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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Rage - 2002 Unity
Rage - 2002 Unity

Peter 'Peavy' Wagner - vocals, bass
Victor Smolski - guitars, piano, keyboards
Mike Terrana - drums, percussion

It was at least ten years ago, maybe more, when I had my first encounter with cult German metallers Rage. It was very brief. I didn't like what I heard and haven't had any reason to look the band up again - until now. Rage have essentially been a a melodic metal band throughout their career, but to these ears they've gone from a rough diamond to a spectacular shining gem.

The Songs
You get a fair impression of how good a song-writing team Smolski and Wagner are from the first chorus of 'All I Want'. A foot-to-the-floor rocker with a chorus that takes this song into heavy metal anthem territory. Great start. It's heavier metal for 'Insanity'. Another catchy chorus and a quality solo by Victor. Rage keep the hits coming with 'Down'. Smolski comes up with a very infectious riff that translates into another memorable anthem. The beginning of 'Set This World On Fire' begins acoustically, and perhaps exposes limitations in Wagner's vocals. He doesn't sound bad, but he definitely sounds better when Rage are rocking. Though the song begins slowly, Victor soon chimes in with a huge riff and before you know it you're getting another ass-kicking courtesy of Rage. The next track 'Dies Irae' is amazing. This song gives me chills it's so good. The song begins with the chorus, a medieval style chant and a sledgehammer riff. By the way, the solo totally smokes. You're brought back to earth a little with 'World Of Pain', a cool straight ahead heavy rocker. Seven Witches comes to mind on 'Living My Dream'. but then Rage take a slight turn with the chorus which is very smooth. Nice contrast that works well. It's an unrelenting metal onslaught for 'Seven Deadly Sins'. Again the punishing riff is offset nicely by the softer chorus. Rage have a go at neo-classical metal on 'You Want It, You'll Get It'. Not as grandiose as fellow Germans At Vance, but still a good track. The band finish with the title track, an instrumental that gives each member the opportunity to show their wares. An entertaining 7 minutes.

In Summary
'Unity' is the first time I've heard Victor Smolski. He comes from very good stock being the son of Professor Dmitry Smolski, a leading Russian composer. He's followed in his fathers footsteps and is an accomplished composer in his own right, and a fantastically talented guitarist. 'Unity' is Victor's second album as a fully fledged member, and boy can this guy wail. He's got all the tricks in the book, especially the squeals that gives Zakk Wylde a good run for his money. He keeps you interested by mixing things up in the solo's, effortlessly changing styles. I am also impressed by Rage's main-man Peavy Wagner. I wasn't expecting too much in the vocal department, but he genuinely surprised me. Since my initial contact with the band, Rage have emerged into a classy melodic metal outfit. The only problem is - I have to check out the rest of their catalogue to see if there is any other great music I've been missing out on. Do you realise what that involves? A career that spans 17 years, with a release practically every year. Go on, you work out the bloody math!!!!

Track Time: 50.31

Track Listing:
01 All I Want
02 Insanity
03 Down
04 Set This World On Fire
05 Dies Irae
06 World Of Pain
07 Shadows
08 Living My Dream
09 Seven Deadly Sins
10 You Want It, You'll Get It
11 Unity

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