The word rage is defined as violent uncontrollable anger. What better name could one choose for a metal band?
RAGE have often been referred to as one of Germany’s “big four” of power metal (alongside HELLOWEEN, GRAVE DIGGER and RUNNING WILD) because of their earth-shattering contributions to the scene and for constantly evolving and pushing boundaries back in the early to mid-1980’s and ever-onwards. Often overlooked, is that Rage were the first metal band to write and record an album with a full symphonic orchestra! (1996’s Lingua Mortis)
Fast forward to the present and RAGE are back with a new line-up for their 25th Studio album and have returned to utilising two guitarists once again. Die-hard fans and newcomers alike, feast upon this glorious splendour, for today is Resurrection Day!
At first Memento Vitae (Overture) reminded me of something akin to EDVARD GREIG’s Morning Mood, coming across as tranquil before building into a crescendo. Beautifully setting the scene for the rest of the album and generating waves of excitement.
The title track is huge with its delivery and this really showcases what RAGE do best: “we are legion and we have been overruled so long, there’s no holding back, we are coming over you so strong!” An instant classic in the band’s repertoire.
Virginity is a full-on banger of a track. Diving straight into attacking all senses and extremely thrash friendly!
A New Land makes full use of the dual guitarists and is a traditional power metal track: “won’t you fly with me in my dreams to see, that our world is made to expand. Come and sail with me over seven seas, and explore with me a new land!”
Arrogance And Ignorance continues the socially aware themes encapsulated throughout the album. Utilising varying vocal styles from Peavy Wagner throughout and ticks all the right boxes.
From the melodic intro Man In Chains slides right into a mighty charge metaphorically linking zealous inquisitions and driving apostasy: “our world, it seems, is caught up in a trap. We need to find a better way. Wake up as this nightmare begins”
The Age of Reason reintroduces a symphonic touch and has an incredibly catchy chorus that demands you to sing-along: “It’s the age of reason, awakening of man. It’s the age of reason, the creator’s plan!”
Monetary Gods undoubtedly is one of the heavier pieces of the album. Peavy Wagner is totally at his best with this track and it warrants head-banging throughout.
Mind Control deals with consumerism and manipulation. Highlighting how materialistic items become more desirable instead of concentrating on more important matters “you might think that you decide, yeah. But the script comes from my side, yeah”
Traveling Through Time was inspired by a piece from Renaissance composer Giorgio Mainerio. If one needs inspiration of how to adapt a classical piece of music with added heavy metal attitude, look no further! Featuring mighty orchestral compositions that beautifully entwine with the heavy metal masterclass that RAGE are renowned for. This is epic, taking us on a journey from ancestral origins up until present day.
Black Room is the ballad of the album. A melancholic guitar solo intro accompanied by orchestral sections. Reflective of the past year of the global pandemic and incredibly poignant “now we stay lonely home, we mistrust everyone and live behind our masks, unknown. While madness breaks the rules, to separate the fools, so many of us die, alone.”
Extinction Overkill is a primal assault and returns to an all-out artillery barrage. Having nods to Ragnarök and the end of days. This track clearly indicates that humankind are victims, of their own demise “it’s too late for change, extinction overkill!” As a closing number it totally embraces the philosophy and psychology of life displayed throughout this masterpiece overall.
Undoubtably this album screams perfection from start to finish! The new line-up sounds like they have been playing together for years. Utilising the collective “best of” trademarks of their career to date, this release will make everyone take note that RAGE are still at their absolute best!
Words: Martin White
Resurrection Day is out now.