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(Nuclear Blast)

Johnny Main

johnny main

You can just imagine the scene – the Rage band members sitting round a table discussing what they are going to call their new album. "Well, it's our 21st album, so how about '21'? Job Done! This may be the 21st album from the German power Metal trio, but crikey, what a superb album it is.

rage 21

'House Wins' sets the scene at a gambling table before the title track opens things up, with a song about the darker side of gambling, where you never have the big win that you always live for. The track itself is a good solid opener that sets the pace for the rest of the album. It's backed up with a punchy guitar riff and a solid drum track, and crisp clear vocals tying everything together.

Next up is 'Forever Dead', which is a far more aggressive number about an uncomfy father/son relationship, with a strong, shouty chorus supplied by Wagner, which is a marked contrast to some of the softer vocal styles that he uses elsewhere on the album.

'Feel The Pain' starts off quietly enough and develops into a solid riff and another shouty and fairly straightforward chorus. This track is one of the lighter ones on the album, but this doesn't make it any less enjoyable. The album takes a lyrically darker turn with 'Serial Killer', which name-checks various real life serial killers and muses as to what they may have been thinking when they committed their crimes. Behind all the darkness, is a superb guitar solo supplied by Smolski.

'Psycho Terror' starts with a simple enough backbeat before the main riff kicks in, along with some solid vocals from Wagner (who at times sounds not too dissimilar to Lemmy) and another outstanding guitar solo from Smolski.

'Destiny' continues the pace, imploring the listener not to waste their lives, and contains a mid-tempo chorus placed between the more frantic verses and 'Death Romantic' proves what an excellent drummer the band have in Hilgers – from start to finish, he never seems to let up. Add into the mix some more aggressive vocals from Wagner, and you have the makings of a future classic track.

'Black And White' has another blistering guitar solo before the sheer power of 'Concrete Wall' is unleashed. Easily the shortest track on the album, clocking in at just under four minutes, it's a frantic chase which includes a short bass section from Wagner, which could be utilised well in a live situation.

The album wraps up with 'Eternally', a power ballad of the highest order. Certainly this is one of the outstanding tracks on the album for me. Slow in tempo with a soft vocal, with the addition of a soaring guitar solo - fantastic. Sure, if it was released as a single it might not make the Top 40 (do charts really means anything these days, anyway?) but if 'Eternally' was to be released as a single, I'm sure it would get a lot of radio play.

Put quite simply, '21' is certainly proof that Rage have a lot to offer, and let's hope they make it over to the UK soon for some live dates as it would be interesting to see how some of these songs translate in a live concert.

Band Members:

Peter 'Peavey' Wagner – vocals and bass
Victor Smolski – guitar
Andre Hilgers – drums



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Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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