(9/10) The history of Rage is a long one. Starting in 1984 as Avenger, the guys quickly transformed into Rage one year later. Since then the band is a crucial player when it comes to German metal, covering a period of more than 30 years. While, at the time, German thrash metal started a winning streak with bands like Kreator, Sodom and Destruction being their spearheads, it was Rage together with bands like Running Wild and Helloween being more rooted in speed- and power metal.
Rage released their debut “Reign of Fear” in 1986 and directly got some positive reaction from the underground. After such a start the anticipated “Execution Guaranteed” (also my entry point) followed and strengthened the bands status.
In the meantime we are three decades further down the road and Rage is still bringing excellent metal right to home. “Seasons of the Black” is the newest studio output of a band that sets standards when it comes to ambitious power metal.
The new album will kick-in open doors since it delivers what Rage fans want to get: powerful metal tracks that are melodic, mighty, partly a bit more complex and always heavy as hell. Peavy Wagner and his two compadres created a metal album that will raise the bar. Each track on the album is a small masterpiece, showcasing the band as dynamic as 30 years ago with the benefit of a lot more experience.
“Seasons of the Black” is the opener and it gets out of the gates in a perfect fashion. The song doesn’t give you too much time to prepare yourself for this powerful metal journey. A short intro turns seamlessly into an uptempo metal anthem that reflects all you can expect from Peavy & Co. The beauty with this trio is how they interpret their self-created style. Rage is far more than only raging metal tracks. There are songs with a more oppressive vibe (“Septic Bite”) and there are headbangers such as "Serpents in Disguise” next to merciless riff-attacks like “Walk among the Dead”.
The centerpiece, even coming at the end of the album, is the 20 minutes opus “The Tragedy of Man" in which Peavy Wagner tells a story around the extinction of mankind. "The Tragedy of Mankind" is spread out over four tunes with the first one being peaceful and harmonic. The short acoustic “Gaia” reflects the full beauty of mother earth before step by step things get worse by human stupidity, leading to the closer “Farewell”, a song that includes all the drama needed to express such a situation. These 20 minutes are part of a Rage- tradition with epical song(collections) addressing a special topic and act as the highlight on a terrific album.
“Season of the Black” became the expected big strike. As over the last 30+ years the band stays true to themselves and their sound with things get a bit more edgy again which fits very well. This album shows the creative potential of Peavy Wagner up to date, leading to another highlight as part of an eventful career.
- Season of the Black
- Serpents in Disguise
- Blackened Karma
- Time Will Tell
- Septic Bite
- Walk Among the Dead
- All We Know is not
- Bloodshed in Paradise
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: July 28th, 2017