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The Devil Strikes Again
Type: CD
Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2016
Genre: Power
Reviewer: Eric Compton
This record scorches the last few Rage offerings
On May 3, 2012 I summarized Rage's last album as this:

"Don't retire Peavy, but maybe Rage has used up every song title and riff imaginable and it's time for a new band/project/role in this strange universe of 2000's metal".

After the 16 year affair often referred to as "The Victor Smolski Years", these legendary Germans have returned to their roots to triumphantly welcome a return to the 90s era sound that not only reinforced the notion that Rage were key players, but it cemented the band's longevity. Since the news broke that Smolski had left the band, rumors circulated that the 'Black in Mind' line-up could return to Manni Schmidt coming back to change Rage to Refuge. While Schmidt did return briefly for some entertaining live shows, Peavy ultimately created a brand new line-up for this recent studio effort, 'The Devil Strikes Again'.

Guitarist Marcos Rodriguez follows the Tim Owens route of joining his favorite band. Rodriguez had formed his band, Soundchaser (named after the Rage album), in 2001 and met Peavy on Rage's 30th-anniversary tour. The two hit it off and Peavy eventually asked Rodriguez to join. New drummer Vassilios "Lucky" Maniatopoulos was the former drum technician for ex-Rage skinman Chris Efthimiadis and it was only natural for him to complete the three-piece. The album was recorded at Megafon Studios in Germany and Soundchaser studio in Belgium.

With the new line-up and influx of young talent, the essential questions are this; Did the devil strike twice? Could Rage recapture the energy and success of the first half of their career?

Yes. An astounding yes.

From the furious charge of the opening title track this record scorches the last few Rage offerings. This is THE Rage sound decked out to the nines with thrashing riffs and Peavy's melodic vocal lines. "The Final Curtain" recalls the band's 'Missing Link' sound with perfectly placed hooks over the mid-tempo rhythm. The chorus portion rises to the surface with Lucky's double-bass barrage. My favorites, if not the whole album, is rampant burner "War", the beefy "Dead, Dumb and Blind" and Megadeth-styled "Spirits of the Night". Oddly the album's worst offering is "My Day" which made the cut as an opening single and precursor EP.

The album comes in a variety of packages including a three- disc version with covers of Rush and Skid Row tracks along with a live set.

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 served as senior editor for for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. 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.

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.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

All reviews for Rage:
Eric Compton5/3/2012
From The Cradle To The StageRage
Eric Compton12/14/2004
Eric Compton11/6/2003
Speak Of The DeadRage
Eric Compton5/4/2006
The Devil Strikes AgainRage
Eric Compton7/22/2016

All interviews for Rage:

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