Mollo-Martin - The Cage 2

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Frontiers
Catalog Number: FRCD 568
Format: CD
Total Time: 61:03:00

Mollo-Martin's The Cage 2 is a mixed bag of melodic rock that, in the early stages, lives up to the hype, but by the end, I felt the album... I realised that it could have been more than what it is. The album features Dario Mollo (g - Voodoo Hill), Tony Martin (v - ex-Black Sabbath), Roberto Gualdi (d), Dario Patti (k - Voodoo Hill), & Tony Franklin (b - Blue Murder, The Firm) - a fine line-up if ever there was.

Dario Mollo's technique on The Cage 2 is inventive; at times he is heavy and abrasive, but always skilful, and when he's reserved, it's because Tony Martin takes over the spotlight. It's a balance that showcases the strengths of the two main protagonists and a nuance that balances the album quite nicely. At times the album lacks a certain pizzazz but this generally occurs on the latter half of the album when Mollo over-indulges himself on guitar. Not that he does a bad job, but sometimes he overdoses on playing ... and playing ... and playing. It can get a bit much sometimes.

The Cage 2 is heavier than their first collaboration and Mollo goes berserk on some of the numbers, like the hard-hitting, dark opener "Terra Toria" which also showcases Martin's insane vocal abilities, too. This song is the best song, from a metal point of view, but the album is unashamedly traditional melodic rock. Tony Martin's performance is wonderful and his heavy, blues-based, Bon Jovi-like vocals provide an earful of talent-fueled singing. I feel he may be a tad underrated at the moment, but his graceful return is welcomed. One thing The Cage 2 offers is full use of mood and melody. There're a few Italian lyrics within "Amore Silenzioso" where, whilst it may start off simple, the music turns into something special about half way through and it includes a full-blown drum solo from Roberto Gualdi. It brings this song from the mundane to the special.

The Cage 2 ebbs and flows like the ocean, but this is a good tight album let down by a few inconsistencies. The lyrics are about love and it's a simple topic that becomes repetitive, clichéd, and boring. Surely there's more to sing about, but this criticism can be leveled at many bands and not just Mollo-Martin. The first half of this album is top notch melodic hard rock - the last half lets itself down with some over-indulgence by Mollo, but don't let that put you off the album. Dario and Tony make a terrific team and I look forward to more albums in the future.

Similar To: The Cage, Voodoo Hill

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Terra Toria / Overload / Life Love And Everything / Balance of Power / Amore Silenzioso / II [Instrumental] / Wind Of Change / Theater Of Dreams / What A Strange Thing Love Is / Dazed And Confused / Guardian Angel / Poison Roses

Dario Mollo - guitar
Tony Martin - vocals
Don Airey - keyboards
Tony Franklin - bass
Roberto Gualdi - drums
Dario Patti - keyboards
Elioi Maugeri - backing vocals

The Cage (2001)
The Cage 2 (2002)

Genre: Rock

Origin VA

Added: January 17th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website:
Hits: 774
Language: english


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