Rage - The Soundchaser Archives,
The Rage story begins way back in 1984 when Avenger first got together. After their debut album, ‘Prayers of Steel’, they changed their name and became rage. Over the years they toured, released albums, and even experimented with classical music, but it was with the release of ‘Ghosts’ in 1999 that the band settled in with their definitive line-up of Peter “Peavy” Wagner (bass, vocals) with Victor Smolski (guitar) and Mike Terrana (drums). I remember an interview with Mike when he said (somewhat tongue in cheek) that the name Rage actually stood for Russian, American, German, Energy. To me this was the golden period of the band, with every album containing classic song after classic. By now they had set their musical wares out for all to see, namely hard metallic rock with melodic vocals and hooks in a way quite unlike any other, and as far as I was concerned Rage proved time and again that they were the finest German band around.
Terrana left in 2006, being replaced by André Hilgers, and this 2014 compilation is an attempt to capture what was great about the band for the first thirty years. Of course, there are thirty songs on the double CD set, but these have been chosen with fans in mind, so many of them are either demos, or previously unavailable versions, as opposed to a straight greatest hits. This was the end of an era for the band, as after this release Victor decided it was time for him and Peter to part ways, as did André. This meant that Peter had to take a step back, rethink, and decide what was next?