When a band celebrates two decades of joyous Metal roller coasting and mixed up hardships, you gotta do things properly. By far my biggest review assignment so far here at TMO, RAGE’s twentieth anniversary is packed into two live CD’s and two DVD’s, more than seven hours (faints one more time) of great Metal music that took form in the gutter and fought its way into the stage! I’ve been occupied with nothing but RAGE in the last few days since there’s so much material to go through, in this review I’ll deal with the double live album. Don’t worry, the DVD will be getting its turn right after.
The two live CD’s give you the chance to experience Peavy, Smolski and Terrana in a fantastic groove as they go through classic old material (“Don’t Fear The Winter”, “Straight To Hell”, “Solitary Man”) to recent creations from “Welcome To The Other Side”, “Unity” and their latest slab titled “Soundchaser”. For sheer nostalgia, the band performs “Prayers Of Steel” from Peavy’s AVENGER days, a track that works well with the current line-up, not as good as their post eighty periods but still Metal as fuck.
Smolski and Terrana both get five minutes of solo playing during the over two hour set. Terrana’s heavy banging on the drum comes out very aggressive, not the most technical drummer there is, I’m sure he can do a few things with the sticks, but when he plays with RAGE his job is to keep rhythm tight and heavy, which he has no problem with. Smolski outshines his band compadre with his neo-classical skills and superior solo licks and shredding.
Both CD’s are enjoyable, the band is in great shape, the set list packs a fistful of Heavy/Power Metal and the atmosphere is friendly and uplifting. For those who don’t know the band, this is a good place to start, for fans “From The Cradle To The Stage” is a historical event and the party of a lifetime!
Highly recommended!!! (Online February 5, 2005)