I don’t know how metalheads that are born in the 90’s or in the more recent decades see Rage or Peavy Wagner. I can’t play this game of guessing probably because it seems to me that most of them will have a totally wrong idea about them. And that’s disappointing. Because after 35 years on the road, writing a bunch of excellent among the 25 studio albums recordings (and the 10 EP’s) and more than 250 songs, featuring some brilliant compositions in terms of originality and songwriting, it’s sad to notice that younger generations have an epidermal connection with one of the tireless laborers of Heavy Metal. His ability to move between sub genres and write strong and heavy songs yet catchy as hell makes him a remarkable persona of our music.
Back to 1992 things were totally shit in extreme music industry if your name wasn’t Metallica, Guns N’ Roses or you had a depression burning your chest under the checkered oversized shirt you were wearing day and night. Still totally extreme sub genres we’re getting some attention and youth of Europe and America were thrilled with death and black metal as glam metal was already dead not from cheap drugs or fake mascara, but from poor albums and apathy from the masses. Rage were entering the new decade after 8 studio albums of furious speed/heavy power the German way that flirted with Thrash, with a really nice album “Reflections of a Shadow” (1990), that unfortunately got negative reviews and their audience was a bit confused from their mainstream turn. To be honest the album is great (but music Press had a different opinion) and even though their will to write memorable songs and catchy tunes was too obvious, still the final result was solid without betraying the band’s identity.
Musically speaking in “Trapped!” there’s a mixture of Teutonic speed riffage from their early days and melodic choruses that embrace some (mostly) power metal elements and ambitious structures, some epic touches and a few experimental attempts. Lyrics are smart, easy to follow in the narrating and memorable to sing along. Peavy was never considered as the charismatic vocalist. But he has a distinctive hint and an idiosyncratic way to spit the lyrics or camouflaging his weak points and he sings with so much confidence that makes his voice more than interesting, if not almost charming!
The album starts with oriental sounds before the heavy guitars blow our minds in opener “Shame On You”. The whole disc is full of dynamic songs that follow a successful formula of melodic guitars from Manni Schmidt and pummeling double bass drumming from Chris Efthimiadis. The choruses just stick in your mind forever and while you air guitaring you will catch yourself trying to follow all the lyrics. “Enough is Enough”, “The Body Talks”, “Solitary Man”, “Questions”, “Power and Greed”, “Medicine”, “Beyond the Wall of Sleep” and “Take Me To The Water” were instant classics that made an impact from the very first time we have heard them back in 1992. An album that has so many (born to be) singles can only be a huge album.
The only part I would avoid is the meaningless cover on Accept’s “Fast As a Shark”. The song was already a classic and not so old, only 8 years old, while people back in 1992 were expecting in a few months the new album from Accept (after their first reunion) and they were waiting for new material, not warm again from the 80’s. After all it wasn’t actually a cover but a re-perform of the song. Anyway Rage thought it would fit in the album that already had 12 original songs, but once again I wonder what’s the meaning of adding a cover in an already over a 60 plus minutes long record…
“Trapped!” is the sixth studio album by Rage. It was recorded in Nahrávací Studio, Prague, Czech Republic and Powerplay Studio, Berlin, Germany between February and March 1992. It was out via Noise Records in the first day of April in the same year, 1992. The album was remastered by Noise/Sanctuary in 2002 with five bonus tracks, two of them are from the EP “Beyond the Wall”.
Get it now or put it back to spin to remember how balanced and glorious album it is, a true jewel on Rage’s catalogue featuring besides the great hymns, also a brilliant artwork cover from Andreas Marshall, probably one of the best covers in speed/heavy/power sub-genre.