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Also released as 2 CD digibook including 6 re-recorded versions of songs from the debut album Prayers Of Steel, even though the band was called Avenger at the time.
Just over a year after the release of The Devil Strikes Again, the Germany based trio Rage puts out another record. In general, bands don't come out with new material so quickly in this day and age, so it was with some scepticism and hesitation that I took on this record the first time and during that initial spin my biased thoughts seemed to come into realization, because it was like I was listening to an album that was missing melody and tangible energy in a sense.
Today, quite a few spins later, I'm just asking myself: What the fuck was wrong with your ears that day? Metal music and first impression so often don't go hand in hand and it's something that I probably should have learned by now. Granted, maybe a couple of songs aren't among the band's best work ever and one or two of them would need some real hard reworking before hitting the higher grounds, but basically a lot of this record's content bears resemblance of older Rage stuff and this without being just an embarrassing attempt to feed off the good old days or a result of lacking inspiration.
Bands that try to go back to older parts of their discography and who are searching for the identity that once made them known or even famous often fail big-time when doing so and instead they come out constrained and contrived , simply because times and fashion are changing and the bands don't possess the same youthful hunger anymore and neither do they have the same eagerness to succeed as they once did. With this new era of Rage I would say it's quite the opposite though, as the band seems red-hot and absolutely ready to deliver the goods again.
The music on Seasons Of The Black is kind of similar to the last album and works as an extension or in a way a mix of the stuff made in the period from Perfect Man  to Black In Mind . I won't exaggerate this opinion too much, because it's not like this one is some sort of a duplicate of a distant age, but more that the basics are back where they once were and that the band has been able to capture the feeling, the color and the expression from about 25 years ago.
Even if only Peavy Wagner is still in the band since the early days, he definitely is the glue that keeps the music together and now that his own personal vision is the guideline for the band again, he shows his importance in order to bring out valid, straight heavy metal without unnecessary complexity. This goes without minimizing the contributions of the new boys in the band, who I believe are exactly the kind of people that the main man needs to keep this thing going for a long time still.