Soul Cages - Moments


Year of Release: 1996
Label: Massacre Records
Catalog Number: MASS CD 085
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:00:00

Tonight we bring you one of the discs that slipped through the cracks for awhile, but I am glad I went back and snagged this one ... A German band I believe, at the risk of not being able to fit the last names with the country of origin, which I have been known to foul up ... ;0) They say that progressive metal is supposed to be the "thinking man's metal" ... this band is an example of that theory, producing some of the most intelligent lyrics I have heard in a long time ... in fact, at times, it's almost impossible to even decipher what they are trying to say, due to the extensive use of abstract ideas ... Another class act that this band reminds me of lyrically is House of Spirits, with their extensive use of abstract ideas and use of imagery to get their point across ... very intelligent indeed ... check out why this disc is getting some serious air play along side some of the heavier hitters out there ...

THE STYLE:

Very progressive, almost reminding me at times of Fates Warning Perfect Symmetry, if you took away the vocals for a moment, and just listened to the music, you would definitely hear the Perfect Symmetry styled time changes, stops, starts, going from a soft passage, to an all out double bass run with some excellent twin guitar work.... it is a definite, if you like that Perfect Symmetry sound, you will like this sound ... an interesting point, they use a female background singer at times to accent the lead male singer ... this works well, because they try to produce an atmospheric sound behind all of this progression, and the use of a soft, female singing in the background conjures up thoughts of almost a New Age sound, which adds a pleasant female beauty to the overall sound ... very thought provoking, and pretty ...

THE BAND:

Vocalist, who is listed as playing guitar also, second guitar, bass and drums ... I hear some atmospheric keyboard work on this disc, but I don't see any credit for the player ... they are also showing 5 members of the band, but only listing 4 of them ... little confusing if you want to know exactly who is doing what, but after hearing this disc a few times, it won't matter...

THE PRODUCTION:

First rate ... on a par with some of the better sounding discs I own ... every single instrument is crystal clear, you can actually hear what every single instrument is doing, as you can on Perfect Symmetry if you recall that sound ... The standouts on the production are the vocals and the drums ... both the male and female parts are pristine, and they stick out a bit from the music, as they should when you have voices this pleasant to listen to ... On the other hand, someone in the sound camp thought that the drums should stick out as well.... as you can hear every little tap of the high-hat, every single cymbal ting, and the double bass is awesome if you have good speakers that will allow you to hear the two bass drums separately, apart from each other..... very interesting concept.... this doesn't mean that the other instruments are outshined, because they are not.... it just means that the vocals and drums reach out and grab you first and foremost, you don't have a chance to try to figure out which instrument shines..... however, when the dual guitars are going at it, alone without the singing, this is also a high quality sound, as you can hear each guitar interplaying with other in stellar fashion..... In summary, those of you with quality systems are going to be able to use this disc as a reference disc to show off your system to others.... it's that good of a sound......

THE SINGER:

Be still my heart..... Now don't get all sappy when I say this, but this guy reminds me a lot of Olaf Bilic, the main tootster of House of Spirits himself..... I kid you not ..... this particular gent, Thorsten Staroske, has that same intelligent, clear voice that Mr. Bilic has, making it very easy to hear just about every word being spoken, save for a little bit of German accent..... now this is where I get even more picky..... I LOVE the hell out of German accented singers..... for some reason, their accent makes the words seem so much more intelligent..... Singers like the great Michael Tangermann (Superior), Olaf Bilic (House of Spirits), Andy Franck (Ivanhoe) all have this great German accent which they sing with, and it only adds to the beauty of their great voices.... I am in vocal heaven with these guys..... Also, as I said, they use a female background singer in some of the softer songs to accent the music, and I do NOT have a problem with this..... there is no questions as to who the lead singer is here, it's male, and the background singer really adds more feminine beauty to the sound without making it sound lightweight.....

THE BAND (CONTINUED):

As I stated, this is a twin guitar driven style, but not how you'd normally hear this, as is an Elegy or a band like that..... instead the two guitars are used as two SEPARATE instruments, instead of both playing the same lines, they are actually playing different melodies while all the time seemingly merging into one overall sound..... The drums are superb, not heavy per se, but if you can imagine what beautiful drums sound like, then this has to be the definitive sound.... I have never heard drums that sound pretty, yet this sound is quite different than most drums I have heard...... again, if you remember what Mark Zonder drums sound like on Perfect Symmetry, that clean, pristine sound where you can hear every single little tap, this gives you an idea of this sound..... there are tons of what I believe are keyboards, because I hear harp-like sounds, flute-like sounds, that have to be made on synth, yet no credit is given to anyone for this.... however, I am thankful they are there, as it adds a great dimension to this sound..... The sound of this thing is so clean, you can hear the bass notes with no problem..... the sound man must be applauded on this disc, someone out there has some thoughts of what clean is, and this is one of the finest examples of what clean sound is.....

THE COMMENTS:

This is first rate material folks.... don't look for power, don't look for ripping guitar solos, don't look for all out heavy jams..... they are not there..... yet, somehow, this disc manages to have its powerful moments, probably due to the Fates Warning styled melodies..... the music sounds soooooo serious..... yet maintains a beauty that keeps you mesmerized the entire time.... if you like it progressive, beautiful, thought provoking, and downright clean, there aren't too many discs out there that can match the sound and the style of this disc..... sporting some of the most thought provoking lyrics as of late, it makes you wonder what these guys were thinking as they were writing these hard-to-decipher lyrics..... light some candles, shut the door, crank this baby up, and bask in the beauty of this incredible disc..... while powerful discs like Superior's Behind always makes my hair stand on end, it is seldom that discs of this nature, soft yet powerful, can invoke the same reaction...... If you do not have this disc, you are truly missing on something special.......


Tracklisting:
Freezing (7:51) / The Naked Word (8:45) / Moments (8:42) / Method No. 23 (0:59) / In Our Hands (4:51) / Elegy (6:50) / Impressions (5:36) / My Spiritual Home (5:26)

Musicians:
Thorsten Staroske - vocals, guitar
Stephan Tigges - bass, backing vocals
Knut Nitschke - guitar
J?rg Nitschke - drums
Beate Kuhbier - keyboards

Discography:
Demo (1992)
Soul Cages (1994)
Moments (1996)
Craft (1999)

Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

Origin DE

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Artist website: www.soulcages.de
Hits: 757
Language: english

  

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