Rage - Seasons Of The Black,
2017 sees the band back with another album, which is obviously designed to be a pair with ‘The Devil Strikes Again’. Yet again there is a skull (of sorts) on the cover, and musically this is pared down Rage. Concise, with full of venom and attack, this is music hearkening back to the days when the guys were concentrating more on thrash than on fancy classical interludes and histrionics. In many ways, this is so close to the previous album in terms of attack and presence that it could have been recorded in the same sessions. Peter is out to make a point with these releases, namely that rage is very much his band and that Victor Smolski, while important, was never of the same stature within the line-up.
To a Rage fan such as myself, this album is simply music to my ears, as it gives me what I want from the guys, namely strong melodic riffing metal with great hooks and vocal lines over the top. “Serpents In Disguise” is as heavy as it comes, yet I find myself singing along with the chorus and wondering what the reaction would be if it could be played on mainstream radio. It is certainly much better than the nameless pap that normally features. With the double CD ‘Soundchaser Archives’ in 2014, rage neatly bookended a period for the band, and with the new line-up that has been in place since then they are creating a new name for themselves. That they are back on an annual release cycle is also incredibly exciting, and I can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring, but until then I know this album will be on repeat.