|Rage - XIII
02. From The Cradle To The Grave
03. Days Of December
04. Sign Of Heaven
06. Turn The Page
08. Over And Over
09. In Vain (I Won't Go Down)
10. Immortal Sin
11. Paint It Black [Rolling Stones cover]
12. Just Alone
13. Another Wasted Day [bonus]
14. Tom Sawyer [bonus]
Rage's 1998 album XIII is not only their thirteenth album and features 13 songs, it also contains once more the aid of the Lingua Mortis Orchestra. That doesn't help to make the album really exciting, but at times interesting. Metallica's influence is evident, but in general Rage have their own sound and proven over the years to be able to produce many many albums their own way. On XIII (thirteen) the orchestration is already an integral part of the composition and not added later on as on the 'Lingua Mortis' album. The makes the sound clearer and does not let any instrument drown in the flood of others.
The technical and musical solid performance on XIII tends to have it's best shots fired at the very beginning. That is to say 'Overture', the intro to 'From The Cradle To The Grave' (which are together basically one long song) are the best delivered songs on this album. I won't say the others are bad songs, but 'Turn The Page' is just an average song and the others are slightly over average. I would have expected something more special from a band that exists for such a long time. In fact I find Peavy Wagner's voice a little too one sided. Most songs sound exactly the same, only music and title seem to change and that in a broad variety since this band is obviously busy each and every year (except for the year 2000). I don't know too much to say about XIII, but I pick a few songs out: Such as 'Days of December', listening to the bridge you might think of a ballad, but the rest of the song is way too hard, but at the same time very desperate. 'Turn The Page' obviously is meant to cheer you up when you are down, but somehow that does not succeed at all, because it basically sounds like most of the other songs. 'Heartblood' seems to be made for the exact opposite, but it has it's lenghts and thus because boring quite quickly. 'Paint It, Black' is a cover version, too simple by whom isn't it (I'll tell you anyway, because there might be some youngster's out there reading this, who still don't know: The Rolling Stones), only that this version is so mediocre, it has a good bridge, but some senseless added instrumental parts, that maybe should sound dramatic, but really don't succeed.
I know it's a hard, but simple truth, but this album is definitely not more that a small bit over average. It has interesting instrumentation and all songs are performed solidly in intruments and vocals, no doubt about it, but the special kick is missing. Something that gives me the feeling I might want to listen again, but unfortunately I don't want to. And that's all there is: a 6.0.