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Rage – Speak of the Dead

Label: Nuclear Blast
Format: CD
Released: 2006
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Rage have gone back (but don’t take that as bad thing in the slightest), to the period when they recorded the albums "Lingua Mortis" and "XIII"(which is one of my favorites). This means long standing frontman Peavy Wagner (also on bass and vocals), has decided to take Rage once again into a more orchestrated and progressive direction.


For "Speak of the Dead", the first half of the album was written and recorded backed by an orchestra. Guitar wizard (and I call no one a "wizard"), Victor Smolski wrote the parts for the orchestra and recorded the passages for some songs together with conductor Andrei Zybrich and the Inspector Symphonic Orchestra. He is such an underrated and at least in this country an unknown talent, a musical virtuoso skilled in many instruments. And if you doubt me watch the Rage DVD "From the Cradle to the Stage". Listen to the beauty of the instrumental 'Black' and the ballad 'Beauty' on "Speak of the Dead" that follows and tell me Victor is not to be reckoned with. It is a seamless flow between compositions. The first half of the disc is the "Suite Lingua Mortis" and contains five instrumentals.

The second half is Rage’s Hyde side. As with their last album "Soundchaser", monster drummer Mike Terrana and his many years of playing the kit and Victor mix up the arrangements while keeping them still heavy and aggressive. These guys keep Rage’s energy still very much grounded in their early beginnings (examples; 'Soul Survivor', 'Kill Your Gods') but both players obviously have such a scope of influences that elements of prog, jazz, melodic rock and classical always find a way into various songs. Its so obvious especially in Victor’s solos.

Is this really only a three piece?? I still ask myself that question.

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