In the middle of 2020 Rage declared another line-up change: two guitarists, Stefan Weber (ex-Axxis) and Jean Bormann (Angel Inc, Rage & Ruins) replaced Marcos Rodriguez. Thus, for the first time since 2001 the band became a quartet, not a trio. But of course the fans need something more than just news about line-up so Rage prepare their 24th (or 26th, depends from where we start to count) album named Resurrection Day.
The question is had the music changed with the new line-up? Well, yes and no both. It is still rigid and fast paced, with Power, Thrash and Teutonic Heavy elements but at the same time it is melodic, with lots of catchy choruses, bridges and hooks. There is pretty much symphony in this album too (Smolski era’s heritage?), this time Pepe Herrero, Spanish composer helped the band with this. Last but not least, Rage allow themselves to experiment and explore some new territories, like with “Travelling Through Time” – a little bit pretentious Folk Metal with catchy main melody. “The song is inspired by Renaissance composer Giorgio Mainerio,” explains Peavy. “There’s a piece by Mainerio called “Schiarazula Marazula”, with a wonderful theme that I often play at home on acoustic guitar. Jean and I have adapted it to suit the Rage format and given the song a different rhythmic perspective, which has added intensity. We’ve never done a number like “Travelling Through Time” before.”
Talking about symphony: actually, the album starts with it: a pompous overture “Memento Vitae” with good orchestration and main theme which goes into title track, aggressive and heavy “Resurrection Day”. Peavy still has strong vocals, which fits tough riffs and powerful drums great, while the main melody is catchy and memorable. Next one, fast paced “Virginity” goes Thrash from the beginning and some Groove elements added in verse. However, the catchiest song in this album is “A New Land”, melodic Power Metal with a little bit generic melody. At the same time this “commonness” compensates with catchiness (you just can’t get this song out your head), huge sound and great drumming of Vassilios ‘Lucky’ Maniatopoulos, who plays in the band since 2015.
“Arrogance And Ignorance” also starts with Thrash Metal, while Peavy almost growls here but later the music somehow turns into more traditional Power seamlessly. The ending “Extinction Overkill” also has some Thrash element, though it is more melodic with great Neo Classic guitar solo. “Man In Chains”, in its turn, impresses with variety: starting slowly and dismally, the music gains tempo slowly and turns into Power Metal with some little Orient touches, powerful bridge and a semblance of breakdown before the solo. It may be seemed from the first look that there are lots of things mixed here but it works great. And the “Monetary Goods” with pummeling Groovy riff and low vocals is probably the heaviest song in the album (which reminded me “Land Of Confusion”, at least at its structure).
There is a ballad in the album, of course: sad “Black Room” with acoustic guitar, violin and suddenly clean vocals. In the middle it gains some heaviness as well and further the music starts almost in major key, reminding some Hair Metal ballads.
The bad apple in this barrel is “Mind Control”: smooth, with simple melody, made by all Teutonic Heavy Metal patterns. But this fills the song with the slickness, making it filler. I agree, it has all the components, which previous songs have, yet it isn’t work here for some reason.
In the end I want to say that I really enjoyed this album: Peavy still sounds huge and can write good songs, which is great, considering his age. And it seems that with the new line-up Rage finally decide where they should move with their music. Well, all we have to do is to wait until it’ll be possible to listen to these songs live.
Resurrection Day will be released on September, 17th via Steamhammer/SPV.
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