The piratical goons of CAULDRON BLACK RAM are one weird bunch, and that’s exactly why I love this oddball Aussie band. They certainly aren’t prolific (Slaver is their first record in 6 years), and perhaps that also helps them to stand out. They have brewed up another grimy, greasy and rancid potion of extreme metal carnage that defies classification.

Slaver may be even rawer and filthier in sound than their previous record Stalagmire, which is no mean feat. The music is an unpredictable assault of strange riffing that ranges from sludgy doom to mid paced chug to swaggering fast (but not super fast) aggression. There is no real flesh ripping speed like you’d find on CANNIBAL CORPSE or ABORTED. They have an uncanny knack for coming up with weird hooks and changing tempos at just the right time to keep your interest high.

‘Stones Break Bones’ is one foul and ugly primitive beatdown, while ‘Graves Awaiting Corpses’ throws some of the oddest riffs and time signatures of the album at you. The crowning glory is the title track, which just grinds away with relentless power. Through it all, the vocals are grim grumbling or harsh rasping, with no clean singing to be found.

If you didn’t know by now, the lyrical subject of CAULDRON BLACK RAM revolves around piracy, but don’t expect RUNNING WILD or ALESTROM type stuff here. These guys make Blackbeard look like a dapper gentleman, and dwell on the nastiest aspects of buccaneering. I really think CBR is one of the most original and punishing metal bands out there.
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality

20 Buck Spin
4.5 / 6