Monday, March 11, 2013

Rage - Secrets in a Weird World (1989)

This is German speed metal band Rage's fourth studio album. It has a rather uninspiring cover - the three band members all looking suitably bored in sunglasses and black and white.

It begins with the classically inclined "Opus 33 Nr 3" a slightly ominous piano piece with solid beats - somewhat one-fingered playing.

"Time Waits for No One" is a determined and powerful song. Peevey's voice alternates between soaring and screaming, with a little shouting thrown in for good measure. Nice skillful guitar solo.

The guitar surges with the bass in slow steady beats before taking off at a gallop in "Make My Day".  Lyrics are fast paced and aggressive:
"This is the sign of my deadly hammer, leaving its marks in your face right now..."
My favourite line is:
 "I'd like to smash all your toys to pieces, tickle your feet until you drop down dead..."
"The Inner Search" delivers pure speed with a cruisy chorus and some surprisingly menaingful lyrics:
"Be True to yourself, that's all you have to be..."

There is something inspiring about "Invisible Horizons" which reveals Peavey's love of the extra-terrestrial. This was the first Rage song I ever heard, from the compilation cassette "Thrash the Wall", a single album that pretty much shaped my musical future. It is quite an intense song, with melodic vocals, pounding drums and chugging guitars. 

"She" gets off to an ominous start. The title is rather ambivalent - it could be a love song (but this is Rage, so that seems unlikely), could be about a lady of the night... but no, it's about a car. A distorted, snarling (and possibly backwards) voice gets this song kicking into action. Indeed, this is about Christine, the red plymouth fury of the Stephen King novel.

With a determined beat and guitar flare, we shift into "Light into the Darkness". A slower pace and an almost positive vibe.
"... Blossom's better than decay"
We charge on in to "Talk to Grandpa" - a song about communicating with the dead to find out what happened to his money. Fairly repetitive, but catchy chorus and aggressive riffs.

"Distant Voices" is about those voices you hear before you fall asleep. The ghosts that call for you. Peavey likes to write songs about death and the supernatural - as you may have noticed. It is a slightly slower piece, with a hint of the eerie about it, but mostly classic Rage.

Slower, creepier, with a hint of the classic rock to it, "Without a Trace" has a jerky, rock beat. As you may be able to guess, it's about the Bermuda Triangle and other such mysterious - possibly supernatural, disappearances.

"Lost Side of the World" starts with slow, deliberate beats gathering in tempo until they erupt into the chorus. Has a few slower moments but is otherwise classic Rage.

Rage have found their stride - and whilst it is decent speed metal with good rhythms, catchy choruses and intriguing lyrics, it's nothing exciting or earth-shattering dramatic. They're a good, solid band  but this does not offer anything new or original or different from many of their other albums (admittedly most of which come after this one).

Solid metal, that I'm going to rank a 7/10.

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