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Rage – Spreading the Plague Award winner

Rage
Spreading the Plague
by Fred “Cage” Bonanno at 14 November 2022, 8:05 PM

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past four decades and aren’t familiar with the German power metal band RAGE, here’s a brief history lesson. Formed in 1984 as AVENGER before changing to their current name a year later by original member Peavy Wagner and referred to as one of the countries heavy metal “big four”, along with HELLOWEEN, GRAVE DIGGER and RUNNING WILD. Their musical resume includes 26 album releases debuting with “Prayers of Steel” in 1985, but we’re concentrating on the most current, six song EP, “Spreading the Plague”.

From the band’s press release: German power metal band RAGE has 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 appetizer 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  September 30,2022, 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.”

Out of the gates on “To Live and to Die” with rip roaring riffs, pounding backing drums paced with gutty vocals. Continued full-steam ahead on “Spreading the Plague” has toned down, cleaner vocals that presents a “story-teller” motif, solid rhythmic drums ends with a slamming guitar solo on a twisted song. Just a reminder that you’re dealing with a hardcore metal band on “The King has lost his Crown”, as they take no prisoners with rapid riffs and raspy, engaging vocals and adding a supreme solo. A romping trip on “The Price of War 2.0” paints a desperate picture of the casualties of war with angry, gnarly vocals, blood curling riffs to punctuate the deep, penetrating lyrics “Soldiers killing just for their thrills, making war just for the sake of war, weep with the children, stave with the prisoners, this is no justice, this is the price of war” The album ends with a “live” thrill ride of roller coaster twists and turns musically, with a little bluesy mix on  “Straight to Hell” together with rambunctious hard edged riffs and guttural vocals accelerating throughout the song.

RAGE is a band that has never forgotten their musical roots, despite personnel changes of  thirteen members and dealing with an ever-changing music landscape, they remain true to what they do best, play hard core, in your face, bone rattling, power/speed metal. They have not lost their edge or attitude. If you’ve been a fan from day one, this album will not disappoint, and if you’re just discovering them, welcome aboard the metal express.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production : 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. To Live and to Die
2. Spreading the Plague
3. The King has Lost his Crown
4. A New Land
5. The Price of War 2.0
6. Straight to Hell (Live from The Cave)
Lineup:
Peavy Wagner  - vocals, bass
Jean Borman - guitar
Stefan Weber - guitar
Vassilios “Lucky” Maniatopoulos - drums
Record Label: Steamhammer
     


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