Released: 1996, Gun Records
Editors Note. Metal-Rules.com was founded in 1995 as a forward thinking site. Our goal is, and always has been, to support Real Metal. The decision was made that very rarely do we ever go back and review an album from before 1995. Does the world really need another CD review of Master Of Puppets, Powerslave or Screaming For Vengeance? We don’t think so. We have always supported what is happening now.
Starting in January, 2014, as we head towards the 20th Anniversary of Metal-Rules.com, we are looking back and filling in a few gaps in the review database. We want to complete the post-1995 review catalogue of some of the bands that we have supported since 1995, when very few, if any, websites were supporting real Metal. It’s fun to go back and revisit some of these albums that we did not review when they were first released. Enjoy!
A six-pack of RAGE!! In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Germany’s Rage I’m going to reviews some older Rage albums. The albums in this feature are, BLACK IN MIND, LINGUA MORTIS, END OF ALL DAYS, XIII, FULL MOON IN ST. PETERSBURG and the 30th Anniversary compilation, THE SOUNDCHASER ARCHIVES. Please enjoy all the albums in this raging feature.
LINGUA MORITS is really one of the more important releases in Rage’s long career. This was the start of an almost two-decade long collaboration with the Metal band and it’s orchestral symphonic counter-part, the Lingua Mortis Orchestra. Since the release of LINGUA MORTIS back in 1996, the band has had some sort of orchestral symphonic element on every single album since then, until in 2012 the project finally split into two formal and distinct camps and recording entities; Rage and LMO.
This was at the time a bold experiment. If you look at the concept of combining symphonies and orchestras with Hard Rock and Metal, the idea was not completely new. Deep Purple started it all back in 1969 with the release of CONCERTO FOR GROUP AND ORCHESTRA and then Celtic Frost, Manowar, Savatage, Mekong Delta and a select few others in the 80’s dabbled with the combination of styles and sounds with limited success or exposure, and often using samples or pre-recorded sounds, not actually playing with a real orchestra. You could probably count on two hands the number of albums that combined Metal and a real orchestra from 1970-1995.
However, I am of the firm belief that is was Rage that almost single-handedly pioneered this modern Metal and Orchestra sound that is so amazingly popular today. Dozens, maybe even hundreds of bands employ the style these days but back in 1996 it was new, fresh and exciting. Think about it. LINGUA MORTIS came out before Therion’s VOVIN (1998). It came out before Yngwie’s CONCERTO SUITE FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR AND ORCHESTRA IN E FLAT MINOR OPUS 1 (1998). It came out before Metallica’s S&M. (1999). The issue perhaps is that while Rage was doing it earlier, Metallica, Yngwie, Therion and later bands like Nightwish and Trans-Siberian Orchestra get way more credit for popularizing the sound.
LINGUA MORTIS is the bands 10th studio album, but in a sense is not really a full album of new original studio compositions, even though the run time is 45 minutes long. It’s almost like a glorified EP but a glorious one at that. There are only five songs and essentially there are four orchestral versions of songs from the bands most recent studio album, BLACK IN MIND. Actually there are two versions of ‘Alive But Dead’ so really only three songs. These songs lend themselves to being reworked quite well but you can tell that the styles did not necessarily blend seamlessly, as they did on future compositions that were written on purpose with an orchestral interpretation. The tour-de-force on this record is simply called ‘Medley’ which is a 15-minute interpretation of five old Rage songs and it is fantastic. You can look to your right to see the track list to see what the medley contains.
The booklet is simple with a classic look and a few black and white photos of the band and the musicians who were in fact the Prague Symphony Orchestra who total about 40 in number. The recording session took place in Czechoslovakia in Jan and Feb of 1996 and the sound quality is just fine. The sound is fantastic, kettle drums, piano, acoustic guitar, strings and much more all combined with Peavy singing in a bit more of a restrained fashion.
A note in the booklet says, ‘Dim the lights, sit back, relax and let this magnificent symbiosis of classical music and heavy metal creep under your skin’. That is what this album really does with these wonderful interpretations and I hope one day Peavy and Rage get the recognition they deserve for such and ambitious and pioneering experiment. LINGUA MORTIS was one of the first and is still one of the best.