German power metal band Rage have come up with a special surprise for its followers to thank them for their loyalty and patience during the long wait enforced by the pandemic: In time for their major co-headlining tour alongside Brainstorm in October and November 2022 and as an appetiser for the things that await their fans, singer/bassist Peavy Wagner and his bandmates Jean Borman, Stefan Weber (both guitars) and Vassilios “Lucky” Maniatopoulos (drums) are set to launch their ‘Spreading the Plague’ EP on Steamhammer/SPV on 30 September 2022, featuring three previously unreleased new songs as well as three exciting bonus tracks. Says Peavy: “This is a thank-you to our fans who have stood by Rage for so many years. We really look forward to seeing everybody again at our upcoming shows.”
‘Spreading the Plague’ consists of the songs ‘To Live and to Die,’ ‘Spreading the Plague’ and ‘The King Has Lost His Crown,’ all three from the production phase of Rage’s 2021 album ‘Resurrection Day’ and previously unreleased. Peavy explains: “These are numbers that we recorded at the same studio quality level as our ‘Resurrection Day’ material but have deliberately held back until now to have something special up our sleeve for our fans when we’ll be able to tour again at last.” ‘Resurrection Day’ was a major success for Rage: The album scored high chart positions in a number of countries in September 2021, such as number 14 in Germany, number 12 in Japan, number 38 in Switzerland, and a more than impressive numbers 46 and 81 in the US and Canada, respectively.
The first single lifted from ‘Spreading the Plague’ is called ‘To Live and to Die’ and turns out to be a fast-paced up-tempo number with catchy guitar parts and a “cool chorus”, as Peavy puts it, adding: “This song really pushes forward in a breathtaking way.” The video to support ‘To Live and to Die’ can be seen on all major channels as of 19 August 2022.
The second track on ‘Spreading the Plague’ is the eponymous title song, featuring a triplet arrangement with Rage’s typically outstanding guitar work. The third brand-new song is called ‘The King Has Lost His Crown,’ a fast, aggressive piece featuring that expansiveness that’s characteristic of Rage. Peavy: “It was written and composed during a songwriting session with all four band members. The result is pure Rage!”
Lyrically, all three numbers are connected by the history of the evolution of mankind, as already featured on ‘Resurrection Day,’ and how it has led to the excesses and problems we’re faced with today.
The new EP is complemented by three bonus tracks: ‘A New Land’ is a new unplugged version; ‘The Price of War 2.0.’ was first released a few months ago as a digital single including video clip to introduce new band members Jean Borman and Stefan Weber, but has not yet been available on any physical record, same as the Rage classic ‘Straight to Hell,’ a live stream from the Balve Cave venue in July 2020.
So there are plenty of exciting things in the offing: a new EP (complete with exciting cover artwork courtesy of Karim König, who has also designed ‘The Devil Strikes Back’ and ‘Seasons of the Black,’ among others) as well as a big European tour in October/November 2022. It’s safe to say that Rage fans have plenty to look forward to …
Peavy Wagner (vocals, bass)
Vassilios Maniatopoulos (drums)
Stefan Weber (guitars)
Jean Borman (guitars)
Read our review here.