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Cage: Ancient Evil

The Ancient Evil finds California's Cage re-enter conceptual territory for the first time since 2007's Hell Destroyer, the horror story relayed here based on the novel written by none other than Cage vocalist Sean (The Hell Destroyer) Peck! It's an intricate tale, but one easily followed thanks to superbly constructed lyrics and involving spoken sections which add weight and atmosphere by the blood filled bucket load. Cleverly Peck has also decided to hand over narration duties, recruiting none other than Blaze Bayley to take on the part of lead character Elliot Worthington. The Wolfsbane frontman doing a stupendous job, taking on the role 100% and showing some true acting chops in the process.

However none of that would make a great album unless the music that brings the words to life was up to the same standard. On that score we have absolutely no worries, for Cage have taken their Judas Priest (at their best) framework and infused their own take on the power metal format. Resulting in a set of songs that rip, roar and snarl with a ferocity seldom heard – especially with such melodic musicality. Peck is imperious, reaching for glass shattering highs with supreme ease and bringing a low end authority that adds gravitas to what in the wrong hands could prove a difficult subject matter to convey with the conviction shown here.

Highlights come thick and (very) fast, the speed metal nature of much of what Cage thrive through hammered out by guitarists Dave (Conan) Garcia and Casey (The Sentinal) Trask. The duo as fine a pair of fiery fret burners as you could ever hope to find. Add in the frothing rhythm section of Sean (The Thrashing Machine) Elg and bassist Alex (The Captain) Pickard and each and every song on The Ancient Evil is delivered with an assured fierceness that most bands operating in this musical sphere could only dream of. "Across The Sea Of Madness" pulsates and pounds, "Ancient Evil" hits with such force that it makes Priest's "Painkiller" sound like a nursery rhyme, while "The Procedure" lands with a surging threat that reminds of King Diamond back at his very best. However what sets Cage apart is their ability to bring an equal amount of power to the (slightly) more restrained moments, "Behind The Walls Of Newgate" and "The Appetite" pulling in the full force nature of this album and yet still hitting with a merciless authority.

The Ancient Evil is a mighty statement on many levels, with a superbly executed concept wrapped expertly into a surging set of songs and delivered through dominant, masterful performances. Not only is it the best album in Cage catalogue to date, it's also an album up their with the best this genre has produced. Cage have come of age, enter their horror strewn world of The Ancient Evil, if you dare…

Track Listing
1) There Were Others
2) Ancient Evil
3) Behind the Walls of Newgate
4) The Procedure
5) The Appetite
6) Cassandra
7) Blinded By Rage
8) Tell Me Everything
9) The Expedition
10) Beholder
11) I Have Awakened
12) Across The Sea Of Madness
13) To Save Love
14) Christ Protect Me
15) Sinister Six
16) Symphony Of Sin
17) The Antidote
18) Tomorrow Never Came
19) It Can´t Be

Added: October 20th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Cage online
Hits: 3054
Language: english

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