4 years and a fully changed line-up – this is what took Rage to release a new, 22nd studio album. ‘The Devil Strikes Again’ comes out 10th of June via Nuclear Blast. Band’s leader Peavy Wagner has labeled this album ‘RAGE’s hardest record in years’ and fans were given a taste of what was to come with the release of a single, title track called ‘The Devil Strikes Again’.
Truth be told, it sounded a bit heavier indeed, especially with more harsher vocals by Peavy. Guitar department was never a weak one for Rage, with Victor Smolski, guitar virtuoso, leading the group for last 15 years. Now, with Marcos Rodriguez from Soundchaser taking his place, it was quite interesting to hear how the band would sound like.
Well, by intent or not, Rage sounded like Rage on the new album. With a small difference – it’s the old Rage. The opener and the title track of the album is one good example of what the album sounds like. It’s a powerful piece, storming out on you like genie out of the bottle. But with all its power, the track still has harmony with guitar solos, making it a trademark of the band.
The opener is followed by rough anthem ‘My Way’, a person’s manifesto about getting what you want. Then we have the pair of old-school Rage songs, ‘Back On Track’ and ‘The Final Journey’, showing some character, that might have been lost during last albums of the band. Album also has a social scent in it, a track called ‘War’, that highlights everything that is wrong with modern day era.
The mood is being uphold by ‘Ocean Full of Tears’ track, a quintessence of what Rage is, a perfectly fitted track, rich on marvelous guitar riffs, nice backing vocals and powerful lyrics. The rest of the album continues to explore the old and somehow forgotten sound of the band, while provings once again – new is the forgotten old. With one small exception, the final track ‘The Dark Side of The Sun’, one hell of surprising mix, classical metal sound accompanied by some asian melodies in it. Well, it’s the icing on the cake and it’s Rage, ladies and gentlemen, alive and back on track!
(8/10, Nuclear Blast)