Rage (German band)

Last updated

Rage Metal Frenzy 2017 17.jpg
Rage performing in 2017
Background information
Also known asAvenger
Origin Herne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Genres Heavy metal, speed metal, power metal, progressive metal, symphonic metal
Years active1984–present
Labels Noise, Nuclear Blast, SPV, GUN
Members Peavy Wagner
Stefan Weber
Jean Bormann
Vassilios Maniatopoulos
Website rage-official.com

Rage is a German heavy metal band formed in 1984 by Peter "Peavy" Wagner. They were part of the German heavy/speed/power metal scene which emerged in the early to mid-1980s, and have been referred to as one of the country's so-called "big four" of power metal, along with Grave Digger, Helloween and Running Wild. [1]


Rage was 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 shared the same name. Originally the new name was meant to be Furious Rage but it was eventually shortened to Rage.

13 musicians have been part of Rage over the years, with the most successful line-up being from the period now known as the Refuge years; this line-up featured Manni Schmidt and Chris Efthimiadis. The second notable line-up was the one formed with Mike Terrana and Victor Smolski.

Through the years, Rage established themselves as a notably 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 one of the first metal bands to write and record an album with a full symphonic orchestra: Lingua Mortis .

Rage has released 26 albums (counting the "Avenger" and "LMO" releases) over the past 30 years (in total more than 50 releases counting DVDs, EPs, Japan editions, and VHS). A remarkable international success with more than five million records sold, Rage has had more than 40 music chart entries.


From Avenger to Rage (1984–1986)

Rage began in 1984 in Herne when Peavy Wagner (bass and vocals), along with drummer Jörg Michael and guitarist Jochen Schroeder, first got together under the name "Avenger". [2] Following the arrival of their debut album recorded in 1984, Prayers of Steel released by Wishbone Records, followed by an EP Depraved to Black in August 1985, Avenger changed their name and became Rage, [2] and got a record deal at Noise, releasing their first official LP, Reign of Fear , on 12 May 1986. [3]

Noise years (1986–1994)

On 11 May 1987 they released the album Execution Guaranteed under the label Noise. In the same year they released their first official video clip "Down by Law", introducing the new line-up with Manni Schmidt and Chris Efthimiadis.

With this new line-up in 1988 the album Perfect Man was released, having as a single the song "Don't Fear the Winter", which became a 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 in the career of the band.

The early 1990s, their 1992 album Trapped! marked their international breakthrough, hitting the charts worldwide. As a result, the band performed their first major tour in Japan. Their success was repeated in 1993 with the release of The Missing Link . This Album turned out to become one of the most successful and influential albums of this era.

In early 1994, the guitarist Manni Schmidt left the band and Peavy Wagner formed a new line-up with Sven Fischer and Chris Efthimiadis's brother Spiros.

Two guitars years (1994–1999)

After the change in their lineup, in 1994 Rage went on to record their ten-year anniversary album called 10 Years in Rage , which was the last album released by Noise Records, which was not well promoted by the media. Rage signed with Gun Records the same year and released the breakthrough album Black in Mind , followed by a world tour and several chart entries worldwide. Especially in Japan and Europe, this album brought the band to a different, much higher level and is still seen as a classic of the genre. Several bands had simultaneously left Gun Records that year. [4]

The album Lingua Mortis , recorded in 1996, was the first album on which a metal act collaborated with a classical symphonic orchestra. Their material was performed live for the first time in late summer 1996 in Kufstein, Austria. Subsequently, Rage and the orchestra embarked on a Christmas tour and played several European festivals.

Still in 1996, they launched one of the most successful albums of their career, End of All Days, With "Higher than the Sky" becoming a staple of their live shows.

In March 1998 Rage released their thirteenth album XIII , which included the Lingua Mortis Orchestra and had considerable success in the charts. XIII was ranked number 272 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time. [5]

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 album, the band went through a major line-up change. Peavy Wagner reformed Rage once again and the former members formed the pop band Sub7even.

The millennium years (1999–2015)

Peavy recruited the 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. In the following two years, the albums Unity and Soundchaser were released 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 was recorded and released under the same name on CD and DVD in 2005.

Rage at Wacken Open Air 2009 Rage at Wacken 2009 (4).jpg
Rage at Wacken Open Air 2009

In 2006, Rage again featured a symphonic orchestra, this time from Minsk, Belarus, named "Lingua Mortis Orchestra", that performed on their following album Speak of the Dead . It was the last album with Mike Terrana on drums. On 1 January 2007 it was announced that the 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 throughout 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 a bonus to their next album. Carved in Stone was released on 22 February 2008. In 2009, the band played at the Bundesvision Song Contest 2009 on 13 February, which was hosted by Stefan Raab ( TV total ), [6] where they reached third place. Their participating song Gib dich nie auf (Never Give Up) was released on an 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 the recordings of their 21st album, appropriately named 21 , for an early 2012 release. [7] Two years later, for the band's 30th anniversary, The Soundchaser Archives, [8] was released, featuring rare and demo songs from the last 30 years of the band. An anniversary tour was performed throughout the entire year and ended in January 2015 with their last show in Sofia.

On 4 February 2015, Peavy Wagner announced that there would not be any further cooperation with Victor Smolski and André Hilgers.

Meanwhile, Peavy renewed contact with his ex-band members Manni Schmidt and Christos Efthimiadis, and played a secret concert in Peavy's hometown Herne under the pseudonym Tres Hombres. After this success they have decided to play again together as Refuge, and confirmed several festival dates for 2015.

