue-in-cheek sense.
Metal Songwriting Reigns Again
The band’s presentation is certainly reminiscent of metal greats like, say, Judas Priest, but they’ve cut to the center of what made Judas Priest great in the first place — songwriting. Comparisons might miss the point that Cauldron is drawing from a well similar to that of well known heavy metal outfits — they’re not a rip-off.
They’re aiming to, in their own music at least, restore and maintain an allegiance to solid, melodic metal songwriting. They’ve zeroed in on this aim as they’ve made their way forward as a band, now on their fifth full length album.
“I think we just pushed ourselves further in the direction of putting the songs first and focusing less on style or genre,” vocalist/bassist Jason Decay explains of New Gods. “It’s kind of the first record we made where it was like ‘let’s just make the best songs possible regardless of where they fit in to musical styles or whatever and just go with it.’ Every record we have a song that’s a little bit more, say, not as heavy as on the last record — they’re good songs but maybe not exactly what people expect from Cauldron, but in the long run, they always end up becoming the most requested songs. So we always push it one step further with each release and see how people like it, and it seems to work for us.”
They’ve laid bare, you might say, what led many metal fans to the genre in the first place. Metal took off via pushing music in new directions. It’s far more than unnecessary meaningless experimentation — and Cauldron’s New Gods reminds those who would listen of that.
“It’s what we enjoy listening to ourselves,” Decay explains. “We’re very big music fans, and we just want to create more of what we enjoy listen to and the bands that we listen to. I think a lot of our influences are kind of forgotten or maybe not so common. It sort of makes Cauldron sounds fresh. What’s going on nowadays makes us unique, I think.”
They’re equipped to take modern metal on thanks in part to their own allegiance to music — in short, they know what they’re doing.
New Gods‘ Impact
In the process, they’re maintaining a tangible evidence of the potency of what they’ve tapped into.
“I think we have a strong, loyal yet growing fanbase,” Decay explains. “Every time we push the boundaries a bit, it seems to work to our advantage. We’re also known as a band that delivers the brand that we’re known for, but I think we were able to branch out in a way that it doesn’t turn anybody off. It still sounds like Cauldron, even though we’re doing something new.”
That “something new” includes their adept and curiously potent songwriting with Decay’s entirely clean vocals overlaying the mixture. Even in his vocal presentation, the melodic metal songwriting takes center stage, he explains.
“Lyrically, it was a very dark period for the band, and that’s reflected in the lyrics — but I would say that’s totally separate from the music on the record,” he explains. “The lyrics are sort of an afterthought to the music.”
“I just try to make the best record possible and something that I can be satisfied with and live with,” he adds.
Listen to New Gods on Spotify below.