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Cage – Ancient Evil

Label: Sweden Music Group
Format: CD download
Released: 2015
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 8/ 10


Singer Sean Peck is a busy man, what with fronting Death Dealer, the newly issued Sherman/Denner EP (can't help but think the “King Diamond” bonus track on “Hell Destroyer” had something to do with the latter) and, of course, his own band, San Diego based Cage. There's even a bit of Diamond-esque playfulness in ‘Cassandra’. Ancient Evil is a concept album, based on a horror novella penned by the singer (available as download from Amazon and other outlets), one he hopes to one day fully develop for the cinema. There are 19 total tracks, although some are sound effects and/or spoken voiceovers, courtesy of ex-Iron maiden/Wolfsbane singer Blaze Bayley.

 

A combination of power metal and thrash, Cage tear through the opening title track, Peck wailing on the high note accents. Even heavier is mid-tempo follow-up ‘Behind The Walls Of Newgate’, with body builder Dave 'Conan' Garcia' guitar ripping off a tasty solo. A more traditional sounding ‘The Appetite’ is no less sonically bombastic, not much room for dynamics when you're constantly at 10 (unless you can go "one louder"). While more restrained ‘Beholder’, one of the strongest songs, is an example. Frequent narration keep the story moving along, with ‘To Save Love’ a rare, slower moment (ditto ‘Tomorrow Never Came’). Peck repeatedly hits highs on traditional minded ‘Symphony Of Sin’, the guitar slicing through the barrage. Like an old school 15 round heavyweight fight, the listener comes out bloodied and physically drained.

 
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