CauldronCanada’s Cauldron have become an institution on these shores of recent years, having moved over to the much respected, more music orientated High Roller Records, this their fourth full length that sees the band solidifying their sound and for me adding a level of progression to their last offering that I met with mixed emotion thinking back.

‘Corridors of Dust’ starts like the acoustic intro to Y&T’s classic ‘Rescue Me’ before engaging some fist pumping sounds which set your pulse racing and ‘Come Not Here’ even has a touch of Ratt about it, displaying the many different characters of the Cauldron sound, to me anyway of course! There are certainly some sultry sounds (‘Hold Your Fire’) akin to Dokken’s ‘Back for the Attack’ era, they are very melodic and catchy, made more noticeable by the high mix of Jason Decay’s vocals. Although not a problem, as we know and love the sound, but I do crave for a touch more punch from the vocals, especially as they are, as mentioned earlier, quite up front in the overall mix. Getting into the guitar work you will find keen melodies that are now free flowing, this is where their art really shines. Every now and again you try to find, or I certainly do, the influence of the songs. One example is, if you change the drum pattern to a particular chord progression at the start of ‘Santa Mira’, you could even find similarities to Priest’s ‘Beyond the Realms of Death’. There are a good mix of styles here on offer.

As an album, this is enjoyable, but it does sound a touch understated, missing a certain punch, but ‘In Ruins’ is definitely a developed and improved release compared to their last offering. If you know this band, I don’t think you will be disappointed one little bit. They now need some larger exposure as they have been touring on smaller scaled packages and by themselves for a number of years now, there is room and a need for Cauldron to rise to the next level. The songs are good enough and their heritage and back catalogue warrants it.

(7.5/10 Paul Maddison)