Soulcage from Helsinki release after a self-produced debut now their first "real" longplayer via the new Finnish Indie label Hellas Records. Yet all people involved have been in business for a long time: vocalist Aleksi Parviainen gained a name as Northern Kings and as Ari Koivunen´s vocal coach, and he can be heard on Stratovarius, Kiuas and Ensiferum records. Drummer Ville has the reputation of being one of the best in Finland, and he also drums for Dingo and Blake.
"Soul For Sale" contains a mixture which is not that easy to digest. It sets off with "Flaming Flowers (Send In The Clowns)" and rather Power Metal style, and I have problems to warm up to this one. But first impression is deceptive, with "My Canvas, My Soul" (also one of the top-tracks of this album) a rather massive Dream-Theater-like Prog Metal sound unfolds, and often you feel reminded of Faith No More classics (Origin, Stranger In You). "Ride On" has again initially some "Sonata Arctica" appeal, yet mutates into something like AOR Nickelback; "Satellite Children" is for me way too superficial Pop. The vocals display a remarkable range, sometimes sounding like Ville Valo, sometimes like Mike Patton, but for me Aleksi is at his best when he´s just Aleksi.
One of the most remarkable Songs is "You Get So Alone", great hooks and a cool drive, a great chorus - simply ear candy. MIA falls into the same category, really great, it has the potential to become THE hit of this band. And just those songs mentioned make Soulcage worth a try.
Overall impression - mixed feelings, but the positive impression prevails, therefore