Metal is a genre that embraces death, often using it as lyrical subject matter. But when bands are actually faced with death, or at least near-death experiences, that lyrical fuel becomes even more authentic.
In February 2016, Cauldron’s East Coast tour came to a screeching halt when a bus accident in Texas left guitarist Ian Chains injured. Although no one in the Toronto-based band was killed or suffered serious, permanent injury, the psychological effect of the accident left a mark.
“Since the last record, [2016’s In Ruin], we went through a lot of shit,” vocalist and bassist Jason Decay says. “We got in a bad accident on tour, which ended our tour and almost ended our band. We were lucky that we all came out alive and were able to regroup after six months or so. I think between that and some personal things that went on within the band, it was a difficult two years, but it shows that we came out strong and came out with a well-written, strongly written record. It was kind of like we had given up on everything, and it was just a deep, dark period for the band. I think that shows in the music; the lyrical content is pretty hopeless.”
Although the band’s future may have felt hopeless directly after the accident and in the months that followed, Cauldron were able to channel this negativity into one of their most passionate and darkest records yet. New Gods—released Sept. 7 on The End Records in North America and Dissonance Productions in Europe—is what Decay considers the group’s strongest recording to date.
“If you compare it to the first record, [2009’s Chained To the Nite], I think it’s completely different, but if you compare it to the one before, In Ruin, I think it’s very similar to the natural progression where we always end up,” he says of the album.
In addition to depressive lyrics that carry the album into new realms of sonic experimentation and metal wordplay, the band are also proud of the natural live sound achieved with this recording.
“I think this is our best-produced record in terms of performance and sound,” Decay explains. “I guess that sounds pretty cliché, but we are very happy with it. We worked hard to get there, and we fucked up a whole lot of albums to get to this one, so it feels good. We generally write together as a band and spend about two years kind of honing the songs, and when we go in to record them, we then overdub the vocals and extra guitar parts, so it’s very live, I think. It’s got a good feel to it. We record in the same room, take the best takes, and do overdubs from there. It’s a very organic approach.”
While the group may have dealt with many dark days over the past few years, they have emerged even stronger, with a record to prove it. Look out for Cauldron on tour in Europe through early October and pick up New Gods today!