Wolf/Cauldron – Dudley, JB’s - 16th October 2009 Print E-mail
Written by David Whistance   
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 17:28


Wolf_Cauldron_Poster_2It's Friday night and where better a place to start the weekend than in the home land of the UK's Heavy Metal Scene, the West Midlands, and the glorious dark dwellings that is Dudley JB's, celebrating the final night of the Cauldron/Wolf UK tour.  And what a night of pure old school Heavy Metal it turned out to be.


Toronto metallers Cauldron must have spent their entire adolescence intensely studying the NWOBH hand book witnessing their entrance, as they strode onto the stage wearing the regimental old school metal uniform of black spandex, coupled with white socks, baseball boots and leather studded arm bands not seen since the glorious hey days that was the early eighties, but the Canadians certainly wore them with pride tonight.


As they stood on the stage with their Flying V guitars proudly strapped across their bodies of steel along with such illustrious monikers as Jason Decay, Ian Chains and Steel Rider you could almost believe this could be a parody of everything we all love about the Metal scene, but Cauldron are no jokers, they mean business.


One thing you will observe about Cauldron is they aren't as Heavy Metal sounding as you would first expect when you eyeball them. Certainly a far less metal prospect than their touring partners, and a much more melodic affair dare I say more in line with the classic Seventies style of British Rock but an incredible spectacle nevertheless.


They quickly storm into the bonus track from their 'Chained To The Nite' album 'The Striker Strikes', leading straight into album opener 'Young And Hungry', no song could sum up how these Canadians feel on stage this evening better than this number.


We raise our horns in unity as along with Cauldron we 'Conjure The Mass', no band since the legendary Manowar have a song title as Metal as the next number 'Chained Up In Chains', and a glorious anthem it is too, as it still rang out in my head when I stumbled back to my hotel hours later.


If a band were to write a song describing their musical heritage whilst also portraying their party lifestyle, then what could they call it? Hmm.... 'Making Noise And Drinking Beer', sounds good to me.


Tonight was also a celebration of unity of the touring partners, and from across the stage appeared Wolf guitarist Johannes Axeman, baring his arse for all to see before wrenching down Jason Decay's spandex trousers leaving the poor frontman's modesty hidden behind his axe, all to his credit he never hit... dare I say it a bum note, whilst his roadie hilariously trying to cover up his dignity.


A quick rip ride through 'Midnite Hour', 'Tortures Too Kind' and 'Last Force' and Cauldron made a final triumphant exit, knowing their work had been done.


Tonight's headliners Swedish Heavy Metal band Wolf, are the band that released my favourite album of the last decade in this genre, the awesome 'Black Flame', a mean feat considering some of the other major league contenders around, and they were also my personal highlight at this years Bloodstock festival. Tonight they were winding up touring the UK in support of their also sensational 'Ravenous' album.


Wolf tore onto the stage and quickly galloped through album opener 'Speed On', a full metal onslaught that takes no prisoners, and before we had time to draw breath it was onto two songs from the 'Black Flame' album, 'The Bite' and my personal favourite from tonight's set, the awe-inspiraring 'I Will Kill Again', proving that frontman Niklas Stalvind is one of the best Heavy Metal vocalists around right now.


Niklas also being the only original member left in Wolf has to be commended for putting together such an impressive line up of the band this time around, and now they will hopefully stick together for many a year to come.


Lead Guitarist Johannes Axeman, owned the stage as he tore across it frantically all evening only stopping on the drum riser to give drummer Richard Holmgren a quick hello and he's off again. Bassist Anders Modd obviously felt that the stage here in Dudley JB's was far too small for his bass playing skills and therefore set off through the criminally undersized crowd wearing a large grin spread across his face.


The anthemic 'Hail Caesar' was quickly followed by two equally infectious slabs of Heavy Metal, in the shape of 'Curse You Salem' and Ravenous' first single 'Voodoo'. A frantic 'Genocide' soon followed but unlike the title itself is no musical massacre, and 'Evil Star' was an obvious fan favourite judging by the shaking of heads in appreciation.


Whether the next song was a homage to the great Geordie Black Metallers or not, I could not tell, but what I can say was 'Venom' certainly rocked harder than Cronos' unfortunate fall from his ladder a few years previous whilst doing repairs to his mum's house...or was it a mountain climbing mishap...you decide.


So sadly it was onto the last song of the evening 'In The Shadow Of Steel' ending a perfect end of first class Heavy Metal entertainment.


If any band should be handed the flaming torch of Heavy Metal from such luminaries as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Accept or Black Sabbath then let it be Wolf...Long may they Reign!