Album Review: CAULDRON BLACK RAM - Slaver

Artist: Cauldron Black Ram

Album: Slaver

Genre: Blackened Death Metal

Review by Steve Jenkins

Australian purveyors of meaty, metallic, sludgy death metal - Cauldron Black Ram, are back with another brutal offering of pillaging and pummeling barbarity. Fans have been patiently awaiting the follow up to their 2014 LP 'Stalagmire' which was an enjoyable slab of pure metal in itself. Now, in this quarantined, COVID-19 pandemic, we're treated to the band's latest album titled 'Slaver' which is due for release on May 22nd via 20 Buck Spin.

The album offers up ten nasty tracks that tell tales of gruesome and malevolent miscreants, all backed up by sounds of thick, atmospheric, dark, and gut-churning musicianship. The experienced hand of decades renders this singularly underground beast adept in the dark arts of skulduggery and churning sodden death deliverance, a task of which they partake with cruel delight.

What I love most about Cauldron Black Ram is their ability to play their unique style of blackened death/thrash metal and blend the hybrids together so perfectly in the mix. It really takes you back to the era of bands such as Celtic Frost, Hellhammer and even early Autopsy in terms of the death-doom tone. Whilst their are those influences thrown in, it's clear that Cauldron Black Ram are at the point of their career where they've really nailed and honed their craft. 'Slaver' is a perfect example of a band really mastering their sound, and whilst it might sound simple or straightforward to the untrained listener, there's plenty of groove-laden hooks, clinical riffing and masterful song structure right throughout this entire album. The vocals and lyrics add to the cold-blooded, grim sounds of the band and really give off that primitive feel that I get when listening to this.

Cauldron Black Ram uniquely slay their enemies with demented grooves, blackened thrash malice, and sludgy death metal barbarity. Standout tracks are hard to narrow down, as these guys are extremely consistent, with basically zero dull moments. Opener “Flame” has a nice Sabbath-esque vibe whilst smashing you in the face with a sledgehammer at the same time, and it’s followed up with the sadistic sounds of “Smoke Pours From The Orifices Of The Crematory Idol.” Other highlights include the infectious groove of “Whore To War” and the gaping, black terror that is “Graves Awaiting Corpses.” I also really enjoy the title track “Slaver” as it has this fucking monster old school heavy metal-style groove to the riffs tied together with the sickness and madness of the production.

'Slaver' is just solid from beginning to end and a definitely standout as far as 2020 releases are concerned, almost one of my favourite album covers I've seen lately from Misanthropic Art. Go buy it!

Fans of Aura Noir, Stargazer, Sempiternal Dusk, Coffins, Autopsy, and Sacrifyx should keep their periscope on the horizon for Cauldron Black Ram’s 'Slaver' to strike on LP, CD, and digital this May 22nd.

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