I think it is common knowledge now, that German heavy metalers Rage, have been around the scene for a long time. With a 28 years long career in their pockets, the band released on the 24th of February, via Nuclear Blast records, their 21st album entitled 21. Rage has been one of the most hard-working bands in heavy metal and while they never really reached an outstanding fame, they’ve managed to earn the respect of the heavy metal community and scene. With 21, the band stays true to its roots and delivers an album which will satisfy your appetite for some music, which only the Germans can create. With a sound which could remind some of NWOBHM bands, as well as some classic power metal bands, Rage are proving that they’ve really been a massive influence to many bands out there today, since, as we know, they've been doing this for a while! With some excellent guitar work from Victor Smolski, who delivers some really tasty, melodic solos, and an overall great performance from the totality of Rage, this album is very welcome to share a space on my CD shelve. Despite, the very murder-orientated lyrics on 21, I feel that the music carries a very positive and agreeable energy, which makes the album very pleasant to listen to. The nuances are nicely represented since you can find the very fast and heavy tracks, such as Twenty One and Serial Killer, while on the other hand, Eternally is a very good, slower song with the majority of it being able to be described as a power ballad. Production wise, it sounds exactly as what you would expect, if you knew that the album was recorded at the studio of the Blind Guardian guys, along with producer Charlie Bauerfeind who produced ,among others, artists such as Hammerfall, Saxon and Blind Guardian. Very epic indeed!
Favourite track out of the 21 is Psycho Terror. The very Pantera-like intro riff is probably what makes it for me. Also Smolski is absolutely killer on this track with a ripping guitar solo and some very intense, technical techniques being showcased throughout the whole track! An absolutely beautiful guitar-filled song!