Rage is a German heavy metal band, formed in 1984 founded by Peter "Peavy" Wagner. They were part of the German heavy/speed/power metal scene to emerge in the early to mid-1980s, along with bands such as Helloween, Running Wild, Blind Guardian and Grave Digger.
Rage formed in 1984 under the name, Avenger. After releasing their debut album Prayers of Steel and their Depraved to Black EP in 1985, the band changed their name to Rage because there was another band in England that also carried the moniker. Originally the new name was to be Furious Rage but it was eventually shortened to Rage. The first album released under the new name was Reign of Fear in 1986.
Rage's albums came out in regular, continuous intervals, and the band began touring with Running Wild, U.D.O., Motörhead and Saxon in the early 1990s. Their 1992 album Trapped! marked their international breakthrough, a short highlight being Rage's tour in Japan. Their success was repeated again in 1993 with the release of The Missing Link.
After change in their lineup, Rage went on to record Lingua Mortis, the first classical album by a German metal act, in 1996. Their material was performed live for the first time in late summer 1996 in Kufstein, Austria. Subsequently, Rage, and the orchestra used, embarked on a celebrated Christmas tour and played several European festivals. In March 1998 Rage released Their thirteenth album XIII including the Lingua Mortis Orchestra having a considerable success on the charts. XIII was ranked number 272 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.
After the album XIII, in 1999 Rage continued working with the Lingua Mortis Orchestra for their next album Ghosts. Shortly before the release of the albm the band went through a major line-up change with all members but Peavy Wagner quitting the band. He then recruited new members Victor Smolski on guitar and Mike Terrana on drums. The trio performed first at Wacken Open Air in August 1999, and released their Album Welcome to the Other Side in 2001. The following two years have brought the albums Unity and Soundchaser were met with positive response from critics. Rage toured with Primal Fear in 2002 and Helloween in 2003. The band's 20th anniversary in 2004 was celebrated by the From The Cradle To The Stage tour, where the show in Bochum were recorded and released under the same name as CD and DVD in 2005.
In 2006, Rage again featured a symphonic orchestra, this time from Minsk, Belarus, under the "Lingua Mortis Orchestra" moniker to play on their next album Speak of the Dead, the last album with Mike Terrana on drums. On 1 January 2007, it was announced that their new drummer would be André Hilgers, formerly the drummer of Axxis. He was already featured on the 20th anniversary album Into The Light of Nuclear Blast, which was composed, produced and mainly played by Victor, and its lyrics were written by Peavy.
In 2007, the band toured Europe with the orchestra, and their performence at Wacken Open Air in August in front of 80,000 fans was recorded for a DVD to be included as bonus to their next album. Carved in Stone was released on 22 February 2008. In 2009 the band played at Bundesvision Song Contest 2009 (BUVISOCO) on 13 February 2009, which was hosted by Stefan Raab (TV Total). It has brought them more fame through their participation in the show, as well as becoming third. Their participating song Gib Dich Nie Auf (Never Give Up) was released on an eponymous EP. That year was also the occasion for a 25th anniversary tour, and their Wacken performance - together with guest musicians like Hansi Kürsch - was released on a bonus DVD of the 2011 album Strings to a Web.
Rage entered the studio in October 2011 to begin recording their 21st album, appropriately named 21, for an early 2012 release. Two years later, due to the 30th anniversary, "The Soundchaser Archives, 30th anniversary", was released, featuring rare and demo songs from the last 30 years of Rage history. An anniversary tour was held in the entire year, which has ended up in January 2015 with a show in Sofia.
Meanwhile Peavy has renewed contact to his ex-bandmembers Manni Schmidt and Christos Efthimiadis, and had a secret concert in Peavy's hometown Herne under the pseudonym Tres Hombres. After the success they have decided to play again together as Refuge, and confirmed several festival participations for 2015.
At the 4th February 2015 the band has announced, that Peavy and Victor quit co-operating in the future, and also part from André Hilgers.
Lingua Mortis Orchestra:
The Lingua Mortis Orchestra is the name associated with the orchestras who played with Rage since 1996 on the albums or on stage. In 2011, it was formed as a side project by the Rage musicians Peavy Wagner (vocals and bass), Victor Smolski (guitar and keyboard) and André Hilgers (drums) as a continuation of 1996's Lingua Mortis album, back then a true piece of pioneering work. They recorded in 2013 the debut album alongside with Rage LMO, with two orchestras from Spain and Belarus. The album features Metalium's ex-vocalist Henning Basse, Jeannette Marchewka and Dana Harnge as additional vocalists.
The first symphonic shows under the band's name have taken place at the 70000 Tons of Metal festival, followed by several summer festivals, among them Wacken and - still before the album's release - Masters Of Rock. The last one was also recorded, and included as a bonus DVD of The Soundchaser Archives.
After the departure of Victor the current line-up - without Peavy - was taken over by him, in searching for a new project name, while Lingua Mortis Orchestra was reserved for Peavy's future classical activities.
Peter "Peavy" Wagner - vocals, bass (1984-present),
Alf Meyerratken - guitar (1985),
Thomas Grüning - guitar (1985-1986),
Jochen Schröder - guitar (1985-1987),
Jörg Michael - drums (1985-1987),
Rudi Graf - guitar (1987),
Manni Schmidt - guitar (1988-1994),
Chris Efthimiadis - drums (1988-1999),
Ulli Cohler - keyboards (1990),
Spiros Efthimiadis - guitar (1994-1999),
Sven Fischer - guitar (1994-1999),
Christian Wolff - keyboards (1996-1999),
Mike Terrana - drums (1999-2006),
Victor Smolski - guitar (1999-2015),
André Hilgers - drums (2007-2015)
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license