Cage - Science of Annihilation
Music Buy Mail
Heavy Metal / Speed Metal
13 songs (55'27)
Release year: 2009
Reviewed by Marty
Southern California's answer to Judas Priest have been in existence for almost a decade now and not surprisingly, they have a much larger following overseas than in North America. Continuing with the wave of very solid releases beginning with Darker Than Black and the 2007 follow-up Hell Destroyer, Cage seems "hell bent" on getting even faster and more fiercer with a relentless go-for-the-throat style of blistering heavy metal. For this new album, the band has recruited former Psychotic Waltz drummer Norm Leggio to pound the drums into oblivion with an album that continues the bands fascination for fantasy-based and futuristic lyrical themes.

The fierce intensity of Cage's sound can be pretty much summed up with the track Planet Crusher. This sonic assault literally attacks the listener with a barrage of Painkiller intensity riffing, Halford screams and pummelling Euro power metal double bass right from the very first seconds of the track. Even the sudden breakdowns are very reminiscent of classic Priest. Vocalist Sean Peck combines the Halford screaming style with a touch of Dani Filth's (Cradle Of Filth) sneer and the falsetto King Diamond style to create a complete spectrum of vocal mayhem. Cage's overall sound makes healthy use of speedy muted riffs, intense driving tempos and ripping lead guitar work. Look no further than Scarlet Witch for another great example of the quintessential Cage sound. Thematic and employing more overall dynamics than the rip-your-face off style of Planet Crusher, this one as well as Black River Falls shows a little more melody in the vocals of Sean Peck. The quiet interlude of Black River Falls that occurs mid-track after an intense mix of pull-off and galloping riffs features Sean's amazing and haunting King Diamond falsetto style. Lots of 80's flavored riffs such as with the track Spirit Of Vengeance can be found throughout. There is also a strong Mercyful Fate style to some of the songs with Power Of God being a prime example. With thundering riffs, more of a mid-tempo style and some added keyboards for atmospheric effect, this one reminds me of something from the In The Shadows album. Speed Kills boasts an ultra-thrashy Exciter style complete with the same very trebly guitar sound and screaming vocals and the album finishes with the trio of Spectre Of War, Science Of Annihilation and At The Edge Of The Infinite. Spectre of War offers a great atmospheric build-up to the Venom/Slayer speed riff driven title track that ties the themes of these last three tracks together.

Initially, this album seems like a total barrage of speed, riffs, screams and utter heavy metal mayhem yet with repeated listens, tracks begin to take shape and the subtle differences in style a little more profound. The album could use more dynamics and variety in song styles but if you're looking for a fierce, very intense and relentless heavy metal experience without a passing thought to stop and take a breath once in a while, then this album is pure neck-breaking bliss. The production could be better as I found some high end distortion and lack of bottom end on some tracks to be very noticeable. I really don't know how this band can keep up this intensity in a live setting, especially vocalist Sean Peck, but apparently they do just fine. Cage has been recently added to the line-up for this year's Prog Power USA 10 in Atlanta, Georgia on Sept. 11th, 2009. If you plan on going, prepare to be "Annihilated"......

Killing Songs :
Planet Crusher, Scarlet Witch, Black River Falls, Power Of A God and Science of Annihilation
Marty quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Cage that we have reviewed:
Cage - Hell Destroyer reviewed by Crims and quoted 95 / 100
Cage - Darker Than Black reviewed by Mike and quoted 89 / 100
Cage - Astrology reviewed by Danny and quoted 75 / 100
1 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 4 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:38 am
View and Post comments