(NCS writer Israel Flanders is a reviewing machine these days. Here’s his latest, which concerns the new release by Sun Caged — The Lotus Effect.)
This album is as eccentric and beautiful as the cover.
Sun Caged is one of my favorite prog metal bands, stemming from the Dream Theater school of thought and doing it much MUCH (much) better. Hailing from the Netherlands, the band is a collection of really talented musicians, especially vocalist Paul Adrian Villarreal, guitarist/godlike shredder Marcel Coenen, and drummer Roel Van Helden. To repeat, this is one of my fav prog metal bands of all time and one that I feel is criminally overlooked. With that said, let’s get started…
Approaching a description of this album will be difficult, considering it’s such a journey. I mean, let’s look at the opener, “Seamripper (And The Blanket Statement)”. It opens with furious tremolo-oriented 8-string riffing and blast beats that would be found in a more extreme band, only to slip into a really catchy groove that sinks you into head-bobbing complacency. Almost immediately, it becomes apparent that Paul Adrian Villarreal has the most insane ear for superb vocal melodies. It’s easy to become absorbed in the passion of his voice and the seemless flow of his choice of notes over the instruments’ hypnotic groove, weaving in and out like a threaded needle through cloth. (more after the jump . . .)