Sound — 9
"Burning Fortune" shows that Cauldron is influenced only by 80s heavy metal before thrash/black/death became well-known genres. I like to describe their sound as Angel Witch mixed with Dokken. The band plays very well together on this album and you can notice a definite improvement in the songwriting from their previous album. The songs aren't very complex but everyone is good with their instruments and able to excel at the style that they are trying to achieve. Although the album doesn't have harmonies like you would expect, Ian Chains is a good guitarist that knows how to play within his boundaries and include some very good riffs and rhythms. I'm not a drummer so perhaps I am not the best to judge this, but to me Chris Steve sounds much better than the previous drummer and helps complete the band's overall sound. When people are playing retro styles you know what they sound like before you play the album, so you will know whether you will like these guys are not just from the types of music you already prefer to listen to. If you like early/mid 80s metal you will enjoy both of Cauldron's albums, unless you are the type of person that believes that only the original bands should be allowed to play this style, if you fall under this category then don't bother.
Lyrics — 8
I do not pay alot of attention to lyrics because they do not affect the quality of the music, but Jason Decay is a great singer and his tone fits the music perfectly. He sounds similar to Don Dokken so it is very familiar to hear songs about problems with girls, but Cauldron doesn't overdo it the way Dokken did. Another thing I liked about being lyrically similar to early 80s heavy metal was in some songs like "Queen Of Fire", you have no idea what the hell they are talking about which is similar to many 80s bands like Ratt and Fates Warning.
Overall Impression — 9
Of all the recent bands that are going back to 80s styled heavy metal, Cauldron is my favorite. Like I said before, you already know what you are going to hear. So the main variable for these bands is the consistency, and "Burning Fortune" is so far the most consistent album from retro 80s metal bands. I want to say "Crisis In Utopia" by Holy Grail is better but the production completely killed that album, and the song writing on "Burning Fortune" is more consistent. My favorite songs on the album are the first three tracks but every song is worth listening to and worthy of being played live. The worst song on the album is the Halloween cover of "I Confess". If you haven't looked into the many new heavy metal bands that are going back to the style of the early 80s, "Burning Fortune" is definitely the album to start with.