The name REFUGE may not say much to you, but I’m sure name the RAGE does. And why am I saying this? Well, because REFUGE is a band that holds RAGE’s “classic” line-up under the hood, and to be more specific, the line-up that recorded all albums between 1988’s “Perfect Man” and 1993’s “The Missing Link”. That line-up consisted of Peavy Wagner, Manni Schmidt and Christos Efthimiadis.
Now, 25 years later, they are together once again to release a new album under a new moniker. You have your RAGE line-up in place, but what about the music?
What you’re going to listen to in the nine original songs (plus to covers) included in “Solitary Men” is your typical RAGE sound. Maybe not the sound of their first era since speed and thrash metal elements are almost absent, but definitely the sound of the 90’s era and more specifically, the sound of the albums that made them popular (“The Missing Link”, “Black In Mind” and “End Of All Days”). Strong melodies, catchy riffs, easy to remember refrains and the trademark voice of “Peavy” are there and are the main elements of “Solitary Men”.
If you tuned in to listen to the new “Alive But Dead” or “Deep In The Blackest Hole” album, you’re going to be disappointed. On the one hand you’ll be able to find some good songs, but on the other hand, not the kind of the songs songs that are going to be remembered. You can see it is a nostalgic attempt to remind their fans – and probably themselves too – of the band’s golden era.
If you are into melodic European heavy/power I’d say to give it a try and it’s probably going to pay-off for its money.