[EDIT]: Thanks to the w0nd0rz 0f th3 1n73rn3tz it has come to my attention (see the comments) that Nuclear Blast bungled the announcement. Rage didn’t really split ways at all! No, it appears that Peavy basically just fired Smolski and Hilgers and is out touring with previous guitar player Manni Schmidt. Look at the wording here: “Rage Announce the End of Current Lineup.” Old school Rage reunion incoming?


AngryMetalGuy.com does not “do news” for a variety of reasons that don’t really have a place in this post. But I wanted to take a special moment to comment on the passing of a band that I think doesn’t get enough credit. While yesterday I lauded the brilliance of Blind Guardian and their unique approach to metal, their fellow German power-thrashers Rage announced that they would be going their separate ways.

Rage2010a

Parsing the press release, it sounds like there’s a split between Peavy and Victor due to the fact that bands are like a marriage and they’ve been making music together for a long time. Likely Peavy wasn’t taking out the trash and was coming home too late, and Smolski couldn’t take it anymore! Not sure if they got marital counseling (or made a documentary about it?!?), but it seems they couldn’t come to an agreement to keep working together. This means that Rage is done, but also that Peavy is out of Lingua Mortis Orchestra and they’ll be parting ways with the drummer Andre Hilgers as well. As Peavy put it in his statement, “every extension [of the band] would be untrue to ourselves and to our fans.” But for those of you who enjoyed Smolski’s unique writing style and playing Lingua Mortis Orchestra will continue without Peavy. Regardless, now we’ll see who the Luca Turilli of Rage is…

I’m not going to spend a lot of time theorizing precisely about what happened—my above theory is probably just as good as anything else I could say—but I just wanted to name this and give a heartfelt thank you to Rage for feeding me all the excellent-if-pretty-cheesy thrashy power metal I could eat! Sure, you guys have been a bit hit and miss. But between Strings to a Web—which holds a special place in my heart as my intro to the band, Speak of the Dead and the other standouts from a storied discography, I guess I’ll just have to get my fix via nostalgia injections instead of the anticipation of new material. In all seriousness, Rage had a unique contribution to metal and was a throwback to the golden age of melodic heavy metal in the best possible sense of that word. These guys carried the torch proudly and are often overlooked because of the status of power and trad metal, but they did it with a creative, idiosyncratic flare that made them as big as they did become.

I’m just gonna leave you all with “Empty Hollow” (the whole 16 minute version, which features what Rage did best: the perfect blend of poppy melodies and prog, with a touch of late ’80s action flick soundtracks—all buttressed by fat riffs and a lights out production job). Anyway, thanks for all riffs, football stadium choruses, working class sensibility and vintage 1980s guitar tone guys! Best of luck!

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  • Jean-Luc Ricard

    Never gave them enough attention, though “Straight to Hell” from Welcome to the Other Side is on my “Ultimate Thrust Metal” playlist. Insanely productive, too!

  • RagE

    NOOOOOOOOoooooooeeees!

    Rage was HUGE for me gowing up, Perfect Man, Trapped, The Missing Link, End of all days,Black in mind, XIII, and Soundchaser are fantastic. Soundchaser might be my top Power Metal album of all time, and the early albums got me into thrash and speed metal. The live album# and DVD “From the cradle to the stage” is also VERY good. i watch it a few times a year, and the slongs from Unity and Soundchaser work even better live, with that lineup. They whent downhill after Soundchaser, and was very inconsistent, but it is still sad to hear.

    My friend talked with Peavy a few weeks ago, and it seems “Refuge” will go on with touring and playing together. It is a great lineup, so I hope new music will see the light of day. I don’t know if this is a result of the breakup, or part of the reason for it, but it seems likely it had something to do with it.

    • BaboonKing

      Didn’t know about Refuge, and that definitely sweetens what would otherwise be really sad news, so thanks for the tip off!

      On the one hand, I’m sad to see Peavy and Victor parting ways. But on the other, having Peavy and Manni Schmidt kicking ass together again is awesome, and I’m drooling at the thought of a new album more in line with their classic period (Black in Mind, End of All Days, etc).

      I enjoy the Smolski era, he is possibly one of the most gifted guitar players on this planet… but their last material was growing stale (21, specially, was terrible).

      So, all in all, this may end up being good news; with Victor free to pursue his neoclassical interests, and Refuge going back to a more classic sound.

      Whatever the outcome, huge respect for a band with a 30+ years career spanning 21 (mostly) awesome albums!

      • RagE

        Smolski is Briliant for sure. Usually not a fan of the “guitar for guitarist” vituoso stuff, but he manages to make it interesting.

