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The Devil Strikes Again

     
         
         
         
     
             
Rage are a heavy, power metal band from Germany formed in 1984 under the name Avenger, releasing their debut album in 1985 as Avenger. Due to another band having the same name, Avenger became Rage and their second album was released in 1986. The band have gone on to release twenty more albums with their twenty first, aptly title "21". Since their inception over thirty years ago, Rage have become one of the most successful power metal bands to emerge from Germany, following a path that was set alight by the likes of Accept, Grave Digger and Helloween. An E.P. was released earlier this year as a teaser for the new album, released summer 2016.    
             
Rage are a band that have been delivering high octane, high energy power metal for over thirty years and I have had the pleasure of following them, since their inception as Avenger in the mid eighties. Sole founding member Peavy Wagner (vocals and bass) is singing just as good, if not better than he ever has, and with the rest of the band new, the German power trio have renewed energy which shows as the album progresses. The new album opens with the title song 'The Devil Strikes Again', a barrage of pulsating riffing and galloping rhythms complimented with the distinctive gravel edged, throaty rasp of Peavy. Thunderous and head bangingly addictive, 'The Devil Strikes Again' is a scorcher of an opener. Released on the prior E.P. 'My Way' is sharp edged and bombastic power metal with a catchy hard rocking chorus. Rage are back, and back doing what they do best as 'Back On Track' demonstrates with its aggressive vocal style as it rattles by like an out of control freight train. Galloping at high speed, 'Back On Track' is a head bangers dream, with the chorus infectious and catchy enough to sing along to...screaming it at the top of your lungs.    
             
A hint at the guitar sound most associated with the NWOBHM movement of the eighties, 'The Final Curtain' is one of the heaviest, foot stomping hard rock songs you will ever hear...probably. Rage emerged at a time when Accept, Grave Digger and Helloween had already set the world alight with rampaging power metal. Rage added a dose of brutality, all the while keeping it catchy and very much addictive. 'War' slows the pace as it opens, but just like a thunderstorm out of nowhere, 'War' explodes into life with a rampant, urgent pace that will have you smiling, head banging and fist punching the air in delight. Chugging endlessly with a pulsating rhythm, 'Ocean Full Of Tears' is so powerful floors will crack and walls will crumble. This is heavy metal played at speed with so much power it could over load at any time...yet it is also melodic and catchy and has that special ingredient that only Rage can deliver. Power metal bands from Germany are heavier and more aggressive than other parts of Europe, and Rage are no exception. 'Deaf Dumb And Blind' is a booming and bombastic blast of thunderous power metal. The chorus breaks off into a melodic stomp, the kind of stomp that is so infectious you will be grinning, head banging and nodding your head saying "this is f***ing brilliant"    
             
And brilliant is not far from the truth as 'Spirits Of The Night' cruises in and lets loose cannons of thunder, explosive guitars that threaten to destroy small countries and a thunderous rhythm that will have lesser mortals reaching for the pain killers. As for the legions of metal heads, loving this is an understatement...I have listened to every album Rage have ever released and this one is right up there with their very best. There has been no let up in the furious and frenetic pace of the album and that is no danger as the hard rocking 'Times Of Darkness' romps in on a tidal wave of riffs and rhythms that will over come your senses and leave you breathless. Bringing a superb album to a close is 'The Dark Side Of The Sun', the fastest, heaviest and most aggressive song on the album. 'The Dark Side Of The Sun' is explosive, bombastic and once again, how the hell Rage do it I don't have a f***ing clue, but the chorus is so catchy, so infectious and so addictive... Rage are a magnificent band and 'The Devil Strikes Again' is a superb album.    
             
Overall, superb power metal played with high energy and at a furious pace, this is infectious and addictive metal by one of the greatest bands ever.    
             
             
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
             
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV    
             
             
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