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Rage - The Devil Strikes Again

The Devil Strikes Again
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 19 June 2016, 8:15 PM

Honestly, it has been a while since the last time that I listened head on to a RAGE album. I believe the last one I listened to was “Strings To A Web”, which was quite formidable. Six years later and here I am with “The Devil Strikes Again”, RAGE, ever led by Peavey Wagner, are back with swift vengeance. Wagner might have been busy with REFUGE, reliving the classic RAGE years of the 80’s, but still was able to conjure up his merits and qualities for a good delivery out of the studio. “The Devil Strikes Again” was once again released via the band’s constant label in the past decade or so, Nuclear Blast Records.

Wagner might have lost both Victor Smolski (Recently formed ALMANAC) and Andre Hilgres (Also of SILENT FORCE), but gathered a duo of top of the line musicians, Vassilios "Lucky" Maniatopoulos (Drums) and Marcos Rodríguez (Guitars). Both are not high end names, yet I guess that after spending some time in this band, hopefully for as long as possible, they would become better known. Moreover, “The Devil Strikes Again” quite easily reflects the “business as usual” kind of feel from the band, the harsher spirit that has been haunting the songwriting for more than a decade is still alive and breathing.

“The Devil Strikes Again” emphasises the heaviness of RAGE, which has been one of their strongest elements since the late 90’s. While still keeping it in the lines of Heavy meets Speed Metal as major part of their doctrine, the modern aspects implemented shared also several skull smashing Thrash narratives in the riffery that are simply blasting and uplifting. On the other hand, under the same breath, the band set free the melodic discharges and anthemic choruses that have been making their music emphatic. It is obvious that RAGE is not a band that will reinvent themselves, and I never expected them to follow such a path. Thus the material is as straightforward as it can be, hard to to bone, crushing till the dying riff. RAGE remained true to their prized legacy and themselves.

Highly notable tracks that I admire are “My Way”, also released as the band’s EP and video, “The Final Curtain” spreading a titanic tough riffery with an epic chorus, “Spirits of the Night” that made the experience a bit more colorful without just bashing and the self-titled Thrash Metal smacker that simply destroyed. Since I listened to the limited edition, I was surprised to find my personal best track of the release, “Bring Me Down” that resulted in a cross between the 80’s and 00’s in such a finesse that latched me on to it, an amazing track that should have been a part of the album’s original tracklist.

So my friends, Peavy Wagner still got it, the new members of RAGE got it for sure, eventually telling you that “The Devil Strikes Again” is more than worth your time and listening efforts. Be sure to grab a copy.

4 Star Rating

1. The Devil Strikes Again
2. My Way
3. Back on Track
4. The Final Curtain
5. War
6. Ocean Full of Tears
7. Deaf, Dumb and Blind
8. Spirits of the Night
9. Times of Darkness
10. The Dark Side of the Sun
11. Bring Me Down
12. Requiem
13. Into the Fire
14. Slave to the Grind (Skid Row Cover)
15. Bravado (Rush Cover)
16. Open Fire (Y&T Cover)
Peter "Peavy" Wagner - Vocals / Bass
Marcos Rodríguez - Guitars / Backing Vocals
Vassilios "Lucky" Maniatopoulos  - Drums / Backing Vocals
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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