    • cirkus-lizard

      Don’t forget Secrets in a Weird World…their best along with Trapped.

  • Styler

    This is a band I never actually got around to checking out even though I’d heard the name many times. I like the track posted above, makes me think of Metropolis Pt.1 by Dream Theater with added Threshold moments. I’ll have to check out more, shame they’re no longer in the game.

    • Check out their album “XIII”. It is very deserving of being on any “best power metal album of all time lists”.

      Oh what the hell, I’ll put my usual disclaimer on this, that I will take this link down in 24 hours. Everyone ENJOY!!!

      http://music.mikeeckman.com/share/QrQUT

  • CarvedInStone

    IMPORTANT: RAGE ISN’T OVER!

    The band hasn’t called it quits. Just the current incarnation of Rage is over. Nuclear blast edited their official press release to point that out yesterday.

    • BaboonKing

      Exactly! In retrospect, Rage should have changed their name when Victor joined. I love both eras, but they feel like two completely different bands. And apart from Higher than the Sky and the odd song here and there, they played almost nothing of the old material live. With their huge and awesome back catalog, that should be punishable by law. :(

      Amusingly, I suspect now they may go the other way around and drop lots of the new stuff from their set lists; I don’t think it will be easy to find a substitute for Victor that can play his parts comfortably.

      Finally, from Victor’s press release, I suspect we can expect a more Avantasia-like LMO album in the future, with different guest singers. So it’s a win/win in my book: we’ll have the old Rage back, and Victor still doing his thing.

      • CarvedInStone

        I would be happy if Henning Basse (formerly of Metalium and Sons Of Seasons) would get the job. He really deserves his moment in the spotlight. A very underrated singer if you ask me.

        • BaboonKing

          Henning is great, and if Victor wants to form a long term band instead of an ensemble project, he could fit the bill pretty well. Another great choice could be Gustavo Monsanto (ex-Adagio, now in Human Fortress… he deserves better). And heck, while we are at it, how about someone brings Damond Jiniya (ex-Savatage) back from his ostracism?

          Still, if I had just one vote to cast, it would have to be for… Jorn Lande! (imagine that! it would be worth it just to see AMG’s inner conflict and subsequent brain implosion).

          • CarvedInStone

            To be honest I would not be adverse to the idea of Jorn in the LMO successor. Jorn is always at his best when he isn’t involved in the songwriting.

          • Monsanto is evil!

            Oh wait. Anyway, Adagio. There’s a band I haven’t listened to in a long time. Love their first record so much.

            Also, quit trying to introduce AMG-ending paradoxes, pl0x.

          • BaboonKing

            And AMG’s black list of evil singers grows yet again! :)

            David Readman’s vocals on the first two Adagio albums were outstanding, but I think Monsanto caught too much flak (also, “The Darkitecht” alone is worth the admission price for “Dominate”). Personally, I would lay the main share of the blame for the band’s decline at the feet of Stephan Forte. Listening to his solo material makes it clear he wanted to pursue this new sound. :(

            And to end this off topic tangent; if you are on the market for some quality prog-power with an Adagio flavor, check out the song “Guardian” by Anthriel.

    • Well, the Smolski era is the era I like the best. Unfortunately, I think he’s got some… shall we say… “guitar player/composer ego issues,” which is why the last LMO record was overblown. This isn’t to say that he isn’t brilliant—because omfg he is absolutely brilliant—but guitar players, man.

      • BaboonKing

        Have you heard his solo album “The Heretic”? I think you may enjoy it (I won’t post the link to avoid the moderation from kicking in, but it’s easy to find on YouTube).

  • I have a ton of respect for these guys. When I was a young “metal-ling” in the mid-late 90s first learning about underground metal bands through email digests (does anyone remember those?!), this guy named LLORENTH, told me that Rage, Helloween, and Blind Guardian were the “Holy Trinity” of German Power metal. I opened up my mail order catalog for Dream Disc in Indiana (anyone remember them) and started ordering CDs. “Black in Mind”, “End of All Days”, and then eventually “XIII” (which for me was their best album), and then “Ghosts” were on regular rotation for many years in my Sherwood 5 disc CD carousel.

    As the years went by, and Rage kept making music, I grew more and more disinterested in their stuff. Sure, there would be a cool track here and there on later albums, (The title track on “Unity” is a KILLER instrumental) but as a whole, the band stagnated. They became the Aerosmith of German Power Metal. Want to hear the new Rage album? Play the last one on random.

