Few metal acts can look back at as comprehensive, multi-faceted and varied a career as Rage. Founded in spring 1983 in Herne in Germany’s Ruhr region, the band surrounding vocalist/bassist Peavy Wagner has integrated a wide range of stylistic nuances into its musical concept. There have been releases which focused primarily on hard thrash sounds, but also recordings featuring anthemnic power metal as well as albums with a – in the true sense of the word – symphonic orientation. “Wings of Rage,” the latest offering by the three-piece, consists of all this and much more. Peavy and his colleagues Marcos Rodriguez (guitar) and Vassilios Maniatopoulos (drums) have succeeded in summarising the diversity and experience of almost 37 years of band history in twelve topical songs, starting a new chapter at the same time. “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.” “Wings of Rage” will be available from 10 January 2020 on Steamhammer/SPV on Digipak CD and double vinyl LP, in a limited box set and as digital stream/download. 18 October 2019 will see the arrival of the first single, ‘Let Them Rest In Peace,’ including an impressive video clip which Rage shot in a closed-down paper factory.
Thanks to the diversity on “Wings of Rage,” Wagner, Rodriguez and Maniatopoulos can be one hundred per cent certain that every fan will find something to their very own, personal taste. Friends of earthy thrash tracks with a typical Rage attitude will get their money’s worth mostly on numbers such as the opener ‘True’ with its sinister verse, the lead single ‘Let Them Rest In Peace,’ the title track “Wings of Rage” and the intense ‘Don’t Let Me Down.’ Aficionados of atmospherically dense power metal anthems will love ‘Tomorrow’ and ‘Chasing The Twilight Zone,’ while elements of classic orchestrations, as featured on Rage’s 1998 album classic 13, mark the progressive ‘A Nameless Grave’ and the ballad ‘Shine a Light.’
Talking of album classics: “Wings of Rage” is rounded off by ‘HTTS 2.0.,’ a cryptic acronym for an updated reissue of the 1996 single release ‘Higher Than The Sky’ from the “End Of All Days” album, the musicians’ cross-reference to their own history. The finale of this thoroughly impressive new album consists of ‘For Those Who Wish to Die’ with its dominant drum groove‚ a number which is not exactly typical of Rage. In addition, but only available as a bonus track on the vinyl double LP, there’s an atmospheric reprise of ‘Shine A Light.’ Rage produced their new album themselves, Marcos Rodriguez taking care of mix and mastering at the Soundchaser Studio in Burscheid. The striking cover was designed by Stan W. Decker (Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Primal Fear, among others).
Rage have gone all out on “Wings of Rage,” not only in musical and production terms: Peavy’s lyrics also prove that he thinks well beyond the limits of pure metal topics. “I’ve always preferred to write about outsiders, about people on the fringes of society who have lost out on affluence and prosperity. This socio-critical perspective runs like a golden thread through the whole album.” ‘A Nameless Grave’ is about the many millions who lost their lives in pointless wars. Peavy: “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.”
Luckily, Rage are neither nameless nor forgotten, quite the opposite: “Wings of Rage” presents the band as dynamic as ever, and their next world tour is in the pipeline for 2020. The February dates for the European leg have already been confirmed, more dates will follow soon.
Read our review here.