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Friday, February 24, 2012

Mollo / Martin ‘The Third Cage’ album review

Mollo / Martin ‘The Third Cage’ album review
Released on: Frontiers records. Release Date: Available now

Dario Mollo – For those who don’t know - is a greatly respected Italian guitarist, who has already worked with Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Country Communion) in the project Voodoo Hill, Don Airey (Rainbow, Deep Purple, Ozzy Osbourne), Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, M.S.G., Alcatraz) and Tony Franklin (Blue Murder, Paul Rodgers, Jimmy Page) to name just a few.

Tony Martin really got everyone’s attention as a singer when he stepped into Black Sabbath in 1987, following a long line of respected vocalists, including of course, Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie James Dio and Ian Gillan.

Dario Mollo started putting together a new project, already involving Don Airey around 1999 and Tony Martin’s name was thrown into the ring and thus came the first collaboration as Mollo / Martin with ‘The Cage.’

A second album followed in 2002, that included Tony Franklin, before this latest release, ‘The Third Cage.’

This to me is a seriously heavy album in places and I say that, while sharing with you that I really liked some of Tony Martin’s work with (Black) Sabbath.
His voice on here often reminds me of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson during the high points – High notes - and even the late, great Ronnie James Dio at other times.

Opening track ‘Wicked World’ is dirty, heavy and wow!
It’s funny how the wailing guitar here and there, every time I hear it now brings to mind Zakk Wylde's playing in the Rock Star movie, with the fictitious band Steeldragon.

‘Cirque Du Freak’ next very much reminds me of good old Ronnie James Dio’s style and it’s an interesting track, capturing some great hook lines, some killer playing from Mario Mollo.

Wow! Next track ‘Oh My Soul’ is very much in the vein of Ronnie period Rainbow, including some great guitar work once more from Mario. Tony’s voice at times is eerily like Ronnie, in a similar manner to how Doogie White often nails it.

In an effort to also capture some good old melodic rock on here, ‘One of the Few’ captures it very well indeed!
Great track, I love it!

‘Still In Love With You’ is a good heavy number, once again bringing to mind some of the Dio era Rainbow, but Dario goes out there some in his guitar work.

With ‘Wardance’ next it’s starts in an eerie fashion and then the guitar kicks in, with what sounds like a slightly off key riff, but interesting style, deeper in there’s some serious riffing here.
Sounds like something Glenn Hughes would capture on his rock / funk releases and Tony even tries to throw his own twist to it too.

‘Don’t Know What It Is About You,’ is a really strong melodic rock song and Dario even gives a nod to Eddie Van Halen in some of the harmonics here, tasty solo too! Nice one!

With ‘Blind Fury’ it’s back to the heavier edge that they have. Dirty guitar and strong menacing vocals again from Martin!

Closing track ‘Violet Moon’ starts as a beautiful gentle ballad, before developing into the true power ballad style and then in the solo section, Dario shreds some and then the song gets back into power ballad territory. Interesting and good stuff!
Not a bad album at all, after taking a few initial plays to really warm to it.
Really love the album cover too, wicked!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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