A headbanger's blog!

Live!: Cauldron at Maverick’s Feb. 18/2011 (w/ Flying Fortress, Näartok, Hellbound)

(Note: I must apologize for the lateness of this review. I was waiting on a photographer to get back to me with photos, which has not yet happened. As such, I have made use of live photos of these bands at previous shows, and have done my best to ensure those photos and videos are from Maverick’s and Cafe Dekcuf shows, or other shows from the current tour.)

The night began with a band playing in a newer Hard Rock vein than the three ensuing bands would deliver. HELLBOUND played their Hard Rock in a Godsmack vein. Though they were, in no uncertain terms, a very green band, they had a lot of potential (especially their frontman). Definitely a band to watch on the local scene. (7 out of 10)

Photo of Naartok

Next up was a band out of the LCHC (Lanark County Hell Crew) who I’ve seen a few times previously, and each time they get better. NÄARTOK a truly heady speed metal concoction with splashes of Black Metal and traditional Rock ‘N Roll. Frontman Scott Wark, who also fronts Lanark Thrashers Joe Thrasher, is very very capable and entertaining, and the stage presence and overall performance of the rest of the band gets better everytime I’ve seen them. Songs like Satanic “Soldier of Death” and the Anti-Cocaine anthem of “White Death” flow with a filthy groove like the bastard child of Motorhead and Celtic Frost.  Definitely a live act to check out and something that every Metalhead should experience. A criminally unsung band. (8.5 out of 10)

Coming off of the release of their first full length record, the highly distorted Pembroke metal duo FLYING FORTRESS, comprised of Bass Guitarist/Vocalist Brandon Wars and Drummer/Vocalist Steel Rider, turned in probably their best performance that I’ve seen. I was blown away by this band the first time I saw them at Cafe Dekcuf, and since then, Brandon Wars has improved by (literal) leaps and bounds as a frontman. The first time I saw them he mostly just stayed perched behind the mic without much movement, but this night he was leaping and running around the stage like a deranged and paniced bumblebee. The energy eminating from both members was incredible, and neither musician missed a beat. Songs like “Cold Desires”, “Steel Sustain”, and “Wine and Speed” were thus given even more impact, and forced you to bang your head. It seems that both bands to have risen from the ashes of Goat Horn are very heavy and exciting propositions. (10 out of 10)

The other of those two bands, headliners CAULDRON, were plagued with technical issues on this night, namely drummer Chris Steve’s mic-stand continually falling on top of him in the middle of songs (to his credit, Chris never missed a beat.). Guitar player Ian Chains was also having difficulties hearing his guitar, and thus the set, though solid, was cut short. This was unfortunate for several reasons: 

– I had been looking forward to hearing some of the bands new material played. Only two new songs were played (and, somewhat unimaginatively, they were the first two songs from the record) which of course meant that the rest of the set was comprised of “hits”. It was somewhat disheartening to see a very promising, up-and-coming Canadian band, only two albums and an EP into their career, playing a set that, in some ways, resembled the kind of “greatest hits” package that aging superstars might tour on.                 

– I know that technical issues suck, but I was definitely left a little dissappointed when the set was cut short due to the recurring technical issues they’d been experiencing. The issues they were having did not affect the show at all for the audience and, on the level of sound and musicianship quality, Cauldron has definitely improved a lot since first time I saw them. Sometimes a musician has to admit defeat in the face of overwhelming amounts of equipement failure, but this night was not such an occasion.

If they had stuck it out and delivered a few more new songs, the set would have been DRASTICALLY improved. Sadly, as things stood at the end of the evening, this was not the best the band could do. However, I still have faith, and anxiously await their return to Ottawa. (8.5 out of 10)

Overall show rating: \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/ \m (8.5 out of 10)

(For more info on Cauldron, visit their myspace)

(For more info on Flying Fortress, visit their myspace)

(For more info on Näartok, visit their myspace)

(For more info on Hellbound, visit their myspace)

– Special thanks to Scott Wark for allowing me to use one of Näartok’s demo tracks in this post. Thanks man!

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