EP Review: Rage - Spreading The Plague
Reviewed by Gareth Pugh
Never shy when it comes to releasing new material (with 25 studio albums and counting), the prolific German power metal veterans Rage, are back, this time with an EP (only their eleventh on this format). This latest release is very much a companion to the last album ‘Resurrection Day’, (their most successful ever release, with top 20 places in the Germany and Japan, and even reaching 46 in the US charts), and comprises of material written and recorded from those same sessions.
Things get off to a brisk start with the pacey ‘To Live and To Die’, which is a real speedster with a really catchy chorus and some very cool guitar parts. Next up is the eponymous track ‘Spreading the Plague' which is a slower more epic sounding song, with some tasty triplets in the arrangement and another strong chorus. Third and final of the new tracks is another fast song, very aggressive and yet progressive in its structuring, with a spacious and gorgeous middle section featuring some excellent guitar solos. Lyrically these are all tied in with the loose concept of the proceeding album, exploring the history of mankind from a philosophical and psychological point of view.
The final three tracks are more of a mix with an acoustic version of ‘A New Land’ from ‘Resurrection Day’, and is a beautiful, delicate version of what was a real powerhouse of a song in its original format. ‘Peavy’ always tends to write his songs on an acoustic guitar, this version returns the track to its original naked emotion. ‘The Price of War 2.0’ is not a new number, in fact it was the first digital single by the then new line-up: Peavy Wagner (vocals, bass), Vassilios Maniatopoulos (drums), Stefan Weber & Jean Borman (guitars), and is a cover of the track from the classic 1995 album ‘Black in Mind’, but this is its first time on a physical release. Last up is a live stream version of another old classic, this time from 2001’s ‘Welcome to the Other side’, back from the 2020 live performance from the Balve Cave venue in July 2020.
Overall, this is another great release from the band, the real diehards will lap this up, especially for the new tracks, while for others it might not be an essential purchase, it still serves as an excellent introduction to this quality, if still slightly under-appreciated band.