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Supremacy of Steel Import
2011 album from the Scandinavian Metal band. With Supremacy Of Steel, Cage has leapt forward another giant step on the path to Metal greatness by delivering a Heavy Metal monstrosity. Known for crafting great memorable songs, capturing the essence of classic the NWOBHM sound, and always sounding unique and modern, Cage shows how the limits of the genre can be pushed without losing what makes the Metal sound great.
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Music-wise "Cage" could be described roughly as a mixture of "Primal Fear" and "Iced Earth" (Owens Era) which is an obvious comparison due to the up-tempo power/thrash rhythm section, the twin guitar riffs and solos, plus Peck's high pitched vocal attack. However, a more thorough play reveals that "Cage"s sound draws strongly upon early `80s American heavy metal; indeed experienced fans should be able to hear a good deal of early "Satan's host" and "Salem's wytch" on the heavy/power metal juggernaut that is "Supermacy of steel".
It has to be addressed that "Cage" rely much more on speedy riffs than melodies on "Supermacy of Steel" which, combined with the thick-yet impeccable-production, gives a thrash-metal flavor to most songs. "The beast of bray road", "King of the wasteland" and "Metal Empire" may rely substantially on lyrical clichés, still when performed and produced to such high standards, stand as a guarantee for fans of heavy/power metal. Equally impressive are the "Sabbaton"-esque "Flying Fortress" and the groovy/industrial "Braindead women".
Overall, if you enjoy a brand of metal that combines `80s heavy/power metal with thrash metal of the same era, then "Cage-Supermacy of steel" is for you. Fans of "Iced Earth", "Sabbaton" "Empires of Eden" and "Primal Fear" should make the most of this metal powerhouse.
If you're unfamiliar with the band, Cage is more or less operating from the Judas Priest playbook, with a killer twin axe attack, pulse-pounding rhythms and Sean Peck's stratospheric shrieking vocals. This is power metal in the sense that the songs are really powerful, not in the ultra-melodic, sing-song European way (not that there's anything wrong with that). With Supremacy of Steel, Cage essentially takes their core sound and turns everything up to eleven. The riffs are faster, the rhythms heavier, Peck's vocals are more dynamic and the whole vibe is more intense. Honestly, you're likely to be exhausted after this album is over!
Lyrically, Supremacy of Steel tackles all the usual subjects Cage is so well known for, like love, loss, nature and pacifism. OK, that was obviously a joke. You're getting songs about metal, steel, battles, evil, and battling evil with metal and steel. Oh, and Doctor Doom, who is at least kind of metal, so there's that.
Supremacy of Steel is another winner from Cage, who still doesn't have a fraction of the attention their amazing music (and incredible live performances) deserves. If you're already a fan, you're going to love this album. If you're new to the band, but are into bands like Judas Priest, Primal Fear and Iced Earth, Supremacy of Steel will absolutely make you a believer.
The production is quite tinny and trebly. I have no idea who the hell was in charge of sound quality. Were they going for an old school black metal feel?? It was hard not to notice the sound quality when I first listened to the album, but I hardly notice anymore.
If you want to know what's in store for you on this album, go on YouTube and listen to the first track, Bloodsteel. That will give you a good idea of what the album is like.
Rock solid power metal that pulls out all the stops. I gave it 5/5 stars, even though there are the couple issues I mentioned, because the good parts pinch off a 1,000 ton steel turd on the bad.
Like Justin Gains said there is definitely a lot of Priest influence but there is a lot of other stuff going on as well.
It opens with Bloodsteel which kind of reminds me of the song Scream Machine from Beyond Fear. It has a similar intensity in both the music and vocals. The Beast of Bray Road would have fit in just as well on Science of Annihilation and even references Black River Falls. King of the Wasteland, Metal Empire, and War of the Undead all keep the momentum going and are just punishing. I always enjoy stories about WWII and so I love it when Cage does songs on that topic so I really enjoyed Flying Fortress. Cage must really love Marvel Comics characters because Doctor Doom is the 4th one they've done so far and is my favorite of the four. Getting back to what I was saying about other stuff going on you can definitely here the King Diamond/Merciful Fate influence in Annaliese Michel and is done very well. She was a German Catholic woman who was said to be possessed by demons and underwent an exorcism. Three movies, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Requiem, and Asylum film Anneliese Michel: The Exorcist Tapes, are loosely based on Michel's story. Braindead Woman puts a slight speed bump in the momentum of the album but is still good song. I just think it would have sounded better at the end as a bonus. Then we get back to another history lesson with the Monitor. The USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. I love it when they do these types of songs. Then we come to Hell Destroyer vs. Metal Devil. Wow! That song is epic. It brings the whole Hell Destroyer story line to a close and would have sounded great on the end of that one as well. On the copy I own track twelve is Blood, White, and Blue not Skinned Alive. Either song rounds out the album.
Sean Peck's vocals continue to amaze me. I really enjoy his lyrics. How deep they are all depends on the subject of the particular song itself but they're always entertaining and not just a bunch of nonsense phrases strung in one after another.
They've gone through another lineup change with Steve Brogden replacing Anthony Wayne McGinnis on guitars and Pete Stone replacing Mike Giordano on bass and along with Dave Garcia the band still sounds as good as ever.
The only minor complaint is still in the production. Norm Leggio is an excellent drummer. The clicking noise I mentioned in my review of Science of Annihilation is still there but not as much. If the opportunity ever presents itself I'd really like to see them live. I'm betting that clicking sound wouldn't be there. The vocals come in clearer on this cd though.
Overall this is a great cd. I really wish you could give these ratings in 1/2 or even 3/4 increments. The cd is really great and falls just a slight notch below a 5 star. The more I listen to it the more I enjoy it.