RAGE - "GHOSTS" (DRAKKAR)
A very interesting discovery, this one, Rage's thirteenth full-length new album, "Ghosts".
Like their label mates Grave Digger, they've been around since the mid eighties. Unlike the other band, however, they have evolved rather more steadily. They also have a good vocalist in the form of main man, vocalist and bassist Peter "Peavy" Wagner (who, incidentally, uses Peavey guitars nor Peavey amplification).
"Ghosts" kicks off with the tremendously bombastic "Beginning of the End", and from then it it's more or less a 50+ minutes roller coaster ride. There are plenty of highs ("Back in Time", the second part of "Fear", "Love and Fear Unite" and the climactic closer, "Tomorrow's Yesterday"). There are a few lows as well, such as "Vanished in Haze", which is a bit radio-friendly though it ends pretty OK, and "Ghosts". There are passages on this CD that are the product of pure genius, such as the climax near the end of "Tomorrow's Yesterday", where virtually soundtrack-like orchestral elements join the heavy chunkiness of Rage. It's not exactly unadulterated heavy metal mayhem (there is not a lot of "rage", actually), but "Ghosts" is one fine album.
The album's recording line-up has in the mean time disbanded (both guitarists and the drummer left) and have been replaced by Victor Smolski and well-known drummer talent Mike Terrana (ex-Malmsteen, ex-MacAlpine, Metallium, loads and loads more). It should be really interesting to see these guys play live.
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Written September 1999
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