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Their "B-sides" are better than everyone else's As - 95%

Crossover, August 16th, 2008

RAGE are the pioneers of German speed metal and arguably the best and most original in the Blind Guardian, Gamma Ray, Helloween, and others pool. BG, GR, and anyone else definitely owes (and they give them to him) Peavy Wagner some dues because surely RAGE paved the way for what was to come from the others. The fact is in there are no filler songs on RAGE cds, they just are marvelous songwriters.

Most of these songs are new, some are unreleased, and there's a medley, a rerecording and a rare bonustrack. This package has it all, both the original and remastered versions. I happen to own the Japanese version with Brainsucker as well as the remastered version with 5 bonustracks but i will be reviewing the Japanese version because the other tracks on the remastered version are from the Power of Metal live disc.

So the first 8 tracks are the first taste we get of RAGE without their stalwart guitar god Manni Schmidt. The songs are heavier and thrashier. Some highlights in this section are She killed and Smiled Which has some intense parts and a kick ass chorus after the solo ala Who Dares? from the previous album and Take My Blood which is a melodic speed/thrasher. All of these songs sound fresh and only really bare resemblance to Black in Mind and otherwise hold their own place in RAGE history. The epic track No Sign of Life is a rage classic. All of the rest of the first 8 tracks are speed/thrashers of the highest grade, no frills.

Then we get Prayers of Steel '94 a classic remake of one of the heaviest, epic, and triumphant RAGE songs ever written. It shines, and reproduces the original glory of the track, this alone is worth buying the disc. It also has expert drumming. After this comes a medley, its OK, nothing that special. It features quite a few good sections of classic RAGE songs and features every member RAGE had had up to that point. Then comes Brainsucker, a crossover/hardcore bruiser that will have your head obstreperously careening through your desk (or whatever else you may have in store for you) in seconds. I love this track and it was actually written in the 80s but never recorded til now since its clearly not RAGE's distinct style but it sure is a paladin.

Absolutely this is one to buy, not as good as the albums with Manni but perhaps the closest they've ever reached. Buy it now!

Highlights: She Killed and Smiled, No Sign of Life, Take My Blood, Brainsucker, and of course Prayers of Steel '94. There all really highlights though!