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Cage
Hell Destroyer
June 2007
Released: 2007, MTM Music/Zink Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Cage’s fourth album entitled HELL DESTROYER is now here. Cage is a well-known act from San Diego and has opened for acts like Iron Maiden, Dio, Dokken, and Judas Priest. The bio presents a helluva lot of different labels to stamp on Cage’s music, like pure millennium metal, classical metal for the new age, or power metal to give a few examples. I don’t think the music needs to be categorized in so many different ways; let’s just say that Cage plays traditional and technical heavy metal.

Musically, the band has a lot in common with Judas Priest and Iron Maiden with their twin-guitar attack and various tempo changes. However, Cage has updated their sound for the 21st century, and damn have they done it well! Lead singer Sean Peck has an enormous voice with a broad vocal range; sometimes he sounds really close to Rob Halford. Cage proves that it’s possible in the year 2007 to take heavy metal to another dimension and develop it a step further.

HELL DESTROYER is a themed album which revolves around the story of Hell Destroyer who travels though time beginning with the crucifixion, to a modern-day New World order, to a demonic invasion of the earth, and finally the resurrection of the Metal Devil himself 100 years after the end of the world. Because I don’t have any lyrics to follow, I have mainly focused on the music, which is fantastic. Cage fires off a deadly assault of mind-blowing music that sticks to your brain right away. There’s not a single bad track on the album, so sit back and enjoy the flood of great music that will come through your speakers. The only thing I have against the album is the length; 80 minutes is a little too long. Many of the Metal-Rules staff seem to love Cage, and I’m next in the line of worship. Cage delivers heavy metal for the next millennium.

The album includes 21 songs, 6 of which only include a storyteller’s voice that moves the saga forward. There’s also a bonus track called “King Diamond” on this 80-minute-long album. Killer tracks include “Hell Destroyer”, “Christhammer”, “Born In Blood”, “Abomination”, “Rise Of The Beast”, “Bohemian Groove”, “Legion Of Demons”, “Fire And Metal”, and “Metal Devil”.
Track Listing

1. Ascension
2. Hell Destroyer
3. I Am The King
4. The Circle Of Light
5. Christhammer
6. Born In Blood
7. Abomination
8. Inauguration
9. Rise Of The Beast
10. Cremation Of Cave
11. Bohemian Groove
12. Final Proclamation
13. From Death To Legend
14. Legion Of Demons
15. Betrayal
16. Fall Of Angels
17. Fire And Metal
18. Beyond The Apocalypse
19. The Lords Of Chaos
20. King Diamond (bonus track)

Lineup

Sean Peck – lead vocals
Dave Garcia – lead guitar
Anthony Wayne McGinnis – lead guitar
Mike Giordano – bass
Mike Nielsen – drums


Next review: » Cage - Hell Destroyer
Previous review: » Cage - Darker than Black

Cage
Hell Destroyer
November 2007
Released: 2007, Destroy All Records Entertainment
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: EvilG

Cage’s latest output is every bit as strong as its glorious predecessor, DARKER THAN BLACK (2003). It’s unfortunate that there was a four-year gap between albums. After all, Cage is not a household name and that long of a break can do no good.



If you didn’t know already, HELL DESTROYER is a concept album so the long-ass 20-song list isn’t all songs. A handful of them are short dialog pieces between songs. I have to say the storyline is not clearly laid out. For my first several spins I just listened to the awesomeness of the music and ignored the fact that there was an underlying story. My advice is for you to do the same. However, I decided to read through the booklet and I became almost blind while doing so. The booklet LOOKS very cool with the great artwork throughout, but it’s at the expense of the display of the lyrics. The line breaks are messed up and interspersed with solo credits plus the font size is retardedly small. The story is supposed to be their interpretation of the book of revelations. Since I am not Christian, I’ve never read it in its entirety, and in reading Cage’s weird futuristic twist on it, I am wondering if this is some bizarre attempt at Xtian Metal? I doubt it, but at this point in my life a full near 80min album of material all about the devil, the Antichrist, Hell destroyers and Christ hammers becomes quite dull and even juvenile. So bottom line, ignore the lyrics, and focus on the music.



If you’ve heard Cage before, musically you know what to expect. If not, then a quick comparison would be a mix of PAINKILLER Priest and Primal Fear….so basically, melodic, often speedy, and always aggressive heavy metal. The album’s highlights include “Hell Destroyer”, the opening song, which starts with Sean Peck doing some Halford, styled screams. I love his screaming but it’s when Sean sings in mid and deeper tones that the true power of his voice is realized. “I Am the King” has a more traditional metal feel with mid-paced HammerFall+Priest-ish riffing. The vocals at the beginning of “Christ Hammer” are quite impressive with Sean singing in several octaves blended together. Cage has crafted some wickedly catchy choruses that in a couple places, repeat just a little too often, and it’s noticeable on “Christ Hammer” or on another of the album’s better tracks “From Death To Legend”. I really like some of the soloing in this one…not face melting, just tasty semi-neo-classical melody. But no worries, there are plenty of ripping leads on the album offering one of the band’s other highlights with the abundance of lead guitars.



If you are a fan of Priest-inspired metal (and who isn’t?), then you should be all over this band immediately! Just don’t expect lyrical brilliance…the strength lies in the music. The other minor criticism is the sameness….yes it’s all awesome, but may seem a little one sided to those who are not totally infatuated with the style.
Track Listing

1. Ascension
2. Hell Destroyer
3. I Am the King
4. The Circle of Light
5. Christ Hammer
6. Born in Blood
7. Abomination
8. Innauguration
9. Rise of the Beast
10. Cremation of Care
11. Bohemian Grove
12. Final Proclamation
13. From Death to Legend
14. Legion of Demons
15. Betrayal
16. Fall of the Angels
17. Fire and Metal
18. Beyond the Apocalypse
19. The Lords of Chaos
20. Metal Devil

Lineup

Sean Peck - Vocals
Dave Garcia - Guitars
Anthony Wayne McGinnis - Guitars
Mike Giordano - Bass
Norm Leggio - Drums


Next review: » Cage - Supremacy Of Steel
Previous review: » Cage - Darker than Black





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