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Dario Mollo / Tony Martin - "The Cage 2"
Frontiers / Point Music 2002

Uf, hot, hot, hot!!! It was about time. Ex-Black Sabbath legendary vocals meet Italian Malmsteen guitar sonic drive. O.K. I went to far. What those two guys served us are 12 superb first class compact Hard Rock pieces, that are spiced up with classical Heavy Metal power drive and AOR touches. Everything sounds so fluid. Dario's filligranic guitar artwork in solos, bridges, supersonic intros or outros never overdominates the basic structure of songs.

I'm still astonished. Tony can really change his vocal abilities. Like a chameleon. In opener "Terra Toria" his vocal line reminds of Robert Plant, also by Tony's singing. Tony went through some difficult times during recording sessions for this album. He was seriously ill (cancer), fortunately everything worked out fine for him. And having this fact in mind when hearing his superb vocal performance, this deserves a full respect. Tony at his best. In "Balance Of Power" you'll get an impression that Dio joined in on vocals. Uf, what power carries this piece. Most difficult vocal lines are performed brilliantly in chorus of "Wind Of Change" (when verse "More Than These ......" begins) and later on Led Zeppelin cover "Dazed And Confused". All the time the band is trying to achieve wider sound with adding some great back vocal harmonies.

First highlight of the record is "Amore Silencioso". This song fluids from late gothic-romantic Black Sabbath opening riff and flows in the middle section into oriental "fill-in" supported by percussion and fretless bass. This Arab melos fantastically collides with classical approach through the song. Just feel the chemistry that flows here. Tony plays the violin here. Don't worry about keyboard work. It was done by Don Airey, another great composer. Does anybody remember his solo adventure under the name "KThis record is done sincerely and soulfully. Another proof that "old good buddies" still won't lay down their arms. Music is their way of life. Another first class invention.

Author:   Aleš

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