|Review: Rage - The Devil Strikes Again|
|The Devil Strikes Again|
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Year released: 2016
Genre: Heavy/Power Metal
Review online: August 6, 2016
Reviewed by: Bruno Medeiros
for:The Devil Strikes Again
Rage is back after four years and yet another lineup change, with Marcos Rodriguez and Vassilios Maniatopoulos replacing Viktor Smolski and André Hilgers, respectively. Being familiar with Peavy's modus operandi for a while now, I knew this also meant a considerable change in the musical approach, and I was right.
The Devil Strikes Again is an album that tries to gasp Rage's golden era with faster and more aggressive tunes than what was adopted in their latest outputs. Meanwhile, it seems that Peavy's knack to write good, meaningful lyrics is long gone, and we are left with some generic tunes like "My Way", "Back on Track" and "Deaf, Dumb and Blind". Gladly, there are some similarities with the band's better works, like in opener "The Devil Strikes Again", which has a vibrant and powerful beginning resembling something from Black In Mind, "The Final Curtain", which fits the style adopted in the End of All Days album, and glimpses of Trapped! with "Spirits of the Night" and "The Dark side of the Sun", mainly in the riff department. It becomes clear after a while that Marcos Rodriguez is a longtime fan of the band and is really trying to rescue a more direct and heavier guitar work, as opposed to Smolski's more melodic and layered approach.
The Devil Strikes Again is a mixed album with both good and mediocre songs, but I'm glad that Peavy and company are trying to get the sound back to the 1990s era which was considered by many to be their best. It might take a lot more tries to reach that level of quality (if they ever do, that is), but this "new" and polished Rage is definitely on the right track again.
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