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Rage - Carved In Stone (CD)

Rage
Carved In Stone
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 03 February 2008, 9:40 PM

This is the first RAGE album that features Andre Hilgers behind the drum kit, who took over the heavy duty of replacing Mike Terrana. The latter had to leave the band due to artistic differences as he stated in his recent interview to METAL TEMPLE (check it out!).
So, Carved In Stone is the title of the new RAGE album that comes after the Speak Of The Dead release back in 2006. Personally, I considered that album kind of 'weak' that lacks a distinct musical direction. The overuse of orchestral parts added a question mark beside the words creativity and originality in RAGE's music. So, when I got the Carved In Stone promo I was more than curious and also anxious of whether one of my favorite bands has come to a dead end.
Judging from the tracklist I was a little bit relieved, since the album consists of 10 songs without any Ligua Mortis suites. I am OK with those but as I said in the beginning enough is as good as a feast!
The album opens with the homonymous track comprising a nicely put intro that is definitely a courtesy of Mr Smolski and then a surprise; the song follows an old recipe with fast guitars and Peavey's catchy vocal lines especially during the sing-along chorus. Drop Dead continues in the same fast-paced tempo with the trademark Smolski vibrato and another excellent chorus that has something from the glorious Black In Mind era. Gentle Murders (click here to listen) comes from the late RAGE era, that features insane guitar work and the classic bass guitar sound that dominates in the rhythm section. I was more than pleased to realize that finally there is a RAGE album that takes my mind back to their past works like Long Hard Road does, reminding me the Reflections Of A Shadow album from the 90s. Lost In The Void is an excellent example of RAGE's composing potentials with which have created this excellent blend of  the classic Thrash sound with uplifting Power Metal breaks. The intro of Open My Grave puts a sinister smile on my face since it shares the same eastern atmosphere that can be found in the track Shame On You that opens the Trapped! album.
As usual in a RAGE album, there is a power ballad and this time it is entitled Without You; it once again took me back to the Black In Mind era. In Lord Of The Flies a fresh air breathes on RAGE's music; apart from the minor orchestration there is some keyboards that create a creepy atmosphere combined to Peavy most 'expressional' vocals. I am really curious to watch the video clip that was shot for this track sometime before Christmas (another one was made for Open My Grave).
Reading the above, you must have realized that I am something more than satisfied by the new RAGE album. They have proven to me that Speak Of The Dead was a short break and that there is more to wait and enjoy from this three-piece band.

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Carved In Stone
Drop Dead
Gentle Murders
Open My Grave
Without You
Long Hard Road
One Step Ahead
Lost In The Void
Mouth Of Greed
Lord Of The Flies
Lineup:
Peter Peavey Wagner - Vocals, Bass
Victor Smolski - Guitar
Andre Hilgers - Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
     


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