The complete Noise-back-catalogue of RAGE is newly done, completely remastered and with bonus-tracks. "Reflections Of A Shadow" in 1990 had been the fifth album of the troop around "Peavey" Wagner, the third in the line-up of Wagner, Schmidt, Efthimiadis, which by many is viewed as the "classic" line-up.
As you normally try to put yourself back into the time of the original release, I advance on this album from the standpoint of today's RAGE. What is evident from the first real track "That's Human Bondage", is the voice of Peavey (where he somehow reminds me of "Alice In Hell" by ANNIHILATOR…), which by far doesn't have the class of the "newer" RAGE, here he, so to say, is in the "late phase" of his screams in the choruses , sounds a lot rawer than, e.g. on "Ghosts" or also the new "Unity", where he has a lot more vocal class to offer.
Musically all, who get blisters from the pure mentioning of the words "Power Metal", should not run away screaming already, because what RAGE play on "Reflections Of A Shadow", is far away from the usual Power Metal of today, which had been, so to say, reanimated by HAMMERFALL, but sounds a lot rawer and more basic than with those bands. The trio covers the whole spectrum from balladry through to speed-hammers, but also avoiding most of the clichés, like with the partly balladesque "Flowers That Fade In My Hand", dedicated to Peavey's father.
Stuff like the strong title-track, "Can't Get Out", "Waiting For The Moon" or the fast Power Metal-cracker "Saddle The Wind" definitely benefit from the better, more melodic vocals of Peavey and continue the evolution from "Perfect Man" to "Secrets In A Weird World", away from the pure Speed Metal-assault towards more varied and thus more dynamic songs.
Additionally "Reflections Of A Shadow" also has five bonus-tracks, four of the five songs of the following EP "Extended Power", instead of "Waiting For The Moon" we get an acoustic-version of "Woman".
Altogether a good investment for each RAGE-fan, not least thanks to the re-mastering and the bonus, still I prefer the middle-phase of RAGE ("The Missing Link" and "Black In Mind") and the fact that this album has a slow start and gets better from the fourth track on plays another role in my rating. (Online August 27, 2002)