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Released: 1999, JVC
Again I have a CD that has been released for awhile but I had the fortune to receive only recently. Peavey Wagner formed Avenger in 1984. Avenger released 2 CDs before Peavey Wagner, bass and vocals, recruited a new lineup, changed the bands name to Rage and released "Reign of Fear" in 1986. Since then Rage have released such classic slabs of metal as "Reflections of a Shadow" and "Trapped" with founder Peavey Wagner being the band’s driving force through the last 16 years and almost as many lineup changes.
This release is the good example of how a orchestra should be integrated with metal. This is not a lame excuse of a CD like the one from late last year by that bunch of sellouts who shall remain nameless. Rage actually set out to INCLUDE the symphony in their music and didn’t just add it on afterwards as some phony attempt at being innovative. This is actually the third release from Rage that includes the Lingua Mortis Orchestra conducted by Christian Wolff and their 17th album overall. The CD opens with "The Beginning of the End" . This is an interesting mid paced tune. Lots of atmosphere from the orchestra and a heavy yet simplistic drum beat make this song just stick in your head. I went around for weeks just singing this chorus over and over when I first heard the song. Up next is "Back in Time". This tune carries on where the last left off and the orchestration is so integrated in the song that you hardly realize that its there till you listen closely. The CD continues on with 12 more songs that creatively graft orchestration with guitar, drums and bass. Stand out tracks include the aforementioned "Beginning of the End", "Love and Fear Unite", "More Than A Lifetime", "Tomorrow’s Yesterday" and the bonus track "Six Feet Under". This last tune totally rocks and leaves me wondering why there aren’t more like it here. This is one bonus track that is better than most on the disc.
From the moment that I played "Ghosts" I kept hoping to hear some really blazing tunes. "The Missing Link" from 1993 being a favourite Rage CD of mine I kept hoping to hear some of the same power on "Ghosts". I wouldn’t. This is my only problem with this CD. The bonus track "Six Feet Under" was as close as I got. Rage seem to have dropped some of the power from their metal over the last few years preferring to go with a more traditional yet uniquely innovative sound. Overall I was greatly impressed by the orchestral accompaniments. They integrated so seamlessly with the songs that in places it was hard to tell that the band were playing with an orchestra. Rage have created yet another quality CD to add to their legacy.
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