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Soul Cages - Craft CD (album) cover

CRAFT

Soul Cages

 

Progressive Metal

3.67 | 11 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars SOUL CAGES is another vivid proof that Germany can produce very inspired and innovative progressive metal. Often not given the proper attention, this band from Hemer, formed in 1990, walks on the paved path of two of the greatest and most influential (although not too famous) prog metal bands in Germany; Sieges Even and Mekong Delta. The band's music, contrary to other German bands of that time e.g. Blind Guardian, Vanden Plas has not evolved from a power metal background to progressive forms: it was 'born' progressive...

I believe the fact that they have signed a contract with Massacre Records did not help them to get the recognition they deserved; often acknowledged as a metal and/or underground band. To my knowledge, the only two countries that have musically 'accepted' them are Germany and Greece. To some extent, their limited recognition is understandable due to the eclectic nature of their sound. A major contributor to this element is the characteristic German accent in the (almost eccentric) male vocals which can sometimes prevent the listeners from appreciating the music.

The second component of this eclectic character is the unusual nature of the melodies; unconventional melodies that are often dressed with beautiful, atmospheric female vocals and bizarre arrangements and harmonies. Riff-wise, the listener can hear several similarities with guitar sounds in Queensryche's (A Part of Me) and Fates Warning's (Imprisoned) late 80's releases; however, the outcome does not resemble directly to these bands and remains quite unique in nature. It is interesting to refer to those female vocals again which time and again generate a gothic, doom feeling (The Light of Day), relatively uncommon in this genre.

In addition to the previous, here you can find some technically challenging prog metal with peculiar time signatures (Result of Convenience, Pressure) that reminds of early Sieges Even and Watchtower. Although all these aspects can be successfully employed to describe CRAFT's musical directions, the main outcome remains an alloy of melodic - in its own way - prog metal. This is evident throughout the album and mostly in tracks like Falling (reminds me of brilliant Shadow Gallery melodies) which is the highlight. The inclusion of Piano and Before balances out the more technical elements of this release with simple, though deep, melodies.

I can not decide if CRAFT is musically at the same level as the band's debut but to my ears is still approaching the term 'masterpiece' and it is highly recommended to prog fans who want to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zone.

aapatsos | 4/5 |

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