Sun Caged - Sun Caged

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Lion Music
Catalog Number: LMC076
Format: CD
Total Time: 58:57:00

Despite the fact they did not have an album out, Sun Caged is no stranger amongst prog metal fans, mainly because of their excellent live shows. Sun Caged was formed in 1999 by guitarist Marcel Coenen (ex-Lemur Voice) and Drummer Dennis Leeflang (ex-Within Temptation). Early 2000 they established a stable line-up with Rob van der Loo (ex-Rock Fiction, Agony) on bass, André Vuurboom (ex-Jera, Imperium) on vocals and Joost van den Broek on keyboards. Over the years they have released three demos, which found their way to eager fans and finally they signed with Lion Music for their debut album.

The self-titled album is pure fireworks! In just 9 songs these extremely talented musicians treat you to powerful, melodic, funky and addictive music where they have used several influences to create their own unique sound. Really tight drums, powerful bass and guitars and passionate vocals drenched in spaced out keyboards. Two tracks from their last demo are also on the album, "Sedation" being the first one and a great opener with passionate vocals by Vuurboom and guitar-fireworks by Coenen. The second track on the album, "Sun Caged," is my favourite right from the start with a clear reference to Faith No More, very close to actually copying their sound, but a varied song with rock-solid riffs, smooth keyboards and even a mellow piece in the middle. Although "Home" starts out as a ballad, after some two minutes it turns into a fantastic prog-metal song (Dream Theater eat your heart out!). The band even used some samples on "Soil" with shredding guitars and haunting vocals.

The intro of "Hollow," which gave me goosebumps, shows what a fantastic keyboard player Van den Broek is! This song is very much in the vein of Dream Theater but with much more emotion and feeling in it. "Closing In" has a bit of an Ayreon-feel to it, mainly because of the combination guitar-keyboards. In "The Eighth Day," the tight sound of Leeflang and Van der Loo are more upfront, a powerful song. "Secrets Of Flight" is the second song from the last demo, crunchy guitars and sheer power and the keyboards sound much better than on the demo! The last rocket up is "Unchanging," the only "real" ballad on the album, with lots of keyboards, jazzy drums by Dennis Leeflang, and a great guitar solo by Marcel Coenen. A sad moment, as then the album is finished ... thank God for the "repeat" function on a CD player!

It doesn't have to be New Years Day or Independence Day to enjoy the fireworks. No, you can enjoy it everyday, made by Sun Caged. This band will be some serious competition for Dream Theater, as without question they have the same kind of sound, but with much more emotion. And it was about time they released their music on CD! The album was mixed by Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon, Star One), a unique happening as Lucassen never mixes or produces music other than his own. But his hand in the album has done it nothing but good. Artwork is also fantastic. I'd say this is the must-have album of the year. Too bad I can give it only 5 stars ... they deserve more :-)

Similar Bands: Dream Theater, Pain of Salvation, Vanden Plas

[This review originally appeared October 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Sedation (7:57) / Sun Caged (6:23) / Home (6:37) / Soil (6:52) / Hollow (5:12) / Closing In (5:58) / The Eighth Day (5:41) / Secrets Of Flight (9:07) / Unchanging (5:09)

Marcel Coenen - guitars
Dennis Leeflang - drums
Rob Van Der Loo - bass
André Vuurboom - vocals
Joost Van Den Broek - keyboards

Scar Winter (demo ep) (2000)
Dominion (demo ep) (2001)
Promo 2002 (2002)
Sun Caged (2003)
Promo '05 (2005)
Artemisia (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NL

Added: May 29th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 464
Language: english


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