Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Dario Mollo, Tony Martin - The Third Cage (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock / Melodic Rock / Metal
Label - Frontiers Records

Track listing:
01. Wicked World (4:28)
02. Cirque du Freak (4:11)
03. Oh My Soul (4:57)
04. One of the Few (3:59)
05. Still In Love With You (4:19)
06. Can’t Stay Here (4:05)
07. Wardance (5:56)
08. Don’t Know What It Is About You (4:51)
09. Blind Fury (5:02)
10. Violet Moon (7:34)

"Dario Mollo and Tony Martin first got together when the Italian guitar player/produced and composer needed the right singer after the put together a new set of songs in the late 90’s. The former Black Sabbath singer came about on a suggestion from producer Kit Woolven (UFO, Thin Lizzy) with whom Dario Mollo had been working during his Crossbones years. Tony Martin wrote lyrics and melodies for the amazing tracks that Dario had already assembled, and thus The Cage was born.

The first album, released independently in 1999, gained a great success among the Hard Rock fans and the critics and Dario started finally to make himself a reputation over the international markets. This debut was later followed by an equally acclaimed second album in 2002.
Mollo has been very busy since then, releasing one more album with the Voodoo Hill project with Glenn Hughes. He then toured Europe with Graham Bonnet and Don Airey. After Don became a permanent Deep Purple member, Dario and Graham Bonnet put up Elektric Zoo, touring Europe again, performing songs from Rainbow, Alcatrazz, Voodoo Hill and The Cage. In 2008 Dario released an album with the more alt-rock Italian band Noize Machine, before getting again to work on a new set of Hard Rocking songs for a new record with Tony Martin.
“As usual we are 50/50 partners”, explains Mollo. “I write all the music and Tony then contributes with the melodies and lyrics. We also try together different structures of the tracks and we rearrange them to better fit the vocal parts. Then I go ahead and take care of the entire production of the album, tracking, mixing and mastering”.
The songwriting, the sound and the video production of this new project are absolutely stunning and show the great skills that Mollo has developed in the past few years. All Hard Rock lovers should simply not miss this record which bravely melts several influences in a cutting edge release. “There are much better songs, performances and production on this album, plus we will finally bring this project live out there: we have a lot of great songs to perform to our loyal fans, we look forward to meet them” concludes Dario Mollo."

This the latest collaboration between Dario Mollo and Tony Martin on The Cage project opens with the bone crunching heavy riff and attitude driven Wicked World, which is also the lead single and video to be taken from the album. A contemporary sounding track showing that these guys know how to move with the times. Next up is the brilliant Cirque Du Freak, which Tony says was lyrically inspired by the movie the Vampires Apprentice. Again a heavy track with a modern edge with a great use of keyboards, a great song!

Oh My Soul follows, and is, in my honest opinion, one of the albums highlights. A great song that would have fitted comfortably upon any of the albums that Tony recorded back in his period with Sabbath. A track filled with atmosphere and emotion filled lyrics, a great song of epic proportions!
One Of The Few quickens up the pace a little, being more of a heavy melodic rock track, before the guys slow things down with the eastern flavored heavy Still In love With You, which is very similar in style to the song Al-Sirat from Empire's The Raven Ride album, again a great song! (Who said love songs cannot be heavy?)
Can’t Stay here is up next and to be honest, in my opinion, is the weakest track on the album. The song switches the tempo up a gear with almost a little funk feeling going on, it is a good melodic song, just feels a little out of place here. The guys redeem themselves with the next track, a quirky heavy song, Wardance. A Great track with some excellent lyrics, with a strong message without taking itself too seriously.
Don’t Know What It Is About You, is another great song, heavy, great tempo, yet melodic, before the leading into Blind Fury, A mid tempo heavy track. Once again, a great song. The album closes with Violet Moon, a trippy melodic song for which Tony apparently managed to come up with the lyrics in the studio, not even writing them down.

The Third cage really is a great album, full of variety and above all else, great songs. The guy’s are apparently considering taking this album out on the road, and hopefull they do as they have a wealth of material which deserves to be aired to a live audience.

I love this album, and bias aside, (I am a huge Tony Martin Fan and have been since 1989!) it’s a very strong album well deserving of recognition. To be honest this album only has one fault, and that being that its not longer!

Rating - 10/10


Tony Martin – Vocals (ex-Black Sabbath, Giuntini Project, Empire, Rondinelli, Phenomena, Tony Martin Band)
Dario Mollo – Guitars (Don Airey, Kit Woolven, Giuntini Project, Voodoo Hill)
Brian War/Dario Patti – Keyboards (Giuntini Project, Voodoo Hill)
Fulvio Gaslini – Bass (Giuntini Project, ex-Crossbones)
Roberto Gualdi – Drums (Voodoo Hill)

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