Sun Caged - Artemisia
23 March 2007

01. Lyre's Harmony
02. A Fair Trade
03. Unborn
04. Blood Lines
05. Painted Eyes
06. Engelbert The Inchworm
07. Afraid To Fly
08. Dialogue
09. Departing Words
10. Doldrums

Dark Progressive metallers Sun Caged are back with Artemisia, their second album - but is it really Sun Caged? A new vocalist, keyboardist, drummer and bassist have joined the ranks since the release of their last album in 2003 leaving only one founding member. Nonetheless, these guys have really found their groove and perform on this album like they've been writing and playing music together for a long time.

The opening track Lyre's Harmony is energetically lovely and melancholy but didn't "grab" me right off the bat. The absence of an in-your-face opening track is one thing that prevents this from being as memorable of a release as it could have been. The album could really start anywhere and the songs could be in any order; it all lacks a feeling of cohesion.

What Sun Caged has going for them, though, is their amazing ability to pair two elements: power and energy with calm and dark. This balance is what helps make Artemisia so listenable and appropriate for many different moods. Whether you're in the mood to rock out with the crunchy breakdowns, dream with the spacey keyboards, or wallow in the haunting melodies and tender solos, nearly every song has something to satisfy you. The fourth track, Bloodlines, especially shows off the aforementioned diversity and the band's ability to wrap it all up into one gift of a song. Another gift is the ballad Afraid To Fly which found it's way quickly into my heart (I'm having difficulty explaining why but I'm sure it'll find its way into your heart as well).

The songs are all good, yet for some reason Artemisia isn't as memorable as it could be and I can't quite put my finger on why. The songs are all good… perhaps the album itself just never reached its full potential.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 6
Production: 8

Band profile: Sun Caged
Album: Artemisia


Written on 31.07.2007 by
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of sub-genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.

Twitter: @HeavyMetalSusan
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SacredBlade - 31.07.2007 at 03:44  
I think it's their best production to date, (A Fair Trade I can relate to...)
Kap'N Korrupt - 31.07.2007 at 05:37  
The first three tracks I find myself listening to over and over again...the instrumental (Engelbert The Inchworm) is a fun listen to even though the beginning thing threw me off...weird thing to start a song off with...I would disagree with you on Lyre's Harmony to the max...I personally think that song does it's job in getting everything going...that song blew me away...it's two bad that the album wasn't full of songs like the first three the whole way through...I love that groove in A Fair Trade...I learned it there on the bass right away haha...it certainly is stronger than their first album
BlackGoTH - 31.07.2007 at 17:23  
I found that Departing Words is the best song in this album the folk elements in that songs are beautifull.
Marcel Hubregtse - 31.07.2007 at 17:27  
Never liked Sun Caged too much, but I love Marcel Coenen's guitar work, he is certainly one of the best, if not the best guitarist from The Netherlands.

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