Review Summary: Equal parts Dokken and Sabbath, Chained to the Nite is one helluva party...but not much else.
As far as metal goes, Goat Horn was Toronto's best kept secret. Sure, you could argue that's because they were actually from Pembroke, but since nobody gives a shi
t about Pembroke I'll say it again: Goat Horn was Toronto's best kept secret. They played a brand of metal that could only be described as lanky. They were in many ways a contemporary, Canadian Witchfinder General, only unlike the reformed British foursome, their awkwardness was more endearing than alienating. Of course Goat Horn were far from an adolescent Sabbath-clone. They were louder than necessary and they often welcomed thrashy, speed-metal undertones into their beer-soaked brand of heavy metal. Of course like most best kept secrets, Goat Horn struggled to stay afloat and eventually disbanded. From the ashes rose Cauldron, a cock-rock three piece dedicated exclusively to heavy metal and, more specifically, chains.
Jason Decay heads Cauldron on their debut full-length Chained to the Nite
, and while the vocalist-slash-bassist may be the only Goat Horn member remaining, he sees their legacy through. Joined by drummer “Steel Rider” and guitarist “Ian Chains”, Chained to the Nite
is a revitalization of traditional heavy metal with hearty injection of cock rock. While Chained to the Nite
does get heavier as it progresses, it largely abandons Goat Horn's deeper oomph in favour of Ian Chains' hooky guitar work. In fact Chained to the Nite
is a surprisingly sweet sounding album, almost too a fault, and what it lacks in loudness it seemingly makes up for with chains. Seriously. Not only is the album titled Chained to the Nite
, and not only does it feature Ian Chains on guitars, but it features a track titled “Chained Up In Chains” and another titled “Chains Around Heaven” and the album cover features a naked woman chained up (in chains). Cauldron's fascination with chains is, well, perplexing but marginally inconsequential. What matters is that Chained to the Nite
does exactly what it sets out to do: it is a traditional heavy metal album that excellently tosses all things 80s into the...Cauldron. Whether it's the doom-y gallop of “Midnite Hour”, the speedy “Dreams Die Young” or the outright schlocky “Chained Up In Chains”, Chained to the Nite
does an excellent job at providing a snapshot of the genre while contributing to its legacy.
The band may be better known for their drunken escapades around the city but Chained to the Nite
justifies them as a worthy successor to the tradition Goat Horn created, and with the recent break-up of Toronto retro-thrashers Rammer (who featured former Goat Horn and Cauldron member Al "Altillery" Chambers on drums), Cauldron fills a necessary void. Though it's easy to argue that Chained to the Nite
is at times too fluffy for its own good, it is virtually impossible to deny how fun it is. At it's core, Chained to the Nite
is but a beer-soaked throwback. It may not be the densest album out there but it's one hell of a party and sometimes that's all we can ask for.