Rage – From The Cradle To The Stage (DVD Review)

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Rage – From The Cradle To The Stage (DVD)
Label:  SPV
Released: 2004
Rating:  5/5
Reviewer:  JP

As odd as it may seem to review the 20thAnniversary Rage Double DVD, FROM THE CRADLE TO THE STAGE in 2019, 15 years after it was released, it makes sense in my blackened mind for three reasons.  One, it is the 35thAnniversary of Rage. Two, Metal-Rules.com has vowed to try to review every Metal DVD ever and lastly, as of time of writing, Rage just announced a new full-length, studio album in early 2020, so this is a good a time as any to pull this DVD from my library shelf and give it a review.

This is pretty much the perfect (man) DVD. It has it all.

-A monster concert.
-All their videos to date.
-Four documentaries.
-Bonus stuff.

The DVD itself is a two-disc set, with an eight page, full-colour booklet with lots of photos and a nice introductory essay by Peavy himself. Remember when DVD’s actually had booklets?  Scrap that! Remember when bands made DVD’s? It is a nice collectible for the true fan.  The DVD has those moving CGI/animated menus that were, at the time, pretty damn cool, but now look a bit dated.  It is easy to navigate and the overall quality is excellent.  It comes in one those weird, clear, hard-shell, ‘Super Jewel Box’ cases that were produced in Europe for a while.

DVD 1 is a concert recorded on January 25th, 2004 in their homeland of Germany.  Well over two hours long, 26 tracks, what a monster show!  Because it was a 20th anniversary style show, the set-list is a nice cross-section of their entire career.

The venue is not huge but that makes for a more intimate concert.  It is a well-shot well-structured concert.  It is a multi-camera shoot including a crane/arial camera.   There are lots of wide pan and scan shots as well as the obligatory close-ups and it is all edited well.  The sound is really good as well.   The set-list is all over the place, new and old mixed together.  Many of these anniversary shows are sequenced ‘old to new’ or ‘new to old’, but the songs are scattered from all across lots all their albums and career I think with EXECUTION GUARANTEED, REFLECTIONS OF A SHADOW, TRAPPED and GHOSTS getting no representation.

DVD Two is where this package shines.

The centre-piece on this disc is the 49-minute movie, ’20 Years Of Rage’, and as one might imagine it is a history of the band.  It is said (at the time) that R.A.G.E. stands for ‘R’ussia (Smolski is from Russia), ‘A’merica (Terrana is from America) and ‘G’ermany (Peavy is from Germany) and the ‘E’ stands for Equal.  Accordingly all members get equal time to talk about their past, although maybe Peavy gets a little more as he founded the band way back in the early 80’s.  Peavy’s reveals that in the 90’s they were very popular in Japan (we knew that) and they went there about 10 times that decade!

During his segment, Smolski talk about his old band Mind Odyssey and they shows clips from an old video that band shot which is pretty cool. He also has some neat old footage of himself recording the White Russian Symphony Orchestra. There are so many little fun moments, Terrana’s love of Frank Sinatra, Smolski’s love of motorsports, it is all wonderful, but I will say this.  If you are looking for technical information on when albums came out, who produced the albums, who was in the band over the years, what labels they were on, this information is not really covered.  There is no narration or real chronological time-line but it is all still very interesting commentary from the current (at the time) line-up.

The second documentary is an 11-minute making of the epic cut ‘Falling From Grace’ from SOUNDCHASER, which was the current album at the time. The footage is just the boys (Peavy, Smolski and Terrana) working in the studio.

The third documentary is virtually identical to the second one except this time the footage is of the band playing the track ‘Dies Irae’ from the previous album UNITY.  I’d hesitate to call this five-minute clip a documentary.

Lastly there is a six-minute clip of the making of the 20th anniversary concert with the obligatory sped-up footage of workers scurrying around setting up the stage.  It comes with sub-titles as we get a few comments from various drum techs and guitar techs and so on.  The whole thing is a nice little peak behind the scenes but doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

Up next…the videos!   For me having the dozen official Rage videos from 1987 to 2002 is where the value lies in this package.  These videos were virtually never shown on Much Music (in Canada) over the years.  I think I had not seen about eight of the twelve videos in this collection and if I did see a few of them, it was maybe once or twice.  It’s nice to have them all in one place.  I know, I can almost hear the young readers saying, “Dude! There is this new thing called YouTube!” but I don’t care. I’m old school and I want it in my hand. I want to watch Metal videos on my big television screen on my couch with a beer, not on my phone on the bus with earbuds.

In terms of the actual quality of videos, even I have to admit, most of them are pretty weak. They are low budget and mostly just clips of the bands playing live.  You can tell that when the band was on Noise they didn’t have a big video budget.  The GUN and SPV-era videos are of significantly higher quality in terms of storyline, production and execution.  The video for ‘Lingua Mortis Medley’ is more like a fifth, unbilled, mini-documentary running almost 15 minutes long.
DVD Two ends with a few assorted live clips from various festival appearances and lastly a discography.

This is a nice book-mark in the Rage story.  The band had been on Noise Records then GUN Records, then SPV and this punctuates the end of the SPV years as the band went on to a long and productive relationship with Nuclear Blast Records.  Packaging, presentation, performance and nostalgia all mix to make this a flawless DVD for me and for any Rage fan.

Track Listing

Orgy Of Destruction
War Of Worlds
Great Old Ones
Paint The Devil On The Wall
Sent By The Devil
Prayers Of Steel
Days Of December
Anarchy (drum solo)
Invisible Horizons
Set This World On Fire
Flesh And Blood
Rocket Science (guitar solo)
Straight To Hell
Back In Time
From The Cradle To The Grave
Black In Mind
Solitary Man
Don’t Fear The Winter
All I Want
Higher Than The Sky

– Film History: 20 Years Of Rage (contains interviews with the band and lots of rare and unreleased home video footage).
– Making Of The Rage Show (contains behind the scenes footage and crew interviews).
– Eleven video clips documenting the Rage video history.
– Discography