• 8/10
    DARIO MOLLO & TONY MARTIN - The Third Cage - 8/10


Frontiers Records
Release date: January 20, 2012

User Review
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The collaborative efforts of Italian guitar virtuoso Dario Mollo and former Black Sabbath front man Tony Martin have resulted in the release of their third full-length album. These guys have been making Metal together since 1999 when they released their first album The Cage. They rejoined for the follow up in 2002 for The Cage 2, and now nearly ten years later completed the trilogy with the appropriately titled The Third Cage.

Dario Mollo has been a part of a couple lesser known bands, most notably a project called Voodoo Hill in the early 2000’s, which featured the great Glenn Hughes on vocals. There is no doubt that Mollo is an outstanding natural ability on guitar. His flawless riffs and magical solos, most notably during the track “Still In Love With You”, can easily equate him to any of the great legends.

Everyone that knows Metal is aware of Tony Martin as that “other” lead singer of Black Sabbath. He also contains a great natural gift, which produces an extremely broad high-pitched range. Martin’s voice has maintained his crisp and clean quality throughout the years, and that is very prevalent on this album as well. When Martin sang with Black Sabbath, his vocals would be slightly toned down to sustain the darker undertones of Tony Iommi’s guitar work. However, since leaving Sabbath, Martin has prevailed at showing off just how powerful his vocals can become. There are many tracks on The Third Cage where Martin easily sounds like a young David Coverdale; piercing with fiery passion.

Musically, the basic formula of Mollo / Martin has not changed much since their first album. This duo composes some moderately heavy Melodic Hard Rock. The sound is very reminiscent to the late ’80s and early ’90s sounds of Whitesnake or Blue Murder. There are also some darker melodies thrown in that end up sounding very suspiciously like Tony Martin’s Black Sabbath work. The best song that exemplifies this is the track “Wardance”, which has a great Tony Iommi-style riff with an intense dark melody and chorus.  It could have easily been a track taken from The Headless Cross.

There is clearly good chemistry between these two artists. The compositions are written with a great deal of compassion and emotion. The music has a Modern Melodic sound while still incorporating many elements of Classic Metal. There is also a good amount of diverse song style as well, even incorporating a Funk riff during the track “Can’t Stay Here”. There are many elements which make this a strong release, and it becomes very easy to listen over and over again.


  • Sean Meloy

    Sean Meloy was a reviewer, interviewer and DJ here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Iowa , USA. By day he is a straight laced, buttoned up, number crunching accountant; armed with his portable calculator. All other times he is a hard rocking Metal head! He spent many hours listening to records and 8-tracks with his father. Classic bands such as Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Led Zeppelin, and Eric Clapton just to name a few. His father bought him his first record, Kiss Alive II, at age 6. By the time he reached his teens he was discovering all the Classic Metal of the 1980’s; Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Twisted Sister, etc. He became a huge fan of the Thrash Metal of the time as well; Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, Exodus, and Overkill. During the 1990’s he experimented with the Grunge and Hard Rock. However, by the time the millennium came he found himself going back to his roots and rebuilt the music collection he started in his teens.

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