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SOUL CAGES

Progressive Metal • Germany


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Soul Cages biography
SOUL CAGES is a progressive metal band from Hemer, Germany consisting of Thorsten STAROSKE (vocals, guitar), Joerg NITSCHKE (guitar), Stephan TIGGES (bass), Beate KUHBIER (keyboards) and Knut NITSCHKE (drums).

In the spring of 1992, the band released a 4 song demo and was signed by Massacre Records in December. Their debut album "Soul Cages" was recorded in 1993 and released in Europe/Japan in 1994. Their sophomore album "Moments" was released in February 1996 and in March/April they went on tour with SAVIOUR MACHINE and VENI DOMINE. They released their third studio album "Craft" in August 1999 which was produced by Matthias Black. The band left Massacre Records in July of 2000 and was looking for a new label to release their fourth studio album in 2002.

UPDATE: 14 years after their last release, ''Craft'', SOUL CAGES return to discography with their fourth release ''Moon'' in August 2013. ''Moon'' is self-produced and released by the band's own label, Soundcage Music. Joerg BODE has replaced TIGGES on bass and played on the album, but since April 2012, long-time partner of the group Ingo VIETEN has taken up the bass duties. The band is promoting the album with several shows.

WHY THIS BAND IS INCLUDED IN THE ARCHIVES:

SOUL CAGES employ twin guitars but they both play different harmonies. This combined with lead and backing vocals lead to untypical melodies. They can be called melodic art rock combined with progressive metal influences. They were approved by the Prog Metal Team and are highly recommended.

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CraftCraft
Import
Massa
Audio CD$11.97
$3.83 (used)
MomentsMoments
Import
Massa 1996
Audio CD$28.06 (used)
Soul CagesSoul Cages
Audio CD$208.84
$5.81 (used)
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SOUL CAGES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SOUL CAGES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.06 | 7 ratings
Soul Cages
1994
4.30 | 10 ratings
Moments
1996
3.68 | 10 ratings
Craft
1999
4.06 | 6 ratings
Moon
2013

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SOUL CAGES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Moon by SOUL CAGES album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 6 ratings

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Moon
Soul Cages Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars If you like the idea of a cross between hummable mid-paced power metal and melancholic 80s new wave music (think The Smiths and New Order on their more rockier side) with an added layer of complexity (the complex beats, the multiple interlocking instrumental lines), give Soul Cages a try. This may not be the fullest description of the band, because they are really multi-faceted, but this is the feeling they awake in me. What I also like is that albums are fairly compact and even though The Moon is self- produced, it is as clear as the predecessors.

That said, a better intro to the band would probably be their 1990s albums, like Moments and Craft, because The Moon is more harder and fast - relatively speaking of course - and I think that the clean and pensive is what they do best. As often happens, when its loud, some of the wonderful melodies end up buried. And all songs here feature some cool original melodic lines. Be warned - even Soul Cages are not inaccessible, they do require repeated listens to sink in. But if you have time to spare, in the end you will be satisfied by discovering another hidden gem in the vast prog metal world.

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 Soul Cages by SOUL CAGES album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.06 | 7 ratings

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Soul Cages
Soul Cages Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Soul Cages is a German progressive rock/metal band that released 3 underappreciated albums in the 90s before taking a 14 year break (I have yet to get my hands on their comeback, Moon). They create non-linear, rhythmically complex songs consisting of clean, melancholic passages and heavier sections, but those are more noisy than heavy. Production is very clear, shining light on all the instruments and bringing out the textures created by twin guitars (usually one lighter, another heavier), prominent bass and the occasional keyboard. Elements of power metal and also of 80s synth pop. Two vocalists - the main is strong, manly and expressive but highly accented, the backing is a subtle female. This may sound like a study in contrasts, but actually it is quite accessible with smooth enough transitions. The only reason I am not rating this higher is that I know that Soul Cages a capable of even more.

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 Craft by SOUL CAGES album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.68 | 10 ratings

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Craft
Soul Cages Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

4 stars Mainstream progressive metal is supposed to be catchy, long, or heavy or atmospheric. Germany's Soul Cages is not exactly those things, although they sure can double-kick a bass drum or sweep you with a pensive melody. They require repeated listens, even their more accessible album, Moments, took me some and even made upgrade rating. Kudos to Soul Cages for faithfully pursuing their alternatively clean/distorted sound, classically influenced non-linear songs with those subtle instrumental fills. They use synths, but more often create textures with two guitars, and I am always a sucker for two guitars in prog. Interesting for Soul Cages is that they don't frontload their albums (the last song here is actually my favorite) and include a short classical instrumental piece in each. Vocalist can use both melancholic and forceful singing, but heavy accented. Nice female voice occasionally joins in. Compared to Moments, they kicked up the power in their production a bit, but I think that in the process sacrificed some of the wonderful melodies.

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 Moments by SOUL CAGES album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.30 | 10 ratings

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Moments
Soul Cages Progressive Metal

Review by Progrussia

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.

