For the 35 years of existence Rage have been through many things: rises and falls, line-up changes and sound experiments – I think there is no sense to tell about the whole band’s history. Although there is one thing that I’ve always wondered about this band: they always stubbornly moved forward, no matter what. Some say that it is possible to slow things down, but indeed this is not an option for Peavy Wagner and co. So in the beginning of 2020 Rage release their 25-th album Wings Of Rage.
“The material on Wings Of Rage is as colourful as Rage’s history, – confirms Peavy, – Although it’s always connected with the distinct evolvement of our strengths, in other words: with a contemporary style of playing and an ultramodern sound.” Well, it’s quite debatable assertion, but let’s start from the first thing’s first.
Wings OF Rage divided for two parts. In the first one there are songs with powerful sound like the opener “True” or “Chasing The Twilight Zone”. There a low guitar sound can be heard with mighty guitar riffs from Marcos Rodriguez and technical drums from Vassilios Maniatopoulos, which sometimes go double pedal and all the stuff. Of course there are always melodic, catchy choruses, written for live performance. It’s easy to catch the words and sing alone with the band. In this case the inspirational, anthem-like “Tomorrow” should be emphasized with its chorus that will stuck in your head almost forever.
The second part of the album is more symphonic, with rich keyboards, string instruments and even some kind of choir from time to time: Rage‘s performances with symphonic orchestra were really successful and it seems that the band will continue this endeavor. Of course, symphonic things should be in a ballad; in case of Wings Of Rage it is “Shine The Light”, slow and sublime song, full of pathos. Also the atmospheric “A Nameless Grave” should be mentioned: it starts with classical string instruments and continues with guitar riff that steps on Progressive Metal territory a little. The main idea and the lyrics of the song are also interesting, I guess Peavy himself will say it better: “Cemeteries and countless anonymous graves are full of people who had to do the dirty work for despots like Hitler and Napoleon. And while these dictators went down in history, their victims remain nameless and forgotten.”
Also there is a reference or some kind of “bridge” with the previous band’s works: a new version of “Higher Than The Sky” with concise name “HTTS 2.0”. 2019 version is faster, sounds a little bit modern and has a better quality. As usual, I think that first of all two versions of the song should be heard and then everyone will decide for himself, which version is better.
At the same time the album has its lacks, of course. “Blame It On The Truth” is melodic and heavy song but absolutely filler, which you forget after it ends. Speaking of melodic and catchy choruses: some of them based on simple and quite poppy melodies. Not all of them, of course, if you will listen to the album, you will find it easily. The last in this list is Peavy’s voice, which still has energy, anger but also can’t reach some notes, or hardly make it, even in record! Nevertheless, justification for each of this lack can be found easily: the band exist for 35 years, Peavy is 55 years old already and after all you can’t record 25 outstanding albums in a row, no matter what music genius are you.
However, these lacks don’t make some bad impression from the good album and Wings Of Rage is a good one. Not the best one, I will not fight for it, but also this album is not bad at all. Also I think that the fact itself of this release says a lot.
Wings Of Rage will be released on January, 10th via Stearhammer/SPV.
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