Seriously they don’t come much more Heavy Metal than this American troupe. A near perfect amalgamation of JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, PRIMAL FEAR, ICED EARTH and GRAVE DIGGER, CAGE contains the only men who play continuously on ten, amps turned to eleven.
‘’Hell Destroyer’’ is CAGE’s fourth album and quite simply delivers old school Heavy Metal utterly and convincingly. Keeping to a well trodden path of riff heavy songs, anthemic choruses, spiralling solos and thundering drums CAGE’s take on Power Metal should not be underestimated. With a vocalist in Sean Peck who straddles the middle ground between Matt Barlow and Halford, CAGE have the ammunition, focus and clout to be a real force in the burgeoning US Power Metal scene.
Don’t get me wrong, if you are after Metal experimentation seek out DREAM THEATER or TOOL, as this album deals with primordial rudiments of the Metal sound. There’s some searing Metal to be had on ‘’Hell Destroyer’’ The title track itself is a beast as is the fury of the excellent ‘’Christhammer’’, ‘’Rise Of The Beast’’ slays most other Metal songs. A mid tempo behemoth of a track it pounds along with some fine guitar in true ICED EARTH fashion and even features a nifty homage to MAIDEN half way through. And still the quality Heavy Metal abounds on the breakneck fury of ‘’Legion Of Demons’’ or the sheer brilliance of ‘’From Death To legend’’ or the epic MAIDEN/ PRIEST influenced opus ‘’Beyond The Apocalypse’’. There’s even a song called ‘’Metal Devil’’. What more do you want?
Twenty-one tracks in all of which seven are spoken interludes tells the tale of travels through time from the Crucifixion up 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 – a lofty claim you’ll agree, however as a complete Power Metal album few can rival ’Hell Destroyer’’ for it’s absolute conviction and energy.
‘’Hell Destroyer’’ is a glorious invocation of all things Heavy Metal and laid down with such sonic force it easily rivals PRIEST’s ‘’Painkiller’’ and ICED EARTH’s ‘’Something Wicked’’ for all out Metal brutality. It’s a breathtaking tour de force and will remain a personal favourite for months, if not years to come.
(Online August 9, 2007)