Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rage - Strings To a Web

Strings To a Web
Sonic Unyon

I’m the hunter and you are the prey, growls Peavy Wagner on Strings To a Web, the latest album from Germany’s quarter of a century old metal trio Rage. Let’s face it, it takes Nüsse of steel to sing lyrics that bluntly cheesy in 2010 and not have your tongue protruding from your cheek. But Rage hails from the land that gave us the Scorpions, after all, and Wotan knows it almost sounds fresh in a field full of angst, sarcasm and inchoate anger. Besides, this is old school metal, when riffs ruled all, string sections made the choruses more majestic and hairy chests, bullet belts and (yes!) melodies were still di rigueur for proper headbangers. All of which sounds like I’m damning the band with faint praise, but what I really mean is this: tunes like Edge of Darkness, Hellgirl and even Hunter and Prey make me wish I had an old Kramer or BC Rich axe to replace the air guitar I’m slashing as I jump around the office banging my head. Even the progressive epics Fatal Grace and Saviour of the Dead and the genuinely pretty acoustic ballad Through Ages inspire swaying, air picking and singing along. Strings To a Web evokes a timeless era of metal magic, no guilty pleasure excuses required.

- Michael Toland
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