Cage-Astrology (Molten Metal) 2001
This is the second disc from American power metal mongers Cage. There is another band called Cage from Europe, I believe. In anycase, Cage bring back the glory days of heavy metal, reminding me slightly of a more aggressive Judas Priest. The band has some interesting lyrics as well, with some slight Christian overtones, although Cage are certainly not a Christian band. Picked up this disc in a trade on the PM Board.
Cage - Darker Than Black (Massacre Records) 2003
"Darker than Black" starts off with smokin', full throttle heavy meal track ("Kill The Devil") that is very reminiscent of Judas Priest. Gotta love a song titled "Kill the Devil". This track, while being my favorite on the disc, is the predominant sound of the entire album. Following is the song "Chupacabra" which is good as well, and adds in some Cradle Of Filth type vocals that adds to the appeal. I am not a huge fan of black metal, but here the mix of vocal styles is captivating. Vocal diversity is something that most black and death metal bands do not have. "White Magic" also has some of these more extreme vocals mixed in with the powerhouse singing of Sean Peck. "Blood Of The Innocent" and "Eyes Of Obsidian" are both strong power metal songs and recall nicely the glory days of metal, without sounding outdated. On "Door To The Unknown" I was reminded of some of King Diamond's classic material. "Secret Of Fatima" starts out great and once again adds in a mixture of the power metal and black metal vocal styles. Cage continue to improved upon themselves and gain a bit of diversity while never compromising their pure metal stance.
1. Descension (:44)
I also found it compelling that "Hell Destroyer" was a concept album. The epic storyline is obviously inspired by the Bible but isn’t taken directly out of the Bible either. Rather, the Biblically inspired end times themes are mixed with some slight sci-fi themes to create a fiction story that merely parallels the Book of Revelation. There are also interludes with spoken words and sound effects that are suppose to help tie the storyline together.
My only complaint with “Hell Destroyer” is that I found it to be a bit too long and samey. The tempos, the songwriting, and even the vocal performance didn’t change much from song to song, making it hard to listen to this CD in one sitting. I think “Hell Destroyer” might have been a stronger album had the band trimmed it down to the best 11 - 12 tracks. I felt the same way about Judas Priest’s lengthy concept album “Nostradamus”. Also, much like “Nostradamus”, I think the storyline would not have lost a bit had the interludes been left off in favor of just the strongest songs. Other than this complaint, I have to agree with the accolades thrown at “Hell Destroyer”.