LIONCAGE – Done At Last
A German AOR-oriented band, Lioncage contains three main members in vocalist Thorsten Bertermann, guitarist Lars König and drummer Torsten Landsberger, along with 12 other supplementary players on bass, vocals, keyboards, and sax to finish off this "Done at Last" album. These 10 songs seem to straddle a lot of the American school of shimmering melodies, easy on the ear hooks from both guitar and keyboard perspectives- bringing to mind the 80’s eras of West Coast AOR with Toto on winning cuts like "Fallin", the positive up-tempo "Where Do We Go From Here" as well as the mid-tempo, laid back "Pictures".
Too many times bands of this genre don’t place enough emphasis on versatility – as Lioncage does have a preferred tilt to their hooks and harmonies – but I do enjoy the sax break aspects on the semi-ballad "Dancing Queen" that made me think of Richard Marx during his prime. Thorsten as a singer will probably not be considered in the Lou Gramm or Steve Perry class of AOR – his range is more middle of the road and gritty, but he is very good in that role, making "Don’t Be Afraid" and opener "Mission of Love" comfortable to listeners.
The more exposures help keep "Done at Last" to the top of my mind. Simplicity does have its rewards – Lioncage can flash a little bit of guitar/bass excitement on "Stay", but for the most part the band hone in on straightforward catchiness in radio oriented 4 minute chunks. Those who dig the lighter side of melodic rock/ AOR with a strong 80’s affinity will easily slide this into their collection.