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 Moon by SOUL CAGES album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.06 | 6 ratings

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Moon
Soul Cages Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars Rewind to the 90's

Soul Cages return to discography with "Moon", 14 years after "Craft" - and their return is what the fans would have expected: a typical or rather "classic" Soul Cages album, following the same recipe of success and most of all the unique character of the band.

The quality and the lyrical approach are still there, the clean guitars are dominating the quirky melodies and the distorted riffs bring to the surface that Rush influence a little bit more. The tone of the accented (male) and beautiful female vocals remains intact, the combination creates the haunting atmospheres of the art-rock type of progressive metal that Soul Cages profess. Self-produced this time, "Moon" sounds quite dynamic but pays more attention to the emotion and the unconventional melodies.

Comparisons to the artistic early 90's Sieges Even albums are acceptable but don't get hung on that, since Soul Cages make a sound of their own. A band that likes to remain "underground" has released one of the best albums of 2013, following what they know to do best. Not a masterpiece per se but a declaration of honest, quality progressive metal.

Best moment: Beautiful, Point One.

The only way to get the CD is via mail@soulcages.com.

With thanks to Joerg for sending me the album.

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 Moments by SOUL CAGES album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.30 | 10 ratings

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Moments
Soul Cages Progressive Metal

Review by 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.

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 Craft by SOUL CAGES album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.68 | 10 ratings

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Craft
Soul Cages Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Craft from 1999 released at Massacre records , their last album befor going almost into oblivion is another example of great and pleasent progressive metal from late '90's. Keeping the level on the previous work but with some less intristing moments here and there, Craft is a worthy album and the second best after Moments. The musici is again mainly Queensryche, Fates Warning and Sieges Even influenced band, with complx piece , but more on the melodic side, a feature that is much more in from here then on previous albums.he band is very good melting and combining together softer moments with some more edge ones, always keeping the listner very concentrate to what is listning. Again Thorsten Staroske shine shere, very pleasent voice with an unique tone of voice, I like him a lot. Musicianship excellent with clean, precise and crisp guitar arrangements who interlude excellent with the rest of the instruments. So overall another good album by this talentated band, a little less intristing then Moments, but a worthy release for sure. 3 stars easy, a band that needs a wider recognition , even is disbanded for 10 years.

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 Moments by SOUL CAGES album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.30 | 10 ratings

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Moments
Soul Cages Progressive Metal

Review by 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.

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 Soul Cages by SOUL CAGES album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.06 | 7 ratings

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Soul Cages
Soul Cages Progressive Metal

Review by aapatsos
Special Collaborator Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams

4 stars A flawed masterpiece

The title of a recent thread describes perfectly the debut album of these great German prog-metallers. SOUL CAGES present a successful mixture of art rock and progressive metal with an eclectic touch. Within the 40 minutes that this album lasts, the talent of these musicians is revealed through a vast number of original ideas, disproportionate to the album length and rare in these times of Dream Theater and Queensryche clones.

The album bears the ''freshness'' of the 90's in prog-metal but also a strange originality. The most eclectic element of the sound is the eccentric, German-accent vocals that might discourage the listener at the first instance. However flawed the vocals are, the combination with the ethereal female vocals at several instances generates a ''magic'' atmosphere. The speed of the compositions generally ranges in mid-tempos. The strong asset of the album is by far the excellent musicianship - technically it approaches perfection. Heavy/power metal riffs build on the solid bass/drum rhythm section with numerous prog breaks. The twin guitars resemble to 80's classic metal but also to the early Fates Warning albums. Despite the heaviness of the guitars, all lines are based on melodic ideas, following a similar approach with the early 90's albums of Sieges Even (e.g. Steps, A Sense of Change) but excluding the use of symphonic instruments, violins etc and concentrating on guitar melodies.

The album comprises of 6 medium length compositions (5-7 minutes) and 2 short tracks (Uncommunicado, a melodic acoustic intro to the title track and Rainbow, the melancholic piano-based album outro). The album appears unconventional even in structure, as the short tracks appear towards the end with no intention to ''break'' the sequence. However, the use of Mindtrip might be serving this purpose, being the mellower track of the album, based heavily on acoustic guitars, beautiful melodic vocals lines and enchanting female voices.

The technical elements appear on the rest of the compositions which represent the majority in SOUL CAGES' songwriting. Slow and heavy melodic riffs usually interchange with acoustic and more sophisticated passages, as it happens on the title track. Reflections and the opening track can be described as the most technically complex ones while I personally regard New Horizons and Actors of no Return as the highlights. The former starts of melodically and slowly builds up to a Queensryche-like riff while the latter is possibly the band's most complete composition with excellent riffs and a unique use of female vocals.

The production of the album, although clear, does not ''boost'' the compositions and the sound of the drums sometimes sounds ''empty''. This, along with the sometimes ''awkward''-sounding vocals are the only drawbacks to an otherwise absolutely essential album to prog-metal fans. Although this band has not received the proper recognition, I would unreservedly place this album next to the masterpieces of bands like Fates Warning, Shadow Gallery etc.

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 Craft by SOUL CAGES album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.68 | 10 ratings

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Craft
Soul Cages Progressive Metal

Review by 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.

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