05.06.2003

Darker than Black (intro)

Kill the Devil

Chupacabra

Blood of the Innocent

Eyes of Obsidian

Philadelfia Experiment

March of the Cage

White Magic

Door to the Unknown

Secrets of Fatima

Wings of Destruction

Chupacabra (Spanish version - bonustrack)

 

Sean Peck  (vocals)

Dave Garcia (guitar )

Anthony McGinnis (guitar)

Mickey Niel (bass)

Mike Giordano (drums)






CAGE: "Darker than Black"              cage        MASSACRE RECORDS

review  by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo_   


I'm very impressed by Cage and by their new album Darker than Black. I don't like Power, told frankly and openly, but i'm impressed by Cage. Firstly they play a kind of Power which has a lot of Heavy metal and Death metal influences so that the Power proceeding doesn't showcases the usual useless anthem- schemes, but, on the contrary, really dark riffs; secondly there is a massive guitar work: the rhythmic rours and bites underlining a substantial mighty mid tempo, while lead solos add nice virtuosities. The melodies are well structured and indeed the songs appear interesting and epic at a first listening. Well, the vocals are not my cup of blood , everyone knows how i dislike high female and male voices, but if i remain objective i can only say that Sean Peck's sings in a formidable way, yes, simply so. His voice is strong, clear and sounds agreeable even to my ears. Darker than Black combines aggression with epic melodies, rinforced by effective echoes and various resonance, exotic sonorities and distorced sounds included. Another thing to say: Cage can be extremely rough too, hiding a more delicate core. Iron hand in a velvet glove? No it's the opposite! Melodies are well armoured. Some people describe this band as old school, well i don't see all that old school if not for the fact that Cage let roar and furiously gallop their guitars in a savage way like metal should be, creating a monumental atmosphere essentially without the assistance of electronics. A' la true metal, maybe? What is impressing me is not the old or the new school but the way in which finally Power can be proposed, and if at the end of story it's no more Power, well allow me to exclaim: be all gods praised!
With Darker than Black, Cage exhibit maturity and strength with a touch of irresistible freshness, letting betray the joy of playing with an iron determination. The result is an amazing metal ride. 



I would say at once that the track number 5 Eyes of Obsidian is a heavy crunchy bomb: enriched by a persuading and catchy rhythm ,at the border line between mid and up tempo, and by merciless guitars that launch loops over loops executed by lead , rhythmic and bass, which create a titanic wall of heavy progression. Eyes of Obsidian will let you bang your head like a mad, and will go deep into your bones. Manowar can only learn something from this track, without telling more about how it pushes into the more obscure obscurity a lot of praised acts in general. Here we find a very awsome combination of Power and Heavy with a hammering severe atmosphere . Metalheads and connoisseurs can only reiterately shoot this track at maximum volume into their ears , no matter to which kind of genre or school they belong.
The title track- intro Darker than Black is atmospheric and spoken, worthy of a Death metal work and fades into Kill the Devil that launches itself with a constant progression from a slow atmospheric start to a speeder rhythm, crowned by crunchy guitar hits

Another valuable track stressed in dark is the track number 3 Chupacabra: a solid mid tempo monument with some oriental flavours. In a way, Chupacabra and Eyes of Obsidian are based on the same phylosophy and this emphasizes the very good direction of style and coherence of the album . 

The track 4 Blood of the Innocent lets understand the american origin of the band with its particular native- Indian ambiance which opens the song. Blood of the Innocent is one of the best songs of the album, heavy, biting, a bit anthemic but in a gloomy way. 
The speed Philadelfia Experiment is very catchy and showcases vocals amplified by back supporting and echoes. Unfortunately March of the Cage sounds a little bit artificial and less sparkling, although its intention is to sound solemn heavy and rather slow. I think that also White Magic sounds too artificial, just a bit in old Iron Maiden style, though it showcases flexible vocals, that span from clean to screaming, and its high voltage energy.

Secrets of Fatima is a lively, intense and progressive pushing acceleration. But it's then with the following Wings of Destruction that Cage surprise with a wide vocal spectrum from bass to high and formidable tempo changings

The best compliment i can give is that this album can persuade also those who don't like that much Power or high vocals. So you can imagine how appreciated this album can be by a wide number of listeners. Darker than Black is a musical experience and a killer one: is heavy like hell and the quality of the songs are much above the average of the genre. The production (producer is Richard Carr) makes then this album definately fit.
Just a couple of words have to be spent of course for the beautiful cover artwork by Marc Sasso. The first time i saw it, i said : oh finally , the "white" angels are pictured more or less like they "are", and this is to say as "gentle" as the other ones, in my opinion. I don't know whether they are also good or not, this is still to be proved, isn't it?


rating 9/10

dalia di giacomo 

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