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Fits in with the rest - 71%

Innersfree, April 14th, 2012

These guys really are the Motorhead of power metal. Not as intense and not as good as that band, but that goes without saying. Where they do fit in with them is that they've retained and set in stone a style that's very recognizably theirs that has only subtly changed from time to time, and they're consistent as all hell, too. I can't particularly recall a sufficiently bad Rage album, but then again I can't recall an apparently great or legendary one for that matter. Maybe something along the lines of A Perfect Man, but it still is pretty vague. They don't have THAT classic album or that slew of classic albums. They're just, for lack of a better term, solid. Sometimes middling. Sometimes inspiring. Always a fixture. Anyway.

This album is based on gambling. On the face of it. And its Rage's 21st album. Or so I think, I've really lost count. But that seems to be a fairly straightforward concept. Not that it makes any difference to the lyrics, the band could very well have been singing in a different language for everything, but the chorus or in some cases the title of the song alone and it really wouldn't change things one bit. Sometimes they can be downright silly even, like say 'Psycho Terror', which is just clumsy. But I digress. Power's done worse.

So what we have here is some fairly middling stuff with some real moments of inspiration coming in every now and then. Take the intro of "Feel My Pain" and the ensuing guitar acrobatics. There's a whole ton of great choruses on here, the fist in the air stuff that would work great live. Its all pretty straightforward and memorable. Though it really is problematic and a tad bit annoying when all you can remember of a song is the line 'this will be your DEH-STIN-IYY!'. There's some stuff on here that sounds gratingly modern, but very often it's simply the lifeless production and the mechanical guitar tone that make it as such. Again, very middling stuff.

Fans of Euro-power would really dig this. It certainly doesn't do much for standing out from the rest, but maybe there's some charm to that after all. I just don't find it on this particular release. The band doesn't really sound all that inspired either, but I have to give them their due for still making it work, regardless.