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Rage
Seasons of the Black
Type: CD
Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2017
Genre: Power
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 7/17/2017
A fluid reminder that Rage is recreating the same magic of old
Record number 23 for these German power-thrash masters. If you enjoyed the band's comeback effort, 'The Devil Strikes Again' (2016), then you will certainly love this. It's nearly cookie-cutter in terms of personnel, production, and artwork. Guitarist Marcos Rodriguez produces with the band and Karim Konig created the artwork once again. The group gets an assist with mixing and mastering from the esteemed Dan Swano (Katatonia, Opeth).

If 'The Devil Strikes Again' was Rage's rebirth, think of 'Seasons of the Black' as the band walking instead of crawling. This post-Smolski era of Rage has rejuvenated Peavy and I like that he's surrounded himself with young musicians that were fans of the band prior to the collaboration. The last album possessed the mid-90s tendencies, crossing paths with 'Black in Mind' (1995). Here, I can't help but think of 'Trapped' (1991) and 'The Missing Link' (1993) as fluid reminders that this new Rage trio are recreating the same magic of old.

The title track is the perfect opener, a fast-paced chainsaw riff with Peavy's mid-register bellow. It's addictive, erupting in a crescendo of fast fret at the 3:00 mark (highlighted by cymbals and timing changes). "Serpents in Disguise" is an 80s vibe, a driving rhythm with an elementary approach that is right out of the 'Trapped' catalog. The chorus is harmonized and reminiscent of German power metal's need for "unity through sing-along". "Walk Among the Dead" is one of the most abrasive cuts, a jagged host of down-tuned riffs and quick pace that has hints of thrash before hitting a gang chorus that is fairly accessible. But it works well contrasting with the faster, brutal style. In fact, the only soft spot on the record is a short instrumental called "Gaia". Everything else is power chords played on 11.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

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ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: RAGE
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
21Rage
2012
Eric Compton5/3/2012
From The Cradle To The StageRage
2004
Eric Compton12/14/2004
Seasons of the BlackRage
2017
Eric Compton7/17/2017
SoundchaserRage
2003
Eric Compton11/6/2003
Speak Of The DeadRage
2006
Eric Compton5/4/2006
The Devil Strikes AgainRage
2016
Eric Compton7/22/2016


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: RAGE

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ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: RAGE
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