DARIO MOLLO & TONY MARTIN – The Third Cage (2012)


“The Third Cage” is the third chapter in the collaboration between the Italian guitar player/producer Dario Mollo and ex-Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin.

The first two albums (‘The Cage’ from 1999 and ‘The Cage 2’ from 2002) were full of fine traditional Hard Rock and luckily that hasn’t changed a bit on this new CD of both gentlemen.

Tony Martin is just a world-class singer and that is very well understood by composer Dario Mollo, because the music he wrote fits Mr. Martin like a glove.

Mollo himself explains: “As usual we are 50/50 partners. I write all the music and Tony then contributes with the melodies and lyrics. We also try together different structures of the tracks and we rearrange them to better fit the vocal parts. Then I go ahead and take care of the entire production of the album, tracking, mixing and mastering”.

If you haven’t heard of Mollo previously, he has worked with the likes of vocalists Glenn Hughes, Graham Bonnet and of course Tony Martin, then he must be doing something right.

He really shines on this record. Dario doesn’t just show off or cram in a lot of notes, and his leads are well-thought out and emotional with tons of feeling.

“The Third Cage” opens with the bone crunching heavy riff and attitude driven “Wicked World”, a contemporary sounding track showing that these guys know how to move with the times.

Next up is the brilliant “Cirque Du Freak”, which Tony says was lyrically inspired by the movie the Vampires Apprentice. It has one of the best chorus on the album, a big massive hard rock song with a great use of keyboards.

“Oh My Soul” follows, and is, in my honest opinion, one of highlights. A great song that would have fitted comfortably upon any of the albums that Tony recorded back in his period with Sabbath. A strong atmospheric mid-tempo track of epic proportions.

“One Of The Few” quickens up the pace a little, more Melodic Hard Rock oriented featuring a catchy refrain, before the guys slow things down with the Eastern flavored “Still In Love With You”, again reminiscent of Martin’s Sabbath era.

“Can’t Stay Here” switches the tempo up a gear with almost a little heavy funk feeling going on, melodic but with a powerful riff.

“Don’t Know What It Is About You” is one of my favorites, blending classic hard with some Americanized melodies. Follower “Blind Fury” is more heavy, simply but effective.

The album closes with my personal favorite, the superb 7+ min. ballad “Violet Moon”. This kind on tunes demonstrate why Martin was and still is a terrific vocalist.

“The Third Cage” is a great endeavor by two phenomenal musicians doing what they love: Classic Hard Rock full of melodies.

It’s a tasteful, soulful, emotional and melodic CD. The songwriting, the sound and the production of this new project are absolutely stunning and show the great skills that Mollo has developed in the past few years.

I’m a big fan of Tony Martin’s work with Black Sabbath at the end of the ’80s-early ’90s, and he does not disappoint on “The Third Cage”.


01 – Wicked World

02 – Cirque Du Freak

03 – Oh My Soul

04 – One Of The Few

05 – Still In Love With You

06 – Can’t Stay Here

07 – Wardance

08 – Don’t Know What It Is About You

09 – Blind Fury

10 – Violet Moon

Tony Martin – Vocals (ex-Black Sabbath, Empire, Phenomena)

Dario Mollo – Guitars (Don Airey, Giuntini Project, Voodoo Hill)

Brian War/Dario Patti – Keyboards (Giuntini Project, Voodoo Hill)

Fulvio Gaslini – Bass (Giuntini Project, ex-Crossbones)

Roberto Gualdi – Drums (Voodoo Hill)



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