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 is a part of the German heavy metal scene that emerged in the mid-1980s. 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 had the same name. Originally the new name was meant to be Furious Rage but it was eventually shortened to "Rage".
Thirteen musicians has been part of Rage over the years, been the most successful line up the one knows nowadays as the Refuge Years, with Manni Schmidt and Chris Efthimiadis. The second notable line-up was the one formed by Mike Terrana and Victor Smolski. The current line up remains unknown.
Through the years, Rage established themselves as a notable successful band and as pioneers of the Power Metal scene, including in their music elements of Progressive Metal and Classical Music. in 1996 Rage was the really first Metal Band to write and record an album with a full symphonic orchestra Lingua Mortis followed by the album XIII', considered one of the greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.
Rage has 22 Releases in 30 years (in total more than 50 releases counting DVDs, EPs, Japan Editions, VHS (in the early years), a remarkable international successful with more than five million records sold and been in more than 40 chart entries.
From Avenger to Rage:
Rage story begins way back in 1984, in Herne, Germany when Peavy Wagner "Bass and Vocals" alone with Jörg Michael (drums) and the guitarist Jochen Schröder Avenger first got together. Following the arrival of their debut album, Prayers of Steel ,released by Wishbone Records in May 1985, followed by an EP called Depraved to Black in August same year. Avenger changed their name and became Rage and signed with the record label Noise releasing they first official LP Reign of Fear in May 12th 1986.
In May 11th 1987 they release the album Execution Guaranteed under the label Noise releasing their first official video clip "Down By Law"
The Refuge Years (1988-1993):
Rage's albums came out in regular, in 1988 the album Perfect Man was released, having as a single the song Don't Fear the Winter which become a massive hit in the scene. The band began touring with Running Wild, U.D.O., Motörhead and Saxon in 1989 Rage released the album Secrets in a Weird World hitting the charts with the single Invisible Horizons, also a highlight on the career of the band.
In the early 1990s. Their 1992 album Trapped! marked their international breakthrough, hitting the charts worldwide. This brings to the band to a major tour in Japan. Their success was repeated again in 1993 with the release of The Missing Link.
In the same year, the guitarist Manni Schmidt left the band and Peavy Wagner form a new line up with Sven Fischer and Chris Efthimiadis's brother Spiros Efthimiadis.
Two Guitars Years (1994-1999):
After change in their lineup, in 1994 Rage went on to record their tenth years anniversary album called 10 Years in Rage which was the last album released by Noise Record, and was not well promoted by the media. Rage signed with Gun Records the same year and release another highlight album in their career Black in Mind, having another notable world tour and getting in the charts in Japan and Europe.
The Album Lingua Mortis, was 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. All the members formed the Pop band Sub7ven, forcing Peavy to reform Rage once again.
The Smolski Years (1999-2015):
Peavy 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 performance 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.
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.
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.
Current Line-Up (2015-Present):
On an official statement on the Rage website and social networks, the band declared that the new line up will be announced on June 18th 2015.
Lingua Mortis Orchestra (LMO):
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 30th anniversary Album - The Soundchaser Archives.
After the departure of Victor he started with the female singers and the classical musicians a new symphonic metal band called Almanac, while the name Lingua Mortis Orchestra was kept on being 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),
Victor Smolski - guitar (1999-2015),
Mike Terrana - drums (1999-2006),
André Hilgers - drums (2007-2015)
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