RAGE are back with their new release ‘Seasons of the Black’ less than a year after they released ‘The Devil Strikes Again’. While that seems impressive, RAGE fans have come to expect this fast output of albums. For you see these German metallers are extremely efficient as ‘Seasons of the Black’ is their 23rd studio album…yes you’ve read that right, they have released 23 studio albums in 33 years of being a band! That is some dedication to the metal scene and their fans, the longest gap between albums is 3 years (between 2013 release ‘LMO’ and 2016 ‘The Devil Strikes Again’). Must make picking a set list quite challenging!
If you are new to the seminal metallers RAGE, then a quick description would be “pioneers of power metal”. Over the years they have honed their craft and, with all power metal bands, they have dabbled with Speed Metal, Progressive Metal, NWOBHM and symphonic metal (RAGE were the first band to include a full symphonic orchestra on a release, on 1996 album ‘Lingua Mortis’, see you learn something new everyday!).
So what do we expect from ‘Seasons of the Black’? Well if you thought anything but crushing metal (in any guise) then you might as well stop reading the review and stand in the corner facing the wall.
RAGE have released another solid metal album and fans of the band will lap it up, new fans and metallers looking at RAGE for the first time will find something they love on the album. When they let rip RAGE really do rock, on tracks such as “Time Will Tell”, “Justify”, “All We Know Is Not” and even the ballad “Farewell” is one of the better tracks. While tracks such as “Blackened Karma” and “Walk Among The Dead” are catchy and have some memorable riffs, other songs on this release (“Seasons of the Black”, “Serpents In Disguise”) are only memorable as they repeat the chorus numerous times until they have battered themselves into your subconsciousness.
‘Seasons of the Black’ is a solid metal album that a lot of bands would love to put out and you have to applaud RAGE for producing a heavy solid album less than 12 months after the last release (‘The Devil Strikes Again’). However that is also the problem with ‘Seasons of the Black’…it’s just solid! Not bad and not great, long time fans will love it. Everyone in the metal community will enjoy parts of the release. Would I pay full price for this album…NO. However if it’s on sale then get it as you’ll spin it a few times and have a blast while you do and won’t be disappointed, just feel their is better alternatives out there for your hard earn cash (however if you do part with your cash, you’ll not be disappointed).
SCORE – 6/10
01. Season Of The Black
02. Serpents In Disguise
03. Blackened Karma
04. Time Will Tell
05. Septic Bite
06. Walk Among The Dead
07. All We Know Is Not
08. The Tragedy Of Man – Gaia
09. The Tragedy Of Man – Justify
10. The Tragedy Of Man – Bloodshed In Paradise
11. The Tragedy Of Man – Farewell
28th July 2017