Rage - Lingua Mortis review

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Band: Rage
Album: Lingua Mortis
Release date: 1996

01. In A Nameless Time
    1 - The Mysterium
    2 - The Expedition
    3 - Finding Out
02. Alive But Dead
03. Medley
    1 - Don't Fear The Winter
    2 - Black In Mind
    3 - Firestorm
    4 - Sent By The Devil
    5 - Lost In The Ice
04. All This Time
05. Alive But Dead [instrumental version]

No new concept is awaiting us with the 'Lingua Mortis' album, but interesting every time. Yet the same has been done by big ones in the business before and after, such as Deep Purple, Metallica and The Scorpions, to name a few. Still you might want to know what these have in common? It is the fact that they rerecorded their old songs adding a symphonic orchestraand Rage did the same in 1996 and it should not remain their last time to do so.

'In A Nameless Time' opens this symphonic thrash and heavy metal concerto, close to eleven and a half minutes. When playing together you wonder why the orchestra, which consists by the way of musicians from the Symphonic Orchestra Prague , plays somehow louder than the metal guitars? Yet throughout the whole album Rage themselves sound flat while the orchestra sounds huge and bombastic. 'Alive But Dead' is a good example of this and though the record in a whole was produced in studios (Gelsenkirchen and Prague) the sound has a reverb that makes you think of a church or the halls in a castle, but not a studio sound. This gives the album a strange atmosphere, which still remains interesting to hear, but hard to really like, for the sound has some kind of live appeal that just is false… hard to say what you should think of it, you would surely have to listen yourself. Number three is a medley composed of various Rage songs, melted into one very long symphonic thrash opera.
Very convincing it gets coming to 3B) 'Black In Mind' you really get the impression that thrash and symphonic compositions do very well together. Out of all five the third one I like best, for it is the darkest and richest in variations. 'All This Time' has it's powerful moments, but the beginning is rather lame as well as some longer passages. Additionally it has some romantic bit of a meditarranean touch, but that is just my interpretation.
The album ends with an orchestra instrumental version of 'Alive But Dead', the pure symphonic composition without the metal intrumentation. I can only guess, but the title lingua mortis (=dead language, as far as my latin does not fail here) may result of this symphonic additional composition which had remained unused for quite some time in the mainstream of metal genres. At least I can't think of such synergy in the time between Deep Purple and Rage, but says nothing since it's only me who hasn't heard about it.

In general a dark compositum of meldies and metal, mostly rather slow but all quite beautiful. None of the hard stuff if you think now of Metallica's S&M! Rather slow held, concentrating really on the melodies of the orchestra. Even in the fast parts (i.e. 3D) 'Sent By The Devil') the melodies dominate. Overall interesting, but you will have to cope at times with the strange sound. Maybe I will get into this more and more, because some albums are known for the fact to take their time in having an impact on the listener, so I will wait. For now the whole album will receive a 6.5 for the given reasons.

Written by Pierre Tombale | 13.02.2004



Comments: 2   Visited by: 34 users
09.07.2006 - 23:19
It's cool, a little variation, though I agree with the rating you gave it.
It's not one of the best Rage if we should call it album...
15.07.2006 - 18:53
This was the 'album' that got me into Rage, and I still really like it. I would rate the album higher, but I do agree with the review that the sound is rather flat and takes some getting used to.

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