5/3/2012 - Review by: Eric Compton
Well here we go again, another German band who has lived and died by the riff...yet their ghost still somehow plays on. Speedsters Rage have lived and breathed by the riff and now release record number...gulp...twenty one. Considered part of the "other" big three, Running Wild and Grave Digger (as opposed to Kreator/Sodom/Destruction), Rage has soldiered on decade after decade, originally speed metal to thrash to symphonic power to plain 'ole heavy metal these days, all circling around the founder Peavy Wagner.
"21" is another Rage record. It has the same familiar chorus lines and melodies that have made up the Victor Smolski era of the band for the last ten plus years. We get the normal power metal nugget, a few thrash scrapings and the occasional power ballad, mixed and mashed by Peavy's range of voices and Smolski's peddling of tricked out guitar riffs. I do hear more death on this album, Peavy stepping up to add a bit of versatility to the strained sound (see "Forever Dead" as evidence).
I dunno...what do we do with the Grave Diggers and Rages of the world, those that have clearly rocked in years past and still have a penchant for the head banging affair? Bless their black hearts for still banging the drum and calling forth the spirit of Sabbath six decades since Birmingham forged the fires. Now, what the Hell do we do to make it stop?
Don't retire Peavy, but maybe Rage has used up every song title and riff imaginable and its time for a new band/project/role in this strange universe of 2000's metal?
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