CAGE (Terry Ilous / JK Northrup) – Cage [Japan Edition +1] HQ

CAGE (Terry Ilous / JK Northrup) - Cage [Japan Edition +1] HQ full

As requested, here’s the Japanese Edition of the CAGE‘s self-titled album, the project formed in the Nineties by talented vocalist Terry Ilous (XYZ, Great White) and guitarist Jeff ‘JK’ Northrup (King Kobra, Shortino/Northrup, et all). The album was reissued in Europe some years after by Axe Killer Records including an excellent bonus track which we added as extra.
Ilous & Northrup are not alone. A bunch of incredible friends and musicians accompany them on “Cage”: Pat Fontaine (XYZ), Carmine Appice (Cactus, Ted Nugent, King Kobra), Vinnie Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio), Tony Franklin (The Firm, Blue Murder), James Kottak (Scorpions) play here all over the recording – but also Matt Luneau (drums), the late Randy Castillo (Ozzy, Mötley Crüe, drums), Sean Mc Nabb (Quiet Riot, bass), Phil Soussan (Ozzy, bass), the great multi-instrumentalist Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner) and Bob Johnson (bass).

Cage’s overall sound is very Nineties, with some modern riffs ala Velvet Revolver here and there but definitely hard rock. It is a very contemporary sounding record, yet retains enough melody, both in the music and the voice, to hold fans of XYZ.
Opener “Walk On Water” is driven by an aggressive guitar, mixture of Indian and Arabic – JK plays sitar too – and an efficient rhythmic, while Terry Ilous appears very upfront in the mix, powerful as ever. The wah-wah solo of JK is excellent and Terry did an outstanding job as usual .
“My Shell ” is a bit on the same, but adding acoustic guitars alongside electrics. The pace pick up again strong and heavy with “Train Song” which never derail. There’s a nice JK guitar work and a cool chorus again.

“Ticket” is the most close to the XYZ sound here. It’s because it’s co-written by Ilous and his old XYZ pal bassist Pat Fontaine (by Tony Marcus too), a very powerful rocker but melodic at the same time. It’s in this kind of melodic rock that Terry is at his best. And JK’s solo is just fantastic once again.

The band accelerates again with the nervous “Here and Gone” where Ilous’ voice is more aggressive, also Northrup’s guitars and with Vinnie Appice on drums and Tony Franklin on bass!! What a rhythm section!!!
The rhythm of “Soul to Soul” is funky and a fun chorus. You can listen to it many times with no displeasure when you‘re driving on a Nevada highway (why not?). No time to breathe with the Zeppelinian “Save Me”, again co-written by Ilous/Fontaine.
Shut out the lights, turn on the lighters. Here’s “Lie”, the slow burner of the album written by our French duet Ilous/Fontaine, including piano and great parts of slide guitar.

The bonus track on the reissue with the French title “L’Amour a son Revers” is the song “Lie” but revisited in French language and stripped; just piano and Terry’s vocals showcasing his amazing pipes. A gem.

“Cage” is a very consistent, strong hard rock album with contemporary sound the passed quite unnoticed when originally released, and one that fans of the musicians involved should check.
Terry Ilous in fine shape, Jeff Northrup very effective and varied in his playing, while the stellar sessionists are impeccable as usual.
Highly Recommended


01 – Walk On Water
02 – My Shell
03 – Minds Eye
04 – Train Song
05 – Here And Gone
06 – Soul To Soul
07 – Save Me
08 – Lie
09 – Ticket
Axe Killer Records reissue Bonus Track:
10 – L’Amour A Son Revers

Terry Ilous – Lead And Backing Vocals, Drums on “Lie”
Jeff Northrup – All Guitars, Sitar, Backing Vocals
Special Guest Musicians:
Matt Luneau – Drums, Sean McNabb – Bass (Track #1 & 9)
Carmine Appice – Drums, Tony Franklin – Bass (Track #2)
James Kottak – Drums, Sean McNabb – Bass (Track #3 & 4)
Vinnie Appice – Drums, Tony Franklin – Bass (Track #5)
James Kottak – Drums, Phil Sousan – Bass (Track #6)
James Kottak – Drums, Jeff Pilson – Bass (Track #7)
Bob Johnson – Bass, Al Esis Dick Cox – Piano (Track #8)


Out of Print

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