RAGE Album Review: “Wings Of Rage”

Album Review by Iron Mathew


Rage are a heavy, power metal band from Germany formed in 1984 under the name Avenger, releasing their debut album ‘Prayers Of Steel’. in 1985 as Avenger. Due to another band having the same name, Avenger became Rage and the band proceeded to release twenty four studio albums (am including ‘Prayers Of Steel’ in my count), four live albums and numerous E.P.’s and singles. Founding vocalist/bass player Peter ‘Peavy’ Wagner has led the power trio to become one of the premier power metal bands to have emerged from Germany. Celebrating thirty six years since their formation, Rage are set to unleash ‘Wings Of Rage’ – the bands 24th studio album. An incredible longevity, Rage have always been at the forefront of the power metal genre, delivering fast paced, thrash infused heavy metal, with a massive melodic edge. And ‘Wings Of Rage’ has plenty of it – as well as a belter of a surprise for long time followers of the band, more about that later…

…but right now, am gonna pop the CD in, turn the volume up, and spend the next hour getting my senses pummelled by a heavy power metal onslaught, courtesy of the legend Peavy, and his band Rage. The album opens in typical Rage style – heavy and aggressive yet melodic. ‘True’ is fast paced power metal to get the pulse racing, the throaty rasp of Peavy more raspy than ever. Rage are a band that whenever they’ve released a new album, I’ve pre ordered it straightaway, no hesitation, as I know any release by the band will not disappoint – and neither does ‘Wings Of Rage’. Heaviness is increased ten fold with the heavy foot stomping ‘Let Them Rest In Peace’. Switching gears and powering on at speed over the chorus break, ‘Let Them Rest In Peace’ highlights the wide range of pace Rage can play at. Tempo and energy increases steeply as ‘Chasing The Twilight Zone’ thunders on at pace, sounding like classic Rage. This is what the band have built their career around, fast paced power metal melded with the rough, tough and gruff sound of thrash – and it’s bloody glorious to head bang to.

‘Tomorrow’ delivers more of the same, but quicker, heavier, and more urgent. So really it’s not the same. Rage are in full flight, firing on all cylinders, detonating incendiary devices left, right and centre as they show why they’ve been at the forefront of the power metal genre for so long. Title song ‘Wings Of Rage’ is fierce, and full of aggression as it scampers on at a blistering pace, with the chorus break a sing a long able affair that will have everyone singing “oh, we are flying, flying on wings of rage, oh, endless flying, flying on wings of rage”. Cracking stuff! ‘Shadow Over Deadland (The Twilight Transition)’ is a thirty second, fairly eerie instrumental that serves as an intro for ‘A Nameless Grave’. More mid tempo than anything that’s gone before, ‘A Nameless Grave’ is a near doom foot stomp, very heavy and menacing as it ambles on its way. ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ hits like a steam roller flattening concrete – savage and relentless. Full of scorching pace, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ charges like a bull, an unstoppable force in full flight… Yet despite all its savagery and heaviness, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ is also heavily melodic. And right there, you have the signature sound of Rage.

Slowing the pace once more is the power driven power ballad ‘Shine A Light’. Now, I’m not a great fan of ballads on metal albums, I much prefer they remain a part of the rock culture. But this is Rage for fucks sake, a band that have not put a foot wrong for thirty six years, a band that rearranged some of their songs for the Symphonic Orchestra Prague to perform – recorded and released in 1996 as ‘Lingua Mortis’, And a band that released an E.P. ‘In Vain’ (1998), and then re-released it shortly after as an acoustic version; ‘In Vain – Rage In Acoustic’. So no – am not gonna have a go at Peavy and co for performing a power ballad. ‘Shine A Light’ is cinematic and packs an emphatic punch, and actually held my attention for all of its near seven minutes play time. For long time followers of Rage, the glorious surprise is ‘HTTS 2.0’, immediately recognisable as ‘Higher Than The Sky’, from the bands 1996 album ‘End Of All Days’. ‘HTTS 2.0’ is as fast, fierce and rampant as its original version. ‘Blame It On The Truth’ is a swash buckling romp of melodic metal mixed with power metal. The blend of the two is perfect, Rage uniquely adept at performing the two styles as one. Hard to believe the hour is almost up and we’re heading for the final song… ‘For Those Who Wish To Die’ is a bone crushing heavy stomp, the heaviest of the twelve songs on offer, yet holding that massive melodic edge that has run throughout the entire album. An album that proves why Rage have enjoyed such longevity and popularity – the band one of, if not the, worlds greatest exponents of heavy/power metal.

Overall, an album of fast paced, highly energetic and extremely melodic songs, all wrapped up in the bands unique blend of thrash infused power metal.


Let Them Rest In Peace
Chasing The Twilight Zone
Wings Of Rage
Shadow Over Deadland (The Twilight Transition)
A Nameless Grave
Don’t Let Me Down
Shine A Light
HTTS 2.0
Blame It On The Truth
For Those Who Wish To Die


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