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Dario Mollo and Tony Martin | The Third Cage

by Justin Gaines
Staff Writer —

It took a full decade, but guitarist Dario Mollo and vocalist Tony Martin have finally delivered another collaboration under the Cage moniker. Their third release together, the appropriately titled The Third Cage, once again finds the Italian guitar maestro handling guitar, bass, songwriting and production, and the former Black Sabbath front-man on vocals and lyric writing.

Despite the ten-year gap between Cage releases, neither Mollo nor Martin has been idle. Mollo has been active in his Voodoo Hill project with Glenn Hughes and Elektric Zoo with Graham Bonnett, and Martin has contributed to a host of rock and metal projects. Here they pick up right where The Cage 2 left off, with a powerful mix of hard rock and heavy metal that’s a halfway point between the bluesier hard rock Mollo does so well and the classic heavy metal found on Martin’s albums with Black Sabbath.

The Third Cage is a very solid album, though it is a bit uneven at times. On one hand, there are songs like “Wicked World,” “Wardance” and “Oh My Soul” that totally bring to mind the heavy riffs and of course amazing vocals of those Sabbath albums. On the other hand, some of the more in your face rock songs like “Cirque du Freak,” “Don’t Know What It Is About You” and “Can’t Stay Here” are notable for either ridiculous lyrics or just plain awful singing. Fortunately the stronger songs well outnumber the weaker ones, but after a decade apart you’d think the songs that made it to the album would all be at a high quality level.

Uneven as the album is, if you enjoyed the first two Cage releases, chances are you’ll find The Third Cage worth picking up. For dedicated Tony Martin fans, it goes without saying that The Third Cage is a must-have album. He’s not perfect here, but more often than not he sounds absolutely dynamite. For everyone else – if you like hard-hitting melodic rock with first-rate guitar work and powerful vocals, there’s a lot to like about The Third Cage.

Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Melodic Rock

Dario Mollo (g) (b) (k)
Tony Martin (v)
Roberto Gualdi (d)
Dario Patti (k)
Brian War (k)

Track Listing:
1. Wicked World
2. Cirque du Freak
3. Oh My Soul
4. One of the Few
5. Still In Love With You
6. Can’t Stay Here
7. Wardance
8. Don’t Know What It Is About You
9. Blind Fury
10. Violet Moon

Label: Frontiers


Hardrock Haven rating: 7.5/10