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September 25, 2022

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Darker Than Black (Fugitive Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

Seasoned San Diegan Power Metallers, Cage, unleash the bird of prey to seize the sins against humanity in the third installment of their quest to resurrect "true" Metal. Not that they've said as much -- think black leather, skulls, and technical skill over smiles, skin and sappy self-indulgence-- the latter is true most of the time, though we'll allow them their "March Of The Cage" Manowar-inspired moment! But in music, theirs is every bit the throwback to the 1980's originators of the all-powerful underground. Whether melting a fretboard, mic stand, or camera lens, Cage comes to play and in terms of intensity, there's not a let up in the thirteen track tirade. Vocalist Sean Peck is in the same vein as Helstar's James Rivera, Iced Earth's Kevin Barlow, and David Wayne, an always dominant presence who's at times virtuosic, others, crude, like an early Oliva doing "Dungeons" but effectively aggressive. There are a number of "blackened" audio effects to add an extra hour of "darkness" consistent with the cynicism or sinister rumblings pervading this fantastical listening journey that's one part "Dark" era Metal Church, other parts Iced Earth, Jag Panzer, Primal Fear, and early Savatage. Altogether, serious Power Metal for the Thrash-bred throwback, five-pointed purists, or anthem-inclined speed freaks who've held old Hallows Eve in such high esteem the last seventeen years.
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