|The history of the band began to take shape in 1984, when "Peavy Wagner" formed Avenger, RAGE's predecessor so to speak, in his rehearsal room in Herne. One year on Avenger's debut album "Prayers Of Steel" came out, followed by their "Depraved To Black" EP. In summer 1986 Peavy recorded "Reign Of Fear", featuring a new line-up and the new band name RAGE. One year later the album "Execution Guaranteed" was released. Guitarist "Guiness" was replaced by ex-Warlock six stringer Rudy Graf. But also this line-up didn't last very long. When drummer Jorg Michael and Jochen Schroeder left the band, Peavy remained focused and decided that there had to be a general facelift to the band's image.
Together with Manni Schmidt (Guitar) and Chris Efthimiadis (Drums), the new face of Rage, they recorded the "Perfect Man" in 88. The band sound like they have been recording for years. Popular melodies like "Don't Fear The Winter" gave the band a taste of blood and although the trends change around them the band maintains its push towards the hard but charming tag. 89's "Secrets In A Weird World" continues the work rate already firmly established and the band continues to deliver with "Invisible Horizons" and a veritable collection of classic hits and fans who picked up on "Reflection Of A Shadow" and "Trapped". RAGE toured with Running Wild, U.D.O., Motorhead and Saxon.
With their 92 release "Trapped" the band at last achieved international acclaim. "Trapped" was not only voted album of the month by the German edition of Metal Hammer, but was also greeted by enthusiastic reviews from Japan, so RAGE went on tour in the land of the rising sun in the same year. This triumphal procession was repeated in 1993 with "Missing Link".
Then long-time guitarist Manni Schmidt left the group and was replaced by Spiros Efthimiadis. At the same time the former Pyracanda guitarist Sven Fischer joined the band. The impact of these personnel changes on their musical output was reflected by their 1995 release "Black in Mind", and even more so by the sensational "Lingua Mortis" as well as its successor "End Of All Days". But "Lingua Mortis" did not only leave numerous ardent fans in its wake, the concept also worked extremely well on stage. The live premiere of this exceptional work of art took place in summer 1996 in Kufstein, Austria, and was followed by a one-off performance in Dortmund in January 1997. The reactions of the fans, who had arrived from all over Europe, were unanimously enthusiastic, and they vociferously demanded more of the same.
And indeed: More is what they are getting! "XIII" is scheduled to be released on 23rd March 1998 and is not only the temporary highlight of RAGE's career but also stands for a kind of new beginning. Few albums in the history of this genre, particularly in the "classic meets metal" category, have caused similar enthusiastic ovations. "XIII" was placed at number 21 in the Media Control Charts.
To repeat the great international success of their last album XIII, possibly even to surpass it, was a great challenge Peavy Wagner faced, even the hitherto extremely successful line-up had run its course by spring 1999, musically as well as on a personal level. The two guitarists Sven Fischer and Spiros Efthimiades as well as drummer Chris Efthimiades left Rage during the summer, having just completed the GHOST studio production.
After the personnel turmoil, Peavy Wagner has certainly recruited perfect replacements with "Victor Smolski", an exceptional talent and multi-intrumentalist and "Mike Terrana", who looks back on an extremely eventful career. Rage have decided to return to their classic constellation as a trio again (as had been in the years 1987 - 1994). The new line-up already had its baptism of fire at the Wacken Open Air at the beginning of August, followed by a triumphant tour across Europe and a concert trip to Smolski's native country Russia in 2000, which was not less successful. GHOSTS was its logical (and indeed superior) continuation of XIII, sounding even a tick more rocky. Rage have mastered this year's great challenges brilliantly.
As if there had never been another Rage constellation: virtually overnight, with just one album, head Peavy Wagner and his two new band members Victor Smolski (guitar, keyboards) and Mike Terrana (drums) scare away the shadows of the recent past and present Welcome To The Other Side in February 2001, an opus which could not be more intense, more compact, more complex and more convincing. We don't certainly talk too big if we say: never before have Rage been as powerful as today!
The true qualities of the new constellation came to fruition when Rage started to compose material for the new album. "The fact that about half of the new songs have been composed by Victor is an indication of the excellent human and artistic harmony between us". Welcome To The Other Side consists of seventeen new songs (and intros), each one more breathtaking than the next and if you are a Rage fan, you can only be enthusiastic about the new album.