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Rage - "Soundchaser"
SPV 2003

No, this is not a Yes song. I'm all shivers! Welcome to the other side! Wanna some H.P. Lovecraft fashioned stories? I'm talking about science fiction concept not being far from reality. In society we are part of, is hard to imagine for certain thing's purpose, to be used for good deeds. But, do we have to believe in good things? Not necessarily. We don't need to believe, because we already know there is good in everyone of us. So no religion is needed anymore. Why would someone believe in something if he is aware of something's presence? Well for purpose to defend people (do a good deeds) who lived in free societies, soundchasers biomechanical creatures (half robots and half humans) were crafted and reassembled from old construction plans discovered under ice shelf of Antarctica. Sounchasers were rebuilt in order to chase and remove people that radiated bad and evil vibes. Story doesn't reveal everything. It'll forces listener to use his own imagination. Story talks about last soundchaser facing his end. What happened with free societies? I suppose fate died and soundchaser's existence finally lost its meaning. Nobody needed them anymore, so their race was left to its final extinction.

Funnily enough, but I was told a story read in certain book one week before I bought this CD about people that reached higher spiritual dimensions of their consciousness. They were able to switch their physical bodies for astral ones, they could move through high voltage wires and enter inside computer machines and networks, they could contact with anything that reaches human eye and far beyond. They were chased by states authorities, because they came in touch with universal truth. These few people who functioned on a higher frequency vibes became aware, there is no fear and that society needs no policy, police, lawyers, priests, soldiers, scientists, doctors... Your only protection is your true love above all. They were listening to metal rock music and they were wearing chains and leathers. Isn't that exciting?

Well, you must be thinking: "This guy has gone completely mad!" No, not really I'm just a bit hyperactive. I will review "Soundchaser" for you right now. What we got when three people learn to handle with supremacy dangerous toys they're using? Dreams come true. Pure musical perfection is born. "Welcome To The Other Side" (2001) was a kind of affirmation for new Rage. "Unity" (2002) serves as a real kick off for the band. It is album where chemistry and magic between three guys got tighter. "Unity" offered insight for Rage to see where they are and what are they able to achieve in music. "Soundchaser" strikes with full force. It is done with amazing self-confidence. They've launched not only Unity's fantastic continuum, but also brought to reality their "obscured by clouds" concept on a fully convincible way.

Do you remember "Black In Mind" (1994) era? War Of Words brutality captures slight connections with aforementioned record. Melodic chorus balances thrashy opening feel in song. Peavy's singing is full of anger and pain. He's approach can be characterized again as straight brute force. His venomous unique vocal is irreplaceable Rage's trademark. Peavy, armoured with thunderous bass, is shredding Rage! Experienced man fully adopts his vocals to song's structures. His forceful singing outstands especially in Secrets In A Weird World. This song with phenomenal keyboard arrangements is surely among atmospheric highlights on a record.

What about Mike and Victor? Everything was already said and done. Mike Terrana confirms he's surely the hottest drummer in heavy metal universe. His drum kit not only plays, it talks, it sings. Maybe it can walk, I don't know. Drumming is alive in true meaning of this word. Supersonic rollings invade the ears from everywhere. Mike set standards in playing double bas drum for next century. He covers huge palette of whole band's sound picture. Not only covers. You can feel raging man's rage while attacking his drum kit. Victor Smolski, Byelorussian guitar God, offered riffage sound that was never so damaging since he became Rage member. Song Soundchaser has exactly the right riff it needs. This song spits out fear of man facing his sudden dead. Victor added again some blazing arpeggios in every inch of sound space he finds. Blasting metal riffage euphoria in pre-choruses unpredictably surprises listener by switching into melodic choruses and Victor's guitar wizardry in instrumental middle sections, that brings great contrast inside songs. Rage are masters of brutality meets melody fusion in heavy metal genre!

Speaking in general almost all songs are tight equal straight blazing bombs that will rip your spines out. Band keeps and keeps on rolling; they slow down things a bit with seventh song, mid tempo subtler Flesh And Blood, still containing intense power of Mike's massive drumming. Peavy is author of band's many great mid tempo songs and ballads, and this one confirms his amazing songwriting talents and great feel for sophisticated singing approach. Its performance convincible brings to life soundchaser's pain, fears and desperate awareness of what he is. Speedier Human Metal starts all guns blazing again.

Last song Falling From Grace contains some peaceful sections fluidly mixed inside powerful voltage riffing parts where Mike murders his drums with tons of his ultrasonic splashes. It is shivering high ambient piece divided in two parts: Wake The Nightmares (pt I.) and Death Is On It's Way (pt II.). You can feel soundchaser's dead comes close. Phenomenal acoustic opening and subtler Peavy's involvement on vocals turns further on in shredding riffage experience (Wake The Nightmares). Both parts tend to be progressive. Falling From Grace is complex song, assembled from many different themes that capture many different moods. It offers nice portion of unpredictability, yet constantly runs very fluid. It is atmospheric highlight of entire record.

"Soundchaser" is "Unity" upgraded and turns to be even more ambitious than its predecessor. Chemistry between guys bloody works! Soundchaser offers and leaves unlimited imaginary musical space for listener to freely chase the sounds and tunes he wants. I must not forget to mention fantastic involvement of Charlie Bauerfeind as a producer. He really extracted from guys what they supposed to be. True Rage! He found heart and soul of the band. This manifest of musical perfection is band's another victory. Rage were never afraid to boldly go where no one went before. New album confirms that again. And I'm sure there's a lot to come in future! So you metalheads, what are you waiting for? What do you think you were created for? This is your day of deliverance, go and get "Soundchaser" at once! This is how real metal must sound! Gutsy all the way! "Dies irae!"

Author:   Aleš

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