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Seasons Of The Black
October 2017
Released: 2017, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: JP

I wrote a lengthier review of the last Rage album THE DEVIL STRIKES AGAIN and I concluded my remarks with a hope that the new members might become part of a cohesive song-writing unit. I don’t know how much song-writing the new guys contributed but the new album SEASONS OF THE BLACK sounds great!

This is the bands 20th full-length studio album and the line-up is stable and the band is also still on nuclear blast, although for some reason the label did not see fit to give this album a North American release. The Soundchaser mascot is back on the album cover and the band have delivered on time another consistent 111-track, album that runs under an hour. Of course there are many various extra bonus tracks for various regional pressings. This band certainly is consistent, in terms of productivity! I guess they have to be if you are one of the Top 10 most prolific Metal bands of all time.

As often in the past of the band they seem to have found a bit of a groove/style sound and will probably run with it for several albums. Their career seems to be in manageable blocks before big stylistic changes. Arguably, there is not a significant difference between the last album, the same trio have busted out another batch of killer, Heavy/Power Metal songs. Peavy’s raw and recognizable voice leads the charge emphasizing the band proclivity for ultra-catchy choruses. The band remained a bit stripped down, the Death vocals and symphonic elements are all completely gone just balls to wall Metal.

Peavy’s lyrics continue to spit venom and vitriol towards man and mankind telling us songs of betrayal and destruction and an odd song about a dinosaur, a T-Rex to be specific, and it almost seems out of place among the other lyrical content. He even gets a bit political with a strong anti-death penalty song called ‘Justify’. The production is rock solid as always, and tone and tempo of the most of the album is darker and faster. There are a few lighter moments laced in the album with a one-minute long acoustic ballad called ‘Gaia’ and the epic closing Power ballad called ‘Farewell’, which ends the largely fast heavy album on a lighter note. In fact the more adventurous/progressive songs are all part of a four song suite called ‘The Tragedy Of Man’. This is not the first time Rage has done this there are a few examples spread across their career. (SPEAK OF THE DEAD, WELCOME TO THE OTHER SIDE)

I’m a big Rage fan, always have been, probably always will be, as long as they don’t dramatically screw-up. Where SEASONS OF THE BLACK will fall over time as an album in a big pile of 20 studio albums will remain to be seen. Somewhere in the middle of pack perhaps, which might not sound like much of an endorsement, but when a band like Rage has so many good albums, that is still a big compliment.
Track Listing

1. Season of the Black
2. Serpents in Disguise
3. Blackened Karma
4. Time Will Tell
5. Septic Bite
6. Walk Among the Dead
7. All We Know Is Not
8. Gaia
9. Justify
10. Bloodshed in Paradise
11. Farewell


Peter "Peavy" Wagner Vocals, Bass
Marcos Rodríguez Guitars
Vassilios Maniatopoulos Drums



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