Present years (2015–present)

The new line-up was announced on 18 June 2015, featuring guitarist Marcos Rodriguez (from the band Soundchaser) and drummer Vassilios "Lucky" Maniatopoulos (vocalist and percussionist of the band Tri State Corner and also a former drum technician and apprentice of Chris Efthimiadis). After the EP My Way in January 2016, their album, The Devil Strikes Again , was released on 10 June 2016. [9] A tour was scheduled for the end of the year, followed on 28 July 2017 by another album, Seasons of the Black . The next tour took place in January 2018 with Firewind as special guest.

The 25th studio album Wings of Rage was announced in April 2019, and released in January 2020. [10] On 6 May 2020 Marcos Rodriguez left the band due to personal and private reasons, replaced by Stefan Weber (ex Axxis) and Jean Bormann (Angelinc).

Rage's 26th studio album, Resurrection Day , was released on 17 September 2021. [11]

Side projects

Lingua Mortis Orchestra

Lingua Mortis Orchestra
Also known asLMO
Genres Symphonic metal, heavy metal, power metal
Years active1996–present
Labels Nuclear Blast, GUN
Website rage-official.com/lmo

The Lingua Mortis Orchestra (LMO) is the name associated with the orchestras who played with Rage since 1996 on the albums or on stage. Rage's tenth studio album, Lingua Mortis was the first classical album by a metal act, and a collaboration with the Prague Symphony Orchestra. Later, Rage worked with the orchestras in some of the band's most known albums, such as in XIII and Ghosts . In 2006, an orchestra from Minsk, Belarus, that was also named Lingua Mortis Orchestra, recorded with Rage the Speak of the Dead album, and on the next year, Rage did 2007 several shows with the Lingua Mortis Orchestra, and their performance at Wacken Open Air was recorded as a bonus DVD for their next album, Carved in Stone .

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 along 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.

At this point, the Lingua Mortis Orchestra name as a "side project" was turn down by Peavy himself and became part of the band as it was originally done back in 1996. For 2019, Rage toured with the Lingua Mortis Orchestra to perform some festival shows and performed the entire XIII album.

"Equals to Rage, LMO is an important part of me and I will put in the same amount of passion and creative energy as I have done in the past." [12]


Genres Heavy metal, power metal, speed metal
Years active2014–present
Members Peavy Wagner
Manni Schmidt
Chris Efthimiadis
Website refuge-band.de

In 2014, Peavy reunited with Manni Schmidt and Chris Efthimiadis, and they decided to play a secret show in their hometown, Herne, under the name "Tres Hombres". From there came the idea of the creation of Refuge, with the same Rage line-up from 1988 to 1993. [13] The name Refuge came from one of the most known songs by Rage, "Refuge" from the album The Missing Link , which was recorded by the same line-up. Peavy said in an interview that Refuge is not a professional band as the band members have their regular jobs and families, so Refuge is more like an "extended hobby" for playing special events and festivals. [14] Peavy also said Refuge would still be co-existing with Rage and the new line-up with Marcos and Vassilios.

In 2015, Refuge played in many festivals around Europe, including the Rock Hard Festival, which was broadcast live, and was also recorded as a new live album, Live at Rock Hard Festival for the boxset The Refuge Years.

The band's first album, Solitary Men, was released on 8 June 2018.

Band members

Current members

Former members


Rage (German band)


Studio albums


Live albums

Compilation albums

Box sets


Music videos

1987"Down by Law"
1988"Don't Fear the Winter"
1989"Invisible Horizons"
1990"True Face in Everyone"
"Waiting for the Moon"
1995"Alive but Dead"Directed by Tim Luna, Andreas Marschall
1996"Lingua Mortis Medley"
"Deep in the Blackest Hole"Directed by Tim Luna, Andreas Marschall
1998"From the Cradle to the Grave"
2005"Straight to Hell"
2006"No Fear"
2008"Lord of the Flies"
"Open My Grave"
2009"Never Give Up"
"Gib dich nie auf"
2012"Twenty One"
2013"Cleansed by Fire" (LMO)
2016"My Way"
"The Devil Strikes Again"
2017"Blackened Karma"
"Season of the Black"
2019"Let Them Rest in Peace"
2020"The Price of War 2.0"
"Monetary Gods"
2022"To Live and To Die"

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Victor Smolski</span> Belarusian guitarist based in Germany

Victor Dmitriyevich Smolski is a guitarist who was a member of the German heavy metal band Rage from 1999 until 2015, and a member of the metal bands Almanac, Mind Odyssey and Lingua Mortis Orchestra (LMO).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peavy Wagner</span> German singer and bassist

Peter "Peavy" Wagner is a German musician. He is the lead singer, bassist and main songwriter of the heavy metal band Rage and also a member of the bass guitar-focused side project Bassinvaders. He is a former member of the thrash metal band Mekong Delta.

<i>Soundchaser</i> 2003 studio album by Rage

Soundchaser is the 17th studio album by the German heavy metal band Rage, released in 2003 by SPV/Steamhammer.

<i>Perfect Man</i> (Rage album) 1988 studio album by Rage

Perfect Man is the fourth full-length album released by German heavy metal band Rage in 1988. This album introduces the Refuge years line-up, with the new members Manni Schmidt and Chris Efthimiadis, and the band's mascot, the "Sounchaser", which would feature in most other Rage cover arts. The album was remastered by Noise/Sanctuary in 2002 with slightly altered cover art, and five bonus tracks.

<i>Nuclear Blast All-Stars: Into the Light</i> 2007 studio album by Nuclear Blast All-Stars

Into the Light is a compilation album from Nuclear Blast Records to commemorate their 20 years as a record label. Produced by Rage guitarist Victor Smolski, with singers Tobias Sammet, Peter "Peavy" Wagner (Rage) - who has also written the lyrics for all songs -, Tony Kakko, Mats Levén (Therion), Marcel "Schmier" Schirmer (Destruction), Hansi Kürsch, Andi Deris (Helloween), Oddleif Stