Every time Rage come out with a new CD, I have to say I get pretty geeked. I was a late bloomer with Rage, not discovering them until 1999 with the release of Ghosts. From the first listen I was hooked, and it made me crave more. Luckily for me, for the next 5 years the band put out some of their strongest material to date. To be honest, I haven't dug too deeply into the band's back catalog, but I will one day. To me, the band hit a little bit of a snag from 2006-2008 with the releases of Speak to the Dead and Carved in Stone. Don't get me wrong, there was some solid stuff on those records, but I think they got away from the signature riffage and core sound that fans have come to know and love. I strongly believe that Soundchaser was the last solid CD that the band has put out, but with that said, the band has just released their 18th studio album called Strings to a Web. Let's see if they got back on track.
Strings rips right into action with the barn-burner, Edge of Darkness. This track starts off with a killer Eddie Van Halen (a la Mean Streak) style tapping riff by guitarist extraordinaire, Victor Smolski. It is amazing. The dude is a certified guitar monster. The song then rips into a killer uptempo track with all of the trademark Rage elements intact. The next track, Hunter and Prey, is old school Rage, reminding me of the classic track Down off of the Unity record. It's punchy and full of great riffs and a solid chorus. The assault doesn't stop there, because the next 2 tracks will continue to pummel the senses until you get to the killer 5th song, Empty Hollow. This is Rage at their best, delivering monster riffs combined with killer melody. The songs are memorable and will stick with you. By far the best album the band has done in years, and my first pick of the month on the new site!
Bottom Line: Rage at their best. This album delivers some of the best riffs I've heard in awhile. The band's gone back to doing what they do best: rocking your balls off. There are a few surprises, but they do not take away from the flow of the CD. Note: As a bonus, this package comes with a great live DVD of the band. This is a must buy!
Standout Tracks: Hunter and Prey, Beggar's Last Dime, Empty Hollow Saga and Savior of the Dead
- Ragman wishes he and wifey were back in Germany rocking to Rage...