Rust n’Rage - Tales From the Wasteland - (7.5/10)
Published on April 27, 2018
Melodic rock has a somewhat spotty history with metalheads (and within itself as well), often decried as shallow, fluffy and samey. Rust n’Rage are a young band from Finland that is working on polishing up this reputation through their second album Tales from the Wasteland (coming five years after their debut Showdown) and are once more proof that by taking cues from the past they might have a future ahead of them. Now to just label them melodic rock would be a little unfair, since they also bring in some traditional hard rock and some glam rock to mix up.
While this reference may be lost on many, Rust n’Rage more than once bring back memories of Swedish MegaRock Records, who had a great run in the early to mid Nineties with plenty of rock talent such as Pole Position, Renegade, Aces High and more (among others they also released the two groundbreaking Therion albums Symphony Masses: Ho Drakon Ho Megas and Lepaca Kliffoth as well as Nocturnal Rites’ debut album In a Time of Blood and Fire), nothing groundbreaking (which in this particular sub genre is pretty much impossible anyways), but top notch quality.
A lot of the songs are nice and energetic, nothing fancy, but this style works great when just shot from the hip and Rust n’Rage are doing an excellent job with it. “Midnight Train” nicely sets the scene with its energy that continues right on into “Dancing on the Edge” and the vocals of Vince reminds a lot of Renegade’s Magnus Tallåker and is probably the element that will require the most getting used to for the listeners, but just like with the Swedes, once one gets to that point, they fit well.
Other highlights are “Lethal Injections of Love” and “Take it Off”, both dynamic and energetic rockers, a status that “Blood on the Cross” also would deserve, if the sudden slowdown in the middle would not be disrupting the flow and taking away the drive. There is no real downer on the album, but some of the tracks fail to fully ignite or go to the next level, but that is only a minor detractor.
Overall Tales from the Wasteland is a thoroughly entertaining rock album that is predestined for spring and summer, when the windows (or roof) are down and musical intricacies are not important, sometimes a step into the past indeed can be a step into the future!