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Rage “Afterlifelines” Album Review by Curtis J. Dupree

RAGE Members band

Rage is nothing less than an institution in power metal, and for good reason. For forty years now Peavey Wagner and companions have been releasing quality power metal upon the masses. Some of their work lies on the thrashier end of the spectrum; some incorporates symphonic elements. With Afterlifelines, a remarkable double album that never overstays its welcome, Rage has embraced both these aspects of their sound. Disc one leans towards the leaner and heavier, while disc 2 embraces the symphonic. Both discs are essential, which means that the new Rage album is nothing less than an embarrassment of power metal riches. 

Peavey sounds great here, contributing strong vocals and solid bass work. Vassilios “Lucky” Maniatopoulos brings an excellent showing on drums. Jean Borman proves to be a riff machine, delivering more killer riffs on this one album than most metal bands ever dream of their entire career. He also delivers excellent solos. The orchestral work on disc 2—noted by the press release as “fully orchestrated with the support of Duisburg’s keyboardist Marco Grasshoff”—is utilized very well. The production is strong and clear. Overall, disc 1 is the more immediate of the two and should hook the listener right away. Nevertheless, disc 2 is overall just as strong and will keep you coming back. 

Due to the amount of songs here, my comments will be briefer than usual.

After a brief intro, the band launches into “End of Illusions.” This song sports a shredding opening, a face-melting riff, a catchy prechorus, a killer chorus, and a cool solo. Peavey sounds great. 

Under a Black Crown” follows and gives us another catchy chorus and a good riff. The energy level here is quite high. “Afterlife” is another catchy tune with Peavey just wailing. I like the lead work in the chorus, as well as the solo.

Dead Man’s Eyes” is hard-hitting. The vocal hooks here are not quite as memorable, but the energy level is high, the riffs are good, and the song is enjoyable. A good drum intro and riff highlights “Mortal,” along with a good chorus and driving rhythms. 

Toxic Waves” is another strong tune—speedy, with a great riff. The melodies are strong and the rhythm section brings their A-game. “Waterwar” sports a cool, thrashy riff and is quite speedy, with a catchy chorus.

Justice Will Be Mine” gives us some melodically appealing lead work, strong verse melodies and riffing, a well-sung chorus, and a good, if brief solo. A catchy riff and shredding leads drive “Shadow World,” which also boasts a hooky chorus. Closing disc 1 is “Life among the Ruins,” another quality tune with strong riffing, great verse melodies, and a very catchy chorus. 

Disc 2 begins with “Cold Desire.” After a piano and strings opening that works well, the song kicks off in intensity and sports memorable verses. Peavey wails on the chorus and the solo is quite good. Following this song is “Root of Our Evil,” which boasts melodic lead work, good vocal melodies, and symphonic coloring. 

Curse the Night” slows down a hair, but gives us strong melodies and a good groove that blends riffs with symphonic elements. “One World” is a solid tune with a good use of symphony, a catchy chorus, and a quality solo. 

A heavy riff highlights “It’s All Too Much,” while “Dying to Live” is more of a ballad. While this song leans towards ballad territory, however, it’s got a good rhythm, catchy melodies, and a great solo. Get your lighters out for this one. 

The Flood” sports a soaring chorus. “Lifelines” is nothing short of epic, both in length and in scope. It builds, but it also ebbs and flows. The chorus is strong and the riffing towards the end is killer. 

A lovely instrumental piece in the form of “Interlude” comes next. While I do like this song, it is in something of an odd placement on the album, as it slows the momentum before the final track, which is a rather short tune itself. This final track, “In the End,” features a lovely guitar part, and is a good ballad, as well as a good conclusion to the album. 

Rage has gifted us a great album here, which is particularly impressive since it is in fact a double album. The whole band sounds great, Peavey wails, the lyrics tend toward the thoughtful, and the riffs and hooks just keep coming. Both discs are essential listening, so make sure you don’t miss Afterlifelines

Curtis’ rating: 9/10

Preorder the album here:

RAGE Album Covers 1

Afterlifelines Track List:

1. In The Beginning
2. End Of Illusions
3. Under A Black Crown
4. Afterlife
5. Dead Man’s Eyes
6. Mortal
7. Toxic Waves
8. Waterwar
9. Justice Will be Mine
10. Shadow World
11. Life Among The Ruins

01. Cold Desire
02. Root Of Our Evil
03. Curse The Night
04. One World
05. It’s All Too Much
06. Dying To Live
07. The Flood
08. Lifelines
09. Interlude
10. In The End

RAGE are:
Jean Bormann – guitars
Peavy Wagner – bass, vocals
Vassilios “Lucky” Maniatopoulos – drums

RAGE live 2024: 
04.03. CA-Toronto,ON – Lee’s Palace
05.03. CA-Ottawa,ON – Mavericks
06.03. CA-Québec,QC – L’Anti Bar & Spectacles
07.03. CA-Montreal,QC – tba
13.04. CY-Larnaka – Savino
30.04. DE-Hademarschen – Hademarscher Hof
03.05. DE-Dresden – Puschkin
04.05. PL-Krakow – Kwadrat
05.05. PL-Warsaw – Proxima
09.05. DE-Siegburg – Kubana
10.05. DE-Braunschweig – Rock In Rautheim
11.05. DE-Trier – MJC
12.05. DE-Bochum – Zeche
15.05. DE-Nürnberg – Hirsch
16.05. DE-Augsburg – Spectrum
17.05. DE-Burglengenfeld – VAZ
18.05. DE-Lindau – Club Vaudeville
19.05. DE-Bensheim – Musiktheater Rex
04.07. DE-Ballenstedt – Rockharz Festival
06.07. DE-Dietingen – Wolfweez Festival
12.07. DE-Coesfeld – Rock am Turm
14.07. CZ-Vizovice – Masters Of Rock Festival
28.07.-03.08. SI-Velenje – Metaldays
31.07.-03.08. DE-Wacken – Wacken Open Air
09.08. DE-Büdesheim – Krawall’O’Rock
30.08. DE-Schramberg/Tennenbronn – Metalacker
31.08. DE-Rheinfelden – NordRock Schwaben Festival
06.09. DE-Eystrup – Just For Fun Open Air
07.09. DE-Herne – Spektakulum
03.10. GR-Athens – Kyttaro Club
05.10. GR-Thessaloniki – 8-Ball
09.11. CH-Sarnen – UrRock Festival
15.11. DE-Lebach – Rock Meets Benefiz
19.11. SE-Malmö – Plan B
20.11. SE-Göteborg – Galej
21.11. SE-Gävle – Centralteatern
22.11. SE-Linköping – Hell Yeah Rock Club
23.11. NO-Jevnaker – Glassheim Rock & K
24.11. SE-Stockholm – Harry B James
30.11. SE-Umea – Droskan

RAGE Online:

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