Sun Caged - s/t
It's strange that so promising and professional band like Sun Caged has released only two official albums so far. Its co-founder are a guitar virtuoso - Marcel Coenen (Lemur Voice, Stormrider, Time Machine, Hubi Meisel) and a drummer - Dennis Leeflang (Within Temptation, Bumblefoot). The rest of the line-up are: Andre Vuurboom (vocal), Joost van den Broek (keys) and Rob van der Loo (bass guitar, chapman stick).
Aforementioned Dutchmen recorded their debut album four years after the band's foundation having as well three demos in their discography. Such a realising order is a confirmation of a professionalism. Musicians tested themselves for a long time enough and entered the recording studio when they were sure that all planned things could be done with no major obstacles.
I am always very straightforward by reviewing such releases. If a music guarantees us the highest quality and best comfort of the listening, its audience only can go into ecstasies about progressive atmosphere. The Dutchmen play evenly and precisely. The listener is aware of learning of ideally harmonious band and melts into the parts of given musicians with no difficulty. That comfortableness is assured by instrumental clarity. Coenen's solo parts are unpredictable and uniquely arranged. I feel that mentioned artists recorded that CD at a full commitment. It wasn't made just for fun or art for art's sake. Their music is well-thought-out and polished. Apart from Coenen's mastery, Andre and Joost make the greatest impression on me. I can't only accept one thing - filtering Vuurboom's vocal through mixer. I think that his vocal is beautiful in its nature and there's no point in similar "endeavours", the more so because his manner is convergent with James LaBrie's way of singing. Fusion elements and bit references to jazz music are owed to the rhythm section to a large degree, however the credit for the "stellar" atmosphere goes to Joost van den Broek who has just accustomed us to that mood on Star One's releases.
I have known that Sun Caged is a highly valued band in the whole progressive world. They drew best exemplars from Queensryche and Dream Theater, and also inserted their original ideas into the music, that's why they received wide recognition. Obviously, I am thinking both of fans and critics.
I am very curious about the band's future, because I have got the message concerning Rob van der Loo's leaving (Rock Fiction, Agony, Soulcatcher, Hubi Meisel). It's not the end of rearranging in Sun Caged's line-up. There are also a few new faces the likes of Paul Adrian Villareal (vocals; Wooden Badger, The Order), René Kroon (keys; Stigmatheist) and Roel van Helden (Delphian). Many changes have been made, may the music be as wonderful as until now. As long as Coenen and Leeflang play in the band, we needn't be concerned about any musical declines, haha. Personally, I am patiently waiting for their second act titled "Artemisia"!