    So, while I wouldnt go as far as to say Im happy they’re calling it quits, they’re an immensely talented band and a symbol of perseverence that we don’t always see in music, but its definitely time.

  • CarvedInStone

    IMPORTANT: RAGE ISN’T OVER!

    The band hasn’t called it quits.
    Nuclear Blast released a statement yesterday that said that Rage
    disbanded. The later changed it to clarify that only the current
    incarnation of Rage is over. Rage is very much alive.

    • Link?

      • CarvedInStone

        I actually wrote the same comment as this with a link. Disqus said it is pending, awaiting apprival from a moderator.

        But here is the link anyway:
        http://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/news/details/3750439.71031.rage-ndash-announce-the-end-of-current-line-up.html

        Rage is alive and well. Peavy has gone through a split like this 2 times already in 1987 and 1999. If there is any musician who can rebuild a band from the ground it is Peavy!

        • LOLWUT. Way to bungle that one, Nuclear Blast!

          • CarvedInStone

            I wouldn’t be too harsh with them.
            Apparently the split happened very suddenly. They didn’t even
            tell their drummer. If you look on Andre Hilgers Facebook page you
            will find a post in which he says he found out about it on Facebook
            himself.

            To make thinks worse from the looks of it the guy was
            vacationing in Key West. Can you imagine how much it must suck to be
            on vacation on another continent and find out that your band quit? It
            would ruin my day…

          • This is fucking hardcore, by the way. Firing the guy while he’s on vacation? That’s brutal.

          • Grymm

            In America, we call what Peavy did “a dick move”, unless of course there are some *serious* issues as to why it happened like that that we will likely never know.

            And I remember Fear Factory doing that to Gene Hoglan while he was touring with Dethklok, if I recall…

          • CarvedInStone

            I know it looks like I’m spaming but I just found a german online news article from the local newspaper “Westfälischer Anzeiger” in which they asked victor why they split up. According to him he lost the motivation to continue Rage as working with the band became too much of a routine and he felt there was a lack of feedback and motivation from the other band members. I can give you the link if you want to.

          • Yeah, sure, but ultimately since Peavy keeps Rage and the others go their own way, it equals “fired” in my book. Anything other is like saying “Oh, we mutually broke up.” :p

          • CarvedInStone

            So just to get you up to speed if you still care:

            As pointed out
            before: Rage will continue. Peavy has already assembled a new line-up
            that he’ll officially announce in June. He says that these two guys
            (they’ll be a trio again) are as technically proficient as Victor and
            Andre.

            He also says that the new Rage will focus more on the
            strenghts of the band and the trademarks that made them great in the
            past instead of Rage being a platform for members to satisfy their egos.
            They won’t go full-retro and they’ll acknowledge what Rage developed
            into during the last 15 years. They won’t sweep the Smolski-era under
            the rug. But the next album will be more straight & to the point
            with less experiments. But we won’t get any new material until 2016.

            At
            the end of the year they’re going to do a small tour to celebrate the
            20th birthday of “Black In Mind” which is something I’ll look forward
            too.

            The split happened because Victor and Peavy didn’t get along
            anymore. Peavy says he has been unhappy for a while and contemplated to
            split with Victor for quite some time and that when Victor proposed to
            play some LMO gigs without him was the final straw that made him go
            through with it. He says that Victor and him were never that close
            privately and that their professional relationship eroded more and more
            over the last few years as Victor isn’t a teamplayer but someone who
            works for himself and according to Peavy wasn’t able to include Peavy in
            his creative process. And since according to him Andre was much closer
            with Victor than him he was sacked as well.

            The Lingua Mortis
            Orchestra will continue as well but not as a seperate project. LMO will
            be reintergrated into Rage again and we won’t see any new material
            before 2017 at the earliest and they’ll probably do something to
            celebrate the 20th birthday of the “XIII” album.

            Refuge is also
            still a thing. They’re even planing to record an album with that line-up
            as Manni and Peavy kicked some song-ideas back and forth. But we’re
            probably also not going to hear anything until next year.

            Victor
            Smolski will continue with his own version of LMO called “Almanac” that
            surprisingly will not include Andre Hilgrs. But I guess that makes sense
            since the split was finalized without his involvement and if I was in
            his situation I’d be mad too. Besides Victor Almanac will feature some
            carry-over from LMO: vocalist Jeannette Marchewka and soprano Dana
            Harnge as well as the Orquestra Barcelona Filharmonia & Keyboarder
            Enric Garcia. New additions to Almanac are Brainstorm & ex-Symphorce
            vocalist Andy B. Frank, Pink Cream 69 & Voodoo Circle vocalist
            David Readman, Drummer Michael Kolar of German Hardcore/Thrash crossover
            band Horseman and Bassist Armin Alic of Melodic Metal/Hard Rock band
            Lion Twin. They’ll start to work on new material come summer.

            Poor
            Andre says on his Facebook page that he is looking for a new band. He
            was replased in Sinner and Silent Force seems to be relegated to
            side-project status as to not interfere with guitarist and mastermind
            Alex Beyrodt’s main gig in Primal Fear as well as his other project
            Voodoo Circle and his involvement in Sinner. Andre seems to have joined
            fellow German Band Thomsen and helped out his former bandmates in Axxis
            when their current drummer Dirk Brand couldn’t make it to the Full Metal
            Cruise. I hope that he finds a new and soon. He is very talanted, comes
            off as a sympathetic and cool guy and in my opinion it was a shame that
            he had to leave Rage as well as Victor.

            And that is it.

          • The only thing dude I want stuff to go well for is Andre. The other two are dumb.

          • CarvedInStone

            Firing Andre like that was a dick move. They probably knew he was on vacation so couldn’t they at least have waited until he returned? Would it have killed them to wait another week or two so they could at least tell him to his face that he has been sacked?

            Or better yet involve the guy in the discussion instead of just deciding for him that he is fired as well. Dude has been a Rage fan long before he joined them. I bet he would’ve stayed with them given the chance.

            But it sounds like Peavy has been thinking about this for a while and even discussed it with the two yet unnamed replacements. Maybe I’m reading too much into the few interviews he has given since the split but if it is true he is a major hypocrite for being still mad at his former band members for planing to form a pop band and jumping ship in 1999 without telling him.

            But Rage always has been and will be my favourite metal band. If it
            wasn’t for them I probably wouldn’t be into metal at all and I can’t
            wait to hear what they’ll produce with Peavy at the helm again. So I’ll
            continue to support them.

            I too hope that Andre finds a new home soon. I was kinda hoping that Accept might consider him as a replacement for their recently departed drummer but that vacancy has already been filled.

            As far as Victor goes I’ll five Almanac a chance. If it is anything like the LMO album I’ll probably love it.

          • I’m curious to hear how this goes. I think Smolski brought something special to the band, but I get the impression that he’s one of those guys who needs an editor and that Peavy fulfilled that role. Now I’m worried that Peavy’s gonna revert Rage to something I like a lot less and that Smolski’s gonna go off on massive, self-congratulatory musical tangents and that neither Almanac nor Rage will be any good.

          • CarvedInStone

            I don’t think Peavy ever edited Victor. If anything I suppose it was the other way around. When talking about the writing process of the 21 album Andre once said
            that when he contributed a song of his own (“Psycho Terror”) Victor
            “smolskilized” it before they recorded it. I assume he did that with Peavy’s contributions as well at least on the last few albums for which he did the bulk of the composing work. Judging by the credits they used to work as a team when Victor first joined Rage but from “Carved In Stone” onwards he called the shots.

            But I have to strike a blow for Victor here: I’ve been following Victors career in Rage as well as his other projects (Mind Odyssey and the Into The Light sampler for the Nuclear Blast anniversary mainly) and he usually does a good job editing himself. Of course there is a lot of fretboard wanking and he likes to experiment with different instruments but he never does so at the expense of the songs he writes like so many other guitar heroes tend to do. He isn’t as self-indulgent as someone like Yngwie Malmsteen.I’m not at all worried about that.

            And concerning the future of Rage I fully trust Peavy to make the right decisions. After all this isn’t the first time he had to rebuild the band from scratch not to mention the fact that he always had a good hand for choosing bandmates. And it isn’t like Rage was some unknown band that played in front of 10 people in dingy bars before Victor joined them.

          • At this point any “factuality” in my post has been so far blown out the window, that I’m not really so interested in “correcting the record,” though I absolutely should. Hook me up with the link and an OK translation of the most important bits and I’d be very grateful!

      • Guest

        Nothing to see here.

      • CarvedInStone

        Another update:
        Rage have announced their new line-up yesterday.
        Their new guitarist is a guy named Marcos Rodriguez. He was born, grew up and started his career in Venezuela with a Power Metal band named “Torre De Marfil” but he has since moved to Belgium where he has founded his own Power Metal band called “Soundchaser”. Judging by the name and according to Peavy the guy has been a die-hard Rage fan and even has a Rage tattoo. His band supported Rage for some dates of their anniversary tour and that is when they first met. And if you’re asking yourself if he can play Victor stuff there is a video of him on youtube playing “Forever Dead” off of their last album and his playing is spot-on.

        Their drummer is a guy named Vassilios “Lucky” Maniatopoulos. He is the singer for the self-proclaimed “bouzouki-rock” band “Tri State Corner” in which he also plays the bouzouki (which is a greek guitar-like string instrument). “Tri State Corner” is also the current band of the old Rage drummer Chris Efthimiadis which is probably how they met eachother. According to the “Tri State Corner” facebook Page Lucky is a life-long Rage fan and a former student and drum technician of Chris Efthimiadis. He is also their manager now as he cow-owns their management agency “Lucky Bob Music Management” that also manages “Refuge” (the reunion of the Peavy/Manni/Chris Line-Up) and “Tri State Corner”.

        Inbetween november and december they’ll do a small tour through Europe to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the “Black In Mind” album.

        They’ve also recorded a new studio album which is about to be finalized and will be released in spring of 2016.

        Why they make us wait until 2016 if it is already “about to be finalized” and not just release it in the fall or winter? Peavy only knows. They still can do their “BiM” anniversary tour if they have a new album out. And why they made us wait 4 months for the line-up reveal when he already finalized the new line-up before the split was even announced to the public in february I can’t tell you either. But I trust Peavy to know what he is doing and to get the right people in the band.

        On their facebook page you’ll also find an introduction video which contains footage of the band performing the title-track of “BiM” in a rehearsal room.

  • El_Cuervo

    You could say they Rage quit.

  • Wilhelm

    Back in my teens when I listened to a lot of Power Metal, Rage was always a band I enjoyed – Their “XIII” album was pretty great as well as some stuff from around that era of the band. Although I tried listening to some newer stuff a while back and wasn’t too moved, the band definitely achieved consistent,unique and classy power metal, more so than you’re average Helloween clone. RIP, I gotta go dig out some old Rage.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    “AMG speaks on why this is not a news site.”

  • And in other news, Winger still sucks.

    • sickbroski

      Your daddy says you’re too young, but you’re old enough for me.

  • CarvedInStone

    To quote a character from a popular cartoon created by Matt Groening:
    “Good news everyone!”

    According to user of the rage fan forum Peavy
    posted this on his own Facebook account (I refuse to create a Facebook account and his account seems to be set to private so I can’t verify it).

    “Hi Rageheads,
    due to misleading rumors in the past few days, referring to the future of RAGE and LMO, I would like to give some more clarity.
    My split from Victor and André does NOT implicate the end of RAGE! On the contrary, soon we will set sails again with a new Line-Up. More news to follow.
    REFUGE is a blessing for me and my two friends and bandmates, and will continue to exist. We are looking forward to the festival summer of 2015 (and beyond)
    Both bands, RAGE and REFUGE are going to be present alongside and will even complement each other. With REFUGE we are serving all the oldschool metalheads out there, whilst RAGE is covering the whole musical spectrum that I have built up in the past 30 years.
    LINGUA MORTIS (LMO) I created in the early 90’s and we celebrated our
    first release in 1996. Equals to RAGE, LMO is an important part
    of me and I will put in the same amount of passion and creative energy as I have done in the past. I promise that I will go ahead with RAGE in a high musical quality. With REFUGE we will travel back to the early days and with LINGUA MORTIS ORCHESTRA I will continue the Metal meets Classic part of me.
    I can’t wait for what will happen in the near future, I feel freed and I am full of creative energy. In that respect I want to say THANK YOU for your
    trust and support.
    See you soon.
    Yours Peavy”

    So
    Rage is alive and will continue with a new line-up, Refuge (the
    reunion of the Peavy/Schmidt/Efthimiadis Line-Up from 1987 to 1994)
    will continue and he will even continue his version of Lingua Mortis
    (the metal/classic crossover project) while Victor will continue his
    version of LMO under a new name. Everyone is happy. Except poor
    Andre…

    • Who’s girlfriend did Andre slept with, do you think?

      • CarvedInStone

        Seeing how Peavy gets everything, Victor gets his version of LMO while Andre gets nothing at all I suppose he banged everyone’s girlfriend and fled the country when Victor put a hit on him with his contacts to the Russian mob.

        All joking aside, I guess it was just a lapse in communication. I’m sure they didn’t want to screw the guy over and he still has his spot in Victor’s LMO successor waiting for him. He is also a part of Sinner as well as Silent Force and I doubt a drummer of his caliber will have problems getting a gig.

        They still could’ve waited with the announcement of the split until he returned from his vacation though.