01. House Wins
02. Twenty One
03. Forever Dead
04. Feel My Pain
05. Serial Killer
06. Psycho Terror
07. Destiny
08. Death Romantic
09. Black And White
10. Concrete Wall
11. Eternally

"Peavy" Wagner - vocals, bass
Victor Smolski - guitars
André Hilgers - drums

Reign of Fear (1986)
Execution Guaranteed (1987)
Perfect Man (1988)
Secrets in a Weird World (1989)
Reflections of a Shadow (1990)
Trapped! (1992)
The Missing Link (1993)
10 Years in Rage (1994)
Black in Mind (1995)
Lingua Mortis (1996)
End of All Days (1996)
XIII (1998)
Ghosts (1999)
Welcome to the Other Side (2001)
Unity (2002)
Soundchaser (2003)
Speak of the Dead (2006)
Carved in Stone (2008)
Strings to a Web (2010)


Recorded at the "Twilight Hall studios" in Krefeld/Grefrath, Germany
Produced by Charlie Bauerfeind and Victor Smolski

Released 24/2-2012
Reviewed 8/2-2012

nuclear blast

Hello there, what do you say about a band that releases its 21st studio album that haven’t already been said? Rage is a band that deserves the superlatives, not only have they been active (albeit not with the same line up) since before the fall of the Berlin Wall, but they have also changed their name and released album under two different monikers, it is their 20th album if you count the ones they have done under the name of Rage. And for this we are of course talking studio album, they do have a few live albums and such as well. The remarkable thing about all these albums is also that they are all of the highest quality, maybe not the very first ones but since the album Trapped that was released 20 years ago the band has kept releasing amazing pieces every time. It seems like it doesn’t really matter what happens, if members change, if walls fall, if a symphonic nerve is born and so on, they just keep releasing great pieces. And now it is time to look at their 21st opus and it is impossible to do that without having high expectations.

Musically it is recognisable as the brand of melodic heavy metal with powerful catchy choruses that Rage has been known to do this century. The skilled guitar work by Victor Smolski is there, the powerful voice of Peavy is there, sometimes more aggressive than ever, the songs with the catchy choruses, melodic yet very heavy sound is there. It is as we know Rage but it is probably the heaviest work they have done, and it is still a slight evolvement making it seem different enough not to sound exactly like any of the other 20 albums the band has released. The chemistry and skill can also be heard, the production is as it has been for a long time excellent. Maybe we could call it a slightly darker and heavier Rage than before. The songs deal with the theme of murder in all sorts and shapes, all but two tracks follow this theme and those two tracks should be the first two of the album I believe. Not twenty one songs but eleven and fifty seven minutes of music that is quite varied for a heavy metal album.

It is carved in stone, the fact that every time Rage release an album it is one of a high quality but at the same time it is never easy to be consistently good for over 20 albums and to present something that hasn’t been already shown on one of the 20 earlier albums. But as expected they succeed again, the 21st album is another great album. It is not as good as my favourites in The Missing Link, Ghosts, Unity and Soundchaser but it is one hell of a good album nonetheless. I would say that 21 only strengthens Rage’s position as one of the absolute best traditional heavy metal bands ever, I know they at least kick Iron Maiden’s ass to kingdom come. So heavy yet melodic and catchy, as I stated before maybe their darkest and heaviest yet and a great addition to any record collection.

To pick a favourite song on this album is to try and decide which of your children to decapitate, it is not the easiest thing in the world I would say but if I had to decide I would say the title track, Forever Dead and Death Romantic in fierce competition with the other songs. And there is not much to fault with this album, but the acting in the opening intro is a bit poor although that seems like a small thing when looking at the big picture. Other than that I would say that it is just another great effort and album from a fantastic album, it seems that no matter what happens they still manage to put out something amazing to the world and their 21st such opus is no different, it is great. But not the magnum opus.

In short I would say that another album that marks the greatness of this band, not their absolute best album but then again, we are talking about Rage here and even the worst would have been bloody good. So thank you Rage for another great album to waste some money on, I have enjoyed my time listening to it.




Label: Nuclear Blast/Warner
Three similar bands: Judas Priest/Metallica/Gamma Ray
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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