Rage are one of those bands who I’ve listened to anything and everything they’ve released but I’m never sure if I’m going to like it or not. When they started, they mixed the brutality of thrash with the melody of traditional heavy metal and became one of the more well-known and aggressive of the German power metal bands to come out during the mid 80’s. However, fast forward a decade, when they brought the Lingua Mortis Orchestra on board, and they started going for more of a grandiose Blind Guardian-style symphonic metal sound. Since then, they’ve been going between raw and thrash-based and epic and symphonic, so, you really don’t know which style of album you’re going to get.
Well, for those of you who have followed Rage from the beginning and are fans of their heavier material, you will be quite pleased when you listen to this. The album immediately opens up thrashing, the title track hitting you over the head like a sledgehammer. The rest of the album is just one pummeling hit after another, with a few more acoustic sounding passages added in just to spice it up a little. Peavy sounds as great as he ever has, both behind the mic and playing bass. One of the things I’ve always liked about these guys is that the bass is up front in the mix, unlike most power metal bands where the bass is practically non-existent.
If I were to complain about anything, it might be the fact that “Deaf, Dumb and Blind” has just a bit of a modern rock/metal sound to it, particularly the way the chorus melody is sung. Overall though, ‘The Devil Strikes Again’ is a really good album from one of Germany’s hardest working metal bands.
Release date: 19-08-2016