THE DEVIL STRIKES AGAIN
8 OUT OF 10
After an absence of three years, Rage, the Teutonic metal band hailing from Herne, Germany are back with their new album “The Devil Strikes Again”. The long-awaited follow up to 2013’s “LMO” is the band’s 22nd (yes 22nd!) studio album and was released by Nuclear Blast Records on 10th June 2016.
Long term band member Peter “Peavy” Wagner is back on vocals and bass but is, this time round, flanked by new members Marcus Rodriguez on guitar and Vassilies “Lucky” Maniatopoulos on drums, replacing Victor Smolski and Andre Hilges respectively.
Formed way back in 1984, Rage were part of the German heavy/power/speed metal scene that emerged in the early to mid-1980’s which included bands such as Helloween, Running Wild, Blind Guardian and Grave Digger but Rage are often forgotten when it comes to listing the most influential bands of the 1980’s. Numerous line-up changes over the years has evolved their sound full circle from their speed/thrash origins, embracing more symphonic traits before abandoning them once more to settle on the style that characterised them in the 1990’s, classic metal with a hint of power.
This album is old school Rage. At just around 45 minutes in length, which is short for Rage, each song is packed with solid yet melodic riffs, tight fast drumming, and the Lordi-esque sounding vocals of Peavy (only in places and that’s just my opinion!) The album is full on all the way through, only the second from last track slowing the tempo slightly and there is not a ballad on this album in any way, shape or form.
Wagner, himself, says of the album: “With our new album we wanted to deliberately build on the energy and the spirit of our classic albums from the ’90s. We focused again absolutely to the songs, hard and straight, with awesome melodies. The collaboration with Marcos and Lucky works extremely well, it had been a long time since I was so inspired and felt so liberated during song writing, and so some of the best tracks that I could ever record with Rage came about. We are more than proud of this album and we can’t wait to bring The Devil Strikes Again to the stage.”
Recorded at Megafon Studios in Burscheid, Germany, “The Devil Strikes Again” is a solid album full of great tracks that are by no means over performed with too many vocal operatics or overproduced guitar work so often associated with power metal. The album is hard and gritty in places yet melodic in others and will most certainly have the listener banging his head, horns in the air, from the very beginning.
I had a grand total of ONE Rage track on my music library before I received this album, not really paying them much attention, lumping them together with all the other German power metal bands which I had kind of lost interest in. I will NOT be making that mistake again. This is a good album to introduce new listeners to the band, I certainly will be checking out their back catalogue, while at the same time leaving most die-hard fans wanting more.
Rage haven’t broken any new ground with this album but they have made a bold statement with it and that statement is that:
RAGE ARE BACK!!
as first published on loud stuff