It has been just over 30 years since German metal band RAGE released their first album, now after yet another line-up change, they are back with The Devil Strikes Again. Will the new line-up prove to impact the music created once again on the other hand is the real question.
As always, RAGE have been that band in heavy metal that have really lingered in the background but when they’re loved by a fan, they are loved more than anything. It’s a real struggle as to why there is just this dividing line with the German metallers but listening to The Devil Strikes Again, it could possibly be the album to answer to all those questions.
Title track and My Way open up the album with a little bit of technicality, it leads you in to thinking they’re going to be straight up through and through heavy metal tracks. However, just after a couple of songs, you see yourself falling into something a bit more on the spectrum of enjoying the music if you’re only really a dedicated fan. Back on Track and The Final Curtain fall between the curse of that thin line of good heavy metal and cheesy heavy metal, almost power-like.
As The Devil Strikes Again progresses, it continuously takes on this pattern. There is no real stability as whether or not the album is strong musically or whether the band have unfortunately taken the approach to have thrown out the cool essences of their music to replace with near pop-catchy choruses to make them more appealing to a larger audience. After 30 years, the latter would seem a little far-fetched but it is hard to ignore with The Devil Strikes Again.
The album in itself on the other hand, is catchy and it’s a little bit fun but to take it seriously as a RAGE album is something completely different. For many, people might already see the band as cheesy or parodic but this one definitely defines all of those lines. It’s by far not the best album from RAGE of all time, nor is it the worst, but it is certainly not one that will be a memorable one in their career.
As time has gone on, RAGE have, as said before, had many line-up changes and each one has taken its toll and whilst musically there is nothing wrong at all, it’s definitely starting to show an impact on the RAGE sound. The Devil Strikes Again has and still does have a massive amount of potential for picking itself up off the ground but it is how the approach will be taken, as for now, it was an unfortunate disappointment and something that won’t stand out for being a credible achievement in the bands career.
The Devil Strikes Again is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.
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