Ghost metal. That is the term that Wes Cage coined to describe his solo debut. A combination of doom metal and progressive, with a smattering of goth, ghost metal is an ideal term for Cage’s solo effort. I can’t help but wonder why he didn’t coin it ‘vampire metal’, as there is more than one track devoted to the immortal bloodsuckers. Despite this question, this is a great album that deserves a listen.
I knew of Wes Cage from his previous band, Eyes of Noctum. I am not a fan of black/death metal and I was terrified of this album, prior to listening. Honestly, how can someone who doesn’t have passion for a particular style of music properly review it? This was a question I pondered until I put the album on. Fearing black/death metal, I was pleasantly surprised by what was contained therein. As I’ve stated, it is a combination of prog, goth, and doom. A fan of Type O Negative, A Pale Horse Named Death, and Black Sabbath, I was able to sink into this album. While it is a little rough around the edges at times, it is a wonderful solo effort and I’m expecting big things from Cage on his next release.
I do want to call out a couple of songs from the album, specifically. First off, the track Vampire Sentiment. As we should all know by this point, this is a movie and metal site. For me, a song that either through the music or lyrics paints a picture and draws a correlation to a film, is the best of the best. Occasionally, a song will inspire me to create my own movie in my head. Vampire Sentiment made me think of the travesty of a film that was Queen of the Damned. Yes, the film is garbage. This song made me think fondly of this film and made me think about watching it again. Think about watching it. I have seen it enough to know how bad it is, so if this track made me even consider it, that is high praise. Of course, I can make a better film in my mind than that film, but this track conjured the images of the film and the soundtrack, which was grand. If this song had been put out ten years earlier, it could have easily been included in the film. This is a compliment, in case you might have been questioning. Have a listen to the track here:
The second track I want to call out is Mansion Dweller. Despite the clunky title of the song, this also fondly conjured images of film. Not a film you might imagine, though. This conjured up the images of Disney’s The Skeleton Dance from 1929 and Disney’s Mickey Mouse short, The Haunted House, also from 1929. There is something about those old cartoons that is super-creepy and this track cast the heebie jeebie spell on me. As I drove to work in the mornings, long before the sun rose, on these dark, snowy mornings in Indiana, I found myself a little creeped out by this track and the images it painted in my mind. Have a listen to the track here:
Now have a look at the classic films that it made me think of:
I really, really like this album. The imagery it has painted for me is stunning. Very few albums can do that. Perhaps the song stylings bring some of the acting that Cage has done. While that is not the point of this review, and it will not be covered in any detail, Cage has appeared in some films with his father, Nicolas Cage. Perhaps that background is what has painted these vivid pictures that this album brings. If you are a fan of metal, do yourself a favor and check this out. It is available on iTunes.