's 2008 LP "Carved
" is a flag bearer to the sound and fury of classic power metal. The strength of this album is in the band's execution and resolve in delivering a typically narrow style of music, for not only are these songs simple, stock, and straightforward, they are also unoriginal and short on creativity. The singular exception is the last track, "Lord
Of The Flies". The orchestral and choir arrangement in both the introduction and last movement is very cool and complimentary to the heavier parts of the song. Throughout the rest of the album, however, the most creative output is found during the various solos by guitarist Victor Smolski
. Every one of them is impressive and masterful. One of the best songs, "Open My Grave" starts out with a sitar that no doubt is placed to match the track's Egyptian theme. Another very good song, "Gentle Murders" sports a fast fretting bass introduction; one of the very few times that the bass is highlighted. The best song may be "Without you"; a vaguely lyrical piece with the feel of a ballad due to its melodic chorus, but with a much dirtier guitar riff behind the verses. The rest of the album's songs are delivered straight from the power metal processing plant: these ingredients include fast riffing, mid-range power vocals, and chorus hooks. One strange aspect of the album comes from the lyrics, especially the first four tracks. There is a somber and dark social consciousness presented in all of the themes. Coupled with the very light and happy sounds of their music, the result feels nonsensical. Had this been a conscious choice of Rage
to pair up light music to dark themes by way of satire, "Carved
" may have turned out to be a more relevant accomplishment. As it stands now, it is not. For those who could care less about direction and more about feeling nostalgic over hard rock and metal riffs once upon a decade dominant, Rage
" will definitely satiate your appetite.