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Sun Caged - 'The Lotus Effect' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     July 13, 2011    
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An album that grows and matures each time it is played,

It has been a little bit sparse in the world of prog metal/rock of late, with only a handful of truly excellent albums having made their mark on the cognoscenti in 2011. Well, if like me you have been waiting for another band to step up and make their mark, then your wait is over because the brand new release by Sun Caged will soon be in the shops and it should be number one on your shopping lists. 'The Lotus Effect' is the band's third album to date, and on each subsequent release since the self titled debut in 2005, Sun Caged have grown as both songwriters and musicians, and this growth can be heard on every note that makes up the fabulous 'The Lotus Effect'. The quality just oozes out of each and every note that Sun Caged play on this album, and we all as listeners reap the benefits. Recently in an interview with Seventh Wonder's Johan Liefvendahl I mentioned that I thought in an over crowded prog metal market, you needed something to make you stand out from all the other acts. They have their singer Tommy Karevik, and Sun Caged have the amazing Paul Adrian Villarreal, whose vocals passionately bring to life the music of Sun Caged. His vocals are emotional, yet full of energy, and he has a storyteller-like quality to his delivery, which allows the songs to come to life in your imagination.

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Paul's vocals make an immediate impact on opening track 'Seamripper (& The Blanket Statement)', which is a wonderful way to begin an album. Heavy guitars blast out of the speakers, then quieten down and flow smoothly into a complex dark and highly melodic song, that is made all the more special by the vocal delivery of Villarreal. I also especially like the complex and dark arrangements the band utilise throughout this CD, and after 'Seammripper', songs like 'Tip-Toe The Fault Line', 'Shades Of Hades' and the ten minute epic 'Pareidolized' explode on your senses and leave you reeling from their combined effect. Strangely though, I found the set of five songs that make up the latter half of the album the most interesting of all. Each of the tracks lasts for only about two minutes but they are all still wonderful mini prog masterpieces, filled with the superb guitar breaks of Marcel Coenen, the stunning piano and keyboard passages of Rene Kroon and the intricate groove laden bass and drums of Roel Van Helden and Daniel Kohn. And because the five tracks seamlessly join together they sound like one song, but work just as well as individual tracks.

Sun Caged are back after quite a few years away from the scene, and they have recorded one of the strongest prog metal albums that I have heard in the last few years. An album that grows and matures each time it is played, 'The Lotus Effect' will, I think, be in many a top ten at the end of the year.

Ian Johnson

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