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Soul Cages - Moments CD (album) cover

MOMENTS

Soul Cages

Progressive Metal


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b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Soul Cages is an unknown progressive metal band from Germany with only 3 albums released in their short career before disbanded in summer of 2000. This is the second album from 1996 named Moments and their best from all 3. Even the band is quite unnoticed here and elsewhere, the music is very much brilliant with lots of tempo changes and an excellent vocalist. In places they are very similar with Queensryche, Sieges Even, Mercury Rising, but with a typical teutonic (german) sound overall. The musicianship is top notch, showing that they were pretty good band ,, that for some reseons never made it in prog metal circles, sad. The music is complicated enough to bring attention, has some very nice guitar works some kybords here and there, and above all the voice of Thorsten Staroske is the cherry on the cake, very strong rage and quite unique. From time to time there is some female moments alternating with male ones in vocal department, ok but not really remarkable oments as duo, but not band either. A very strong album this Moments, if you listen closely in the back ground is a touch of neo prog but is so well melted with the overall sound that in the end Soul Cages is a totaly progressive metal outfit. The best pieces are all, not a weak moment, with a plus on Frezing and The Naked Word, the best from here. So a recommended album and band, very underrated and desearve a better view. 4 stars easy, their best album for sure.
Report this review (#272415)
Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Sophomore release from this unique German progressive metal band; "Moments" is considered as their best album by the few that have delved into their discography. In short, "Moments" picks up where the self-tilted debut concluded.

For those unfamiliar with Soul Cages' sound, expect a kind of an art rock / progressive metal blend with strong German-accented vocals (one of the potential low points in their music if you are that picky). The progressive metal they play I consider as innovative, influenced by late 80's Fates Warning and Sieges Even, but what defines their sound is the simultaneous use of distorted and clean guitars that creates a series of textures and distinguishes them from the masses. The female vocals are once again used with caution, injecting the magic when not expected, ultimately contributing massively to SC's very melodic character.

The first half of the album is more or less a continuation of "Soul Cages" with three long, mid-tempo and beautifully laid out compositions; this type of songwriting I see as equal to the first epics of Shadow Gallery that set the scene of the progressive metal to come in the 90's and beyond. There is limited use of keyboards; on the contrary what creates the atmospheres is the combination of clean/distorted guitars. The first half - and most interesting part of this album - concludes with an "arpeggio" that lasts about a minute, while the three tracks that open the album are among the best in SC's career, with 'Moments' summing up the qualities of the band.

Side two begins and ends with tracks on a more dynamic power/progressive metal pattern; while still at mid-tempo, the focus here is on the delivery of riffs and pounding drums, with the occasional melodic intervals. 'In our Hands' is potentially the weakest track of the album, but even there, the grandiose ending with the use of early Fates Warning/Iron Maiden riffology leaves a positive mark. 'My Spiritual Home' is another example of German power/prog metal in the vein of Sanvoisen and Vanden Plas, with the latter getting all the glory that the other two never enjoyed. 'Elegy' is the high point in side two, where SC find the balance between melody and virtuosity, similar to side one. 'Impressions' is the purely acoustic track of the album, a repeat of the pattern in 'Mindtrip' from their debut album, that works just as fine: simple, deep melodies with male and female vocals interchanging.

"Moments" has been the last of the three albums in SC's discography that I discovered and does not disappoint. Although I would still consider their debut as their best effort, there are Moments of true brilliance here that reminds us how sometimes excellent music does not get the recognition that it deserves. Another 4 stars in a discography that has never gone wrong.

Report this review (#902290)
Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is not prog metal of Dream Theater, or Opeth, or djent variety. It's unhurried, reflective intelligent music with only a few metal touches - a distorted background, a double-kick drum, power riff or mid-tempo solo here and there. Moments has probably their best melodies. The album, curiously, starts with more sprawling compositions. Only 2 songs, I guess, that would pass for late 80s style metal rockers and even they have slower passages. Lots of clean instruments, melodic changes and production emphasizing clarity rather than power (this way, bass comes out very nicely). A calm, nice, but heavily accented vocal. Subtle keys and female vocals to accentuate the proceedings. Synths and the occasional melancholic melodies remind also of 80s melancholic synth pop Iike New Order. If you want a comparison, some of the calmer experiments of late 80s Queensryche and Fates Warning, or, better yet, fellow Germans Sieges Even of their softer albums, A Sense of Change and The Art Of Navigating by the Stars, but not as technical.
Report this review (#1070299)
Posted Friday, November 1, 2013 | Review Permalink

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