Wagner (vocals, bass), Victor Smolski (guitars, keyboards) and Mike Terrana (drums) of Rage return with their latest release, “Unity”, and as usual defy pigeonholing within the metal genre. With Rage, you are never sure what to expect from song to song. Wagner’s voice sounds like a cross between Savatage vocalists Jon Oliva and Zak Stevens and at times Blaze Bayley. Lead track “All I Want” is hardly metal by the numbers. The song has off key diverse moments mixed with pure melodic metal choruses. “Insanity” has a biting edge aggressive to it that compliments the fluid guitars of Smolski.
The subtle intro of “Set The World On Fire” soon segues into a heavier piece with verses that remind me somewhat of “Kill The Nights” by Hammerhead. “Dies Irae” opens with a rather operatic feel that is evident in the chorus as well. “Living In My Dream” may be the bands most melodic composition that I can recall with an amazing chorus. “You Want It, You’ll Get It” has the swagger of Germany’s Running Wild. Closing instrumental track “Unity” wonders into progressive metal territory with many shifts in tempo and feel.
”Unity” takes time to grow on you, which can cause delays when you are trying to write a review of a disc J Rich in diversity like Voivod, Rage put enough effort into their compositions to avoid the pratfall of recording the metal of the moment sound.