on February 3, 2006
Anybody out there a Rob Halford fan? Forget about the industrial synth of Two, I'm talking about The Priest, Fight, and his more recent solo stuff with Roy Z. How about heavy metal with memorable melody and chorus? C'mon, I know you're out there! Cage and their vocalist Sean Peck are waiting for you to discover them!
No neo-classical, no progressive, no keyboards, no ballads, no shred. This is classic hard riffing power. Nothing less.
As I said, Sean Peck has obviously listened to his Judas Priest, because he appears to have graduated at the top of his class with a Master of Halford degree. But he's no clone! He puts his own stamp on that style, taking chances with his range, and pulls off a masterpiece. There's even a slight amount of black metal screeching vocals on "White Magic". I normally can't stand that style (it's the only thing keeping me from picking up any Children of Bodom) but, considering the song's topic, they accentuate this song quite well.
Since they're from San Diego, it's seems fitting that they have a little bilingual action. It's not enough to record a song about the legendary Latino "Chupacabra", but there are both English AND Spanish versions! The Spanish version is "hidden" on track 47. Very nice!
Thank God for the internet, because I would never have found this band without it. I downloaded "Kill the Devil" and was hooked. Go to cageheavymetal dot com, to the download section, and click on the Darker Than Black section to hear for yourself.
on June 10, 2005
I have had this disc now for 3 weeks & am simply amazed at the quality overall. The guitar work is very, very strong- bringing us back to the glory days of metal. Sean Peck's vocals are perfect for this music, downright evil sounding on White Magic & Secrets of Fatima.
There are a couple tunes that don't have any "lead breaks", but you'd never miss it because the twin harmony guitars are great throughout the entire songs. Has very much a Judas Priest feel but don't be fooled, this is well written & well executed metal by CAGE! Not a stinker on the entire disc, it's hard to pick favorites, but the 2 above mentioned, Kill the Devil, Chupacabra, & Wings of Destruction are on the metal highlights reel - just killer overall.
on December 26, 2003
This is the second complete balls-to-the-wall metal gem I've discovered this year, the first being Tad Morose's Matters of the Dark album. It's too bad bands like this never get any recognition because they've found the magic of writing truly heavy music without losing the key ingredient called "melody".
When I really want to sling sweat on the walls these days, Cage's Darker Than Black delivers in spades; super heavy, dark, melodic, with an obvious swelling of testicular fortitude. This album is PACKED FULL of killer mid-tempo and fast metal riffs accompanied by a VERY diverse vocal range. The singer has an incredible presence, combining a unique blend of power, emotion, melody, and deathly screaming. The band is extremely tight and accents the vocals well. The production easily earns five stars, which is rare for bands who are this noisy.
Listening to Darker Than Black, I would have to think that Cage is heavily influenced with early 80's masterpieces by Metal Church, Metallica, King Diamond, and Savatage. Of the modern day "true" metal bands, I rank this right up there with the aforementioned Tad Morose and Jag Panzer's Mechanized Warfare.
When it comes to straight forward power metal, it just doesn't get any better than this.
on February 11, 2006
Believe the hype! Cage's Darker Than Black is everything you demand and more. Fans of Primal Fear, Halford, Judas Priest, early Savatage will absolutely love this album. Guaranteed to melt your ears off and have you screaming for more! Support this band, buy this album and tell your metalhead friends. This is the real stuff: Gargantuan riffs, pounding double bass drums, blistering solos, powerful vocals with range, terrific packaging and fantastic artwork. This band will not disappoint. I tell you in all honesty there isn't a filler track on the whole CD, favorites include: Kill the Devil, Eyes of Obsidian and White Magic. These guys play true metal recalling the days of classic Priest, but with a refreshing new take. Buy this CD now!
on July 28, 2003
Darker than black kickin. every song is fast intricate and incredibly catchy. this album is much darker and heavier than the previous album astrology. The vocals on this album are jawdropping as they stretch through nearly every genre of metal.(though somewhere in between Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson at the norm) The rest of the band is just as good. If you listen to metal you must own this, you will not be dissappointed.
on June 18, 2004
This album is SUPERB. It reminds me of Halford which is a good thing!! The singer is great and the riffs and songs are so catchy and heavy yet also melodic. If you are even remotely into traditional Heavy metal, you must check these guys out. They are one of the few bands that really pull it off these days. Great production, great songs.
on September 23, 2004
One of my favorite cds of alltime every song is amazing Sean Peck is one of the greatest metal singers just as good as Rob Halford i don't understand why they're not as famous as they should be..
on March 9, 2004
San Diego's CAGE combine classic Metal, like that of Priest or Maiden, and take it to new heights from there. Tight, compact tunes that are completely killer and (dare I say) catchy at the same time. The riffs are mind-boggling and Sean Peck's vocals are simply amazing. If you haven't checked them out, now is the time. Totally for fans of DIO, Armored Saint, Tad Morose, etc.... \m/
CAGE's earlier releases, Unveiled and Astronomy, are must-haves as well.
on May 29, 2004
I'm listening to this cd right now. This is the real deal. Sean Peck is incredible-his vocals earn him the title of Metal God. This is power metal at its best. Powerful, evil music with excellent vocals is the way of the present and future of metal. If you like true metal that will throw you against the wall, then buy this cd and enjoy.
on August 24, 2009
I came late to the party. I was introduced to Cage when they released their latest, Science of Annihilation. It prompted me to buy their earlier releases. Darker than Black is my favorite and is the cd I would recommend as an introduction to this band.
There is no doubt Cage is influenced by Judas Priest (Painkiller era), but you can hear Iron Maiden, the Halford band and Iced Earth in their sound as well. Don't think they are just a retro classic metal band, they add their own unique take on the NWOBHM sound.
Sean Peck is amazing. He has a powerful voice and obviously graduated from the Rob Halford (Judas Priest) school of singing, but he just as often brings to mind Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden). Again, he is much more than a clone of those legendary singers. He seems to pull out all the stops with his singing even delving into black metal vocal stylings. It's a pleasure to hear his vocals and unlike similar modern vocalists (Ralf Scheepers and Tim Owens for example) he seem's to have that special "something" that makes his singing unique and elevates him above a clone.
The music while adding a modern flavor to an older metal sound is not (as you can probably imagine) at the same level of playing as the seasoned bands that they claim influence. They do seem to improve with each subsequent release. I'm not saying they aren't impressive, but they have a long way to go before they give KK Downing and Glenn Tipton real competition in that category.
The whole package is a refreshing metal assault that will move any fan of the classic era of metal. I think a lot of leeway is given to bands like Priest and Maiden on their new releases because of their legendary status. This cd in some ways surpasses the current releases from bands like Priest, Maiden and Iced Earth, because Cage is not afraid to tread old ground or do something unexpected like release a spanish version of their very catchy Chupucabra. This song in particular gives Cage something that no classic metal band ever achieved street credibility. I have played the song to my Puerto Rican friends who are not metal fans and they love it.
In summary, if you like Priest, Maiden, Iced Earth and that ilk purchasing this record is a no brainer. The only complaint I've heard from some old school fans is that they feel "they've heard this all before." If you don't particularly like classic metal or you are too young to have appreciated that era, you might still enjoy Cage, so please do yourself a favor and don't write them off as a retro band.
It's a sad state of the metal world that a band this good is all but over looked in 2009 by the mainstream metal community. If they released Darker than Black in the 80's they would no doubt be legends playing in arenas now, but time moves on and tastes change, never the less good metal is good metal and this is good. It's time to don that old black t-shirt and dust off the biker boots, because Cage is breathing new life into a an old genre.