I have been listening to Rage since I was a nineteen year old whipper snapper. I’ve seen them go through their various guises with Peter “Peavey” Wagner always as the lynchpin. I’ve loved the work throughout their back catalogue of some twenty five albums and assorted EPs. I read the announcement that Marcos Rodriguez was leaving the band and found myself a little disappointed.  Marcos and Vassilios “Lucky” Maniatopolous had provided a real kick with the past two albums Seasons of the Black and Wings of Rage. However soon came the announcement that Rage was replacing Marcos with not one, but two new guitarists.  Enter Stefan Weber (ex-Axxis) and Jean Bormann (Angel Inc, Rage & Ruins). Rage had become a four piece band again, I then became expectant of a new album.

Resurrection Day was introduced with a social media campaign that pieced together the new album cover. The first single, Virginity, was released when the cover was finally revealed and it proved that Rage hadn’t been idle. The band have recorded twelve new songs covering a stylistic range that could hardly be more characteristic of the band.

“I’m surprised how quickly the new line-up has gelled into a homogeneous team and how positively the talents of each band member have come into effect,” says Wagner, looking back on a highly creative production phase and commenting on Rage’s latest offering: “I feel that our music is still typical Rage on the one hand while sounding so much fresher on the other.”

Kicking off with the orchestral arrangement, Memento Vitae (Overture) from Pepe Herrero of Spain, you are lulled into a false sense of security. Immediately your calmed senses are met with more orchestral strains before a sonic assault, that is pure Rage, bursts through the speakers with the title track. A great up-tempo song with a brilliant chorus that has me singing along once I am across the lyrics. This is a great way to start the album. If you have never heard Rage, it is a great introduction to the style of music that they produce. If, like me, you know them well, it provides you with a sense of familiarity and ease as you sit back to immerse yourself in the album.

Virginity, that first single, keeps the momentum rolling. It’s another high tempo thrasher that has a lot of grunt and some solid solos.  A New Land keeps the head a-rocking, showcasing that Peavey’s voice has not lost any power in the verses or melody throughout the chorus. A rollicking affair that ends with some vicious growls. The growls continue with the commencement of the mid-tempo Arrogance and Ignorance before Peavey shows his versatility by swapping back to clean vocals. The new guys guitar chops, soloing and backing vocals during the chorus really make this a great track.

Man In Chains had me in the mind of Iron Maiden’s Man of Sorrows the way it started, but then was Rageified. A song with provoking lyrics.  The orchestral hands of Herrero kick off the journey through The Age Of Reason, belying the speed that this track comes at you with. A cool solo showcasing the skills of Stefan and Jean is just another highlight to this song. Monetary Gods (the about to be released new single) kicks off with a crunching riff and is quite a statement of today. The song reminds me of Carved in Stone with its commentary on today’s state of play. Mind Control is another mid-tempo song with some great lyrics.

Travelling Through Time is very different and adds a pirate type jig to an orchestral backing before adding in the power. I find that I really like it because it shows Rage is not afraid to experiment and push the boundaries. Peavey describes it like this:  “Travelling Through Time is a number that explores the extremes between bludgeoning “shoot-em up grooves” and epic moments. The song is inspired by Renaissance composer Giorgio Mainerio,” he explains. “There`s a piece by Mainerio called Schiarazula Marazula, with a wonderful theme that I often play at home on acoustic guitar. Jean and I have adapted it to suit the Rage format and given the song a different rhythmic perspective, which has added intensity. We’ve never done a number like  Travelling Through Time before.”

The penultimate song of the album, Black Room, is a melodic ballad dripping with emotion and underlying power.  An uplifting verse leading into a measured solo adds to the feeling of the song.  Rounding out the album is Extinction Overkill, a speedy, thrashy, finisher that brings down the curtain on this extremely solid album.

Rage have done it again, with a new album that has something on this for everyone.  Old fans and new alike will find plenty of interest.  Not afraid to experiment as well as play to their strengths, Resurrection Day is a great offering.  I find myself playing it again and again…. And again.

Resurrection Day releases on September 17th.