Rage
Reign of Fear


3.5
great

Review

by Sabrutin USER (37 Reviews)
June 9th, 2015 | 26 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another slice of gloomy speed/thrash metal from an underrated band that would later evolve into something different. Rage at their thrashiest and darkest.

In the realm of underrated bands, Rage has definitely got a pretty shiny seat. Although, that seat is rarely occupied. The band's mastermind and only stable member, Peter "Peavy" Wagner, is unarguably a busy musician, always out touring or writing new music. Counting only Rage's full lengths, keeping Avenger and Lingua Mortis Orchestra out of count, we can already hold a highly impressive amount of 18 albums! Not only that, but Peavy really cannot be defined as a stale composer. Quickly coming to mind is the band's Lingua Mortis, the first metal record to be written and recorded together with a full symphonic orchestra in 1996, namely with Prague Symphony Orchestra. The band's roots, anyway, are located in the teutonic speed/thrash metal scene of the mid 80s.

It is a pleasure to see how such an important band for power and symphonic metal started so strongly. After the solid Prayers of Steel as Avenger, the first release under the Rage name takes all of its merits a step further. Always forgotten when listing speed metal from the 80s, Reign of Fear is a balanced compromise between rawness and polish, for it both contains warm, catchy vocal lines and raw, galloping rides of thrashy goodness. Furthermore, the songwriting gets occasionally shaken up and a (very) little hint of the band's later progressive elements crawls in. Besides, the nine minutes long closer "Scaffold" is the first ambitious track recorded by the band, which starts with an acoustic intro and is then cradled by the intentionally repetitive guitar work, only to fade out in an atmospheric ending to close the album with gong sounds.

Having said that, the moments where the album really hits the spot are arguably the catchier ones. In that regard, the mid tempo rocker "Raw Energy" is definitely one of the highlights of Reign of Fear, being a linear but addicting song that implements Peavy's vocals in a different way. However the true forgotten gem, a classic Rage track for sure, comes just after under the name of "Echoes of Evil". It is fast, malignant in its guitar work, and features a pounding rhythm section. Yet it is not only one of the album's heavier tracks but also one of the catchiest. Peavy is on fire here, both through his energetic bass guitar playing and especially in his vocal delivery. His impressive Halford-esque highs are the muscles of a chorus that calling 'addicting' seems reductive. In general, his driving vocals are an important part of the album's engine, another example being "Suicide".

Nothing bad needs to be said about the band's line-up in general, since the members all contribute to a vigorous sounding album even though no guitar virtuoso has joined the band yet. Peavy's bass is complemented with an entertaining drumming full of quick and simple fills, while the axemen press the accelerator on most of the riffs, without forgetting a melodic break here and there ("Deceiver"). Especially once joined with the lyrics, Reign of Fear is a gloomy speed/thrash metal album, important because it shows Rage's awareness of the German metal scene, with them trying to differentiate themselves from the likes of Sodom and Destruction. In that regard, the opener "Scared to Death" is still one of Peavy's angrier vocal deliveries.

Fans of the symphonic or simply more modern sound of the band should not fear, because Rage was as accessible as it is nowadays. Actually, it is more likely for older fans to not fully enjoy the contemporary releases. What is served here is something that got transformed today, this type of cheese has undoubtedly another flavour, but it is still worth checking out for anyone who enjoys his daily dose of 80s metal.



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user ratings (29)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Sabrutin
June 9th 2015


6649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Woke up pretty motivated today, managed to write a review because I felt like I had to do one. This is probably my last review until mid July, maybe even August, and at some point I may stop posting too. Anyway, when I'll return I plan on continuing to review Riot's discography, which will probably be alternating with some Toto because that band is so much more than just "Africa", even though I love that track. I'll try to review something farther from rock too.



That said,

ECHOES OF EVIL

ECHOES OF EVIL

ECHOES OF EVIL

ECHOES OF EVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIL



Echoes of EVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9uUyZXXoPM

Digging: Pat Metheny - From This Place

manosg
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2015


11832 Comments


Excellent write up Sab, pos.

It's always nice to see a review for Rage and I'm glad to see you giving props to Lingua Mortis. People don't realize the impact it had back in the day and it was probably the reason that a number of metal bands started experimenting with classical orchestras. Of course Deep Purple did it long before and some other band did it a year before DP but I can't remember who they were at the moment. However, Rage revived that idea and helped in making it popular in the '90s.

Digging: Biff Byford - School Of Hard Knocks

Sabrutin
June 10th 2015


6649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you Mano, I see you rated The Missing Link a 3. I think you may like Perfect Man a bit more. Speaking of today, my favorite modern Rage is Strings To A Web.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2015


11832 Comments


I'll be sure to check Perfect Man. Overall, my favorite Rage is Black In Mind and in the past I used to love XIII. Lingua Mortis Orchestra is pretty cool too.

Sabrutin
June 10th 2015


6649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I may review some more Rage one day, I don't see too many users wanting to take care of it haha.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2015


11832 Comments


haha yeah. I assume the power metal tag makes people avoid checking them.

Sabrutin
June 10th 2015


6649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess I actually am a bit of a puerile person inside but most of the times I'm surprised by the amount of hate towards any form of cheese.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
June 10th 2015


2625 Comments


Excellent review man, it's so good to see someone giving Rage some attention on here. I haven't listened to the band's music for a long while (it's been at least a year), but I distinctly remember enjoying a large portion of their 80s/90s material.

Digging: Obsidian Tongue - Volume III

Sabrutin
June 10th 2015


6649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hehe gonna keep fillin' the holes in the reviews as long as I can. On another topic, the new line-up for Rage should be announced in a few days, Peavy really doesn't stop for a second.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 10th 2015


8643 Comments


Very well written review, need to check this and a few more '80s Rage albums.

Rage were the first metal band to use a live classical orchestra, however I think that the first metal band to ever use classical music parts (computer generated, even) were Mekong Delta.

Digging: Nightfear (ESP) - Apocalypse

ksoflas
June 10th 2015


1286 Comments


Rage are a colossal band and they SHOULD have way more attention in Sputnik.
Excellent choice from their huge discography and kudos for your review.
More than just a pos.

ksoflas
June 10th 2015


1286 Comments


Hey guys, what about Prelude To Madness from 1986 Savatage's Gutter Ballet?

Sabrutin
June 11th 2015


6649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you both.



@Voivod: Mekong Delta sure are old on the job, I believe Celtic Frost to be an influence counting the intro track of To Mega Therion. Trivial bit: the first line-up of Mekong Delta features our dear Peavy.



@ksoflas: Of course classical music had already been used in metal, but the only other band recording together with an orchestra in the same time as Rage should be Therion.

ksoflas
June 15th 2015


1286 Comments


Yeah man, Vovin is a great album.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2015


11832 Comments


Vovin was an incredible experience at the time. How about Lacrimosa? They are brilliant and vastly underrated.

Sabrutin
June 16th 2015


6649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Their album artworks sure are intriguing, I may check out the album they will release this year.

manosg
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2015


11832 Comments


It's a highly interesting band but they're a bit hard to get into, for some guys. The combination of gothic and classical with german vox might seem a bit peculiar but I assure you the outcome is highly atmospheric and emotional.

Sabrutin
June 17th 2015


6649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm a bit of a poser when it comes to the 'gothic' term, but they seem rather interesting in any case.

Rikkukun
January 26th 2016


176 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review for a great album, pos.

Sabrutin
January 26th 2016


6649 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hell yeah let's bring this to page 2.



ALL I HATE IS MYSELF BUT I'VE SHOT SOMEONE ELSE!



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