Cauldron + Dakesis + Eradikator @ Asylum 2, Birmingham – Thursday 29 November 2012

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Review by Chop and photos by Helen Moss

A crisp November’s evening greeted Canadians Cauldron. With a brace of local bands chomping at the bit in support would this be enough to ensure all left warm-hearted before braving the elements once more?

Eradikator were first to pick up the gauntlet as it were. Their extended intro was due for the most part to a kick drum with a mind of its own, which combined with early sound issues didn’t auger well. Oh ye of little faith Chop… With the sound glitches swiftly ironed out (wouldn’t expect anything else from Charlie) Eradikator contributed half an hour or so of precise old school thrash. Tempo changes galore, loads of chug, where’s my hi tops? Perhaps some of the links between sections could have been slicker, and the choice of cover to close with – ‘The Chase Is Better Than The Catch’ – may not have been the most prudent, but all in all they were entertaining enough and got the night off to a solid start.

Power metal cheese-meisters Dakesis were next to enter the fray. Or the first to ring a bell, paint a cross on the door, and warn of the plague if Gemma and Amie’s infirmity was anything to go by. My utmost respect is extended to them both for their ‘show must go on’ approach, as are my best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. Back to the music, it was pretty much a case of business as usual, albeit with a somewhat modified set list. Guitar histrionics, piercing vocals, and naturally a series of technical issues. Oh, and memory loss regarding the other bands playing. Sorry Wayne! ‘Liar’ was as impressive as ever and that guitar swap trick was incorporated into set closer ‘Valhalla’. Apparently work on album two continues at a pace so expect announcements at some point in 2013…

Scene set then for Cauldron to blaze their way through their stint which they did with considerable ease. They’ve always impressed with their live abilities and tonight was no different. Dakesis’ Wayne – possibly still blushing despite his interval Uriah Heep (character not band) impression to Pat from Eradikator – added another job to his c.v. as clearly he’s a frustrated drum tech, assisting Myles who was struggling with a tom stand with a mind of its own. Speaking of Myles, who joined the band in July, he’s a fine addition, a good technician who hits the kit hard and suits the band’s approach well. It was nice to see a band set up the way they did, no frills, no pedal boards the size of Ontario, all done through head settings and volume. Good honest rock and roll, beefed up with a pinch of thrash and modern amplification. God I’m sounding old… There were a couple of strange omissions from the set (‘Chained Up In Chains’ being the most obvious) but allowing for the emphasis on the new album they mixed songs from their back catalogue up well enough. As a fan of the darker and more brutal forms of metal, their faster material was more to my taste, with ‘Burning Fortune’ just getting the nod as song of the night. Hats off to Cauldron for soldiering on in such a professional manner despite the shockingly sparse attendance. They genuinely did all in their power to get the crowd (and I use the word loosely) going…