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SUN CAGED Artemisia
Lion Music (2007)

Sun Caged return for their second album and a radical line-up change with only guitarist Marcel Coenen left from the debut album! Paul Adrian Villarreal steps up to the mike stand and also supplies the lyrics on here. There is a linked theme running throughout the album looking at people and dreams lost and what might have been.

Again the band swing around genres from the metal riffs on 'Unborn' (very Evergrey sounding) through to 'Bloodline', which will delight lovers of classic prog rock (excellent drumming on this one, lots of cymbal!). For some serious extravagant soloing check out the (mainly) instrumental 'Engembert the Inchworm', all the band members vie to out solo each other, great listening.

At the songs end you get some death metal style grunts as well! Highlight for me though is 'Afraid To Fly', a beautiful mellow number and one to highlight the vocals of Paul Villarreal.

Whilst keeping some of the band's debut sound Sun Caged have struck out further by adding more solos and in vocalist Villarreal they have the perfect foil for the band's prog metal leanings. For me they are producing music ahead of the latest by Dream Theater.


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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