RAGE nearly covered everything in their paths in their long time career of thirty years but there is always room for more as long as the blood is pumping and there is motivation to go on. So this time they made their cards go 21 in their own private Blackjack table and dealt a new studio album named "21", once again via Nuclear Blast Records. I have been a fan of RAGE for more than a decade and I can vouch that "21" is one of their heavily aggressive albums, even heavier and tougher than "The End Of Days" plus, for all of you guitar riff maniacs out there just like me, there is Victor Smolski on the strings.
Sometimes I tell myself that I have to stop expecting favorite artists to unleash amazing albums every time around, however I can't really stop myself from doing so. Therefore it can be a private world of pain sometimes, well not that painful. In the case of "21", especially after the first time looking at the artwork, which is superb, my craving for an album that will knock me out rose to higher levels. Nonetheless, RAGE weren't able to supply the hell of an album I wanted it to be, yet, "21" showed me few features that amazed me like Peavey Wagner's awesome development as a vocalist that breached even to extreme areas, the great production that sounded profound and of course Victor Smolski that once again made a platform for his guitar work on both lead and rhythm sections.
"21", though not the best in the band's long discography, has nearly everything a Metalhead needs. It has both modern and old school influences, the music is versatile, always on the move for fresh blood and reshapes the band's older figures of the past along with creating a good future of things to come. Some of the songs on the tracklist really impressed me with their showcased musicianship, lyrics and amazing flow. "Forever Dead", that deals with what I comprehended as a sort of child abuse or childhood gone bad, for some reason made me feel the same sensations that I had when I listened to the old “Days Of December", yet without the violins. This track is one of RAGE's great modern outputs. "Feel My Pain" and "Destiny" are practically German driven Heavy Metal songs in the vein of ACCEPT, plainly these are great works motivated by great energies. "Concrete Wall" is closer to Thrash / Speed Metal but I believe that you would find out that RAGE tasted this subgenre quite a lot in their long ongoing road.
All in all, "21" is a well produced album sharing a great musical variety that presents RAGE's previous outputs. No doubt that this trio is one of the best, yet this release didn't live up to be superior than some of their earlier hits. I would definitely recommend checking out this release both to enjoy the band's diversity and to get to know one of the stronger members of the German Metal scene.
1. House Wins 2. Twenty One 3. Forever Dead 4. Feel My Pain 5. Serial Killer 6. Psycho Terror 7. Destiny 8. Death Romantic 9. Black And White 10. Concrete Wall 11. Eternally
Peter “Peavy” Wagner– Bass / Vocals Victor Smolski– Guitars Andre Hilgers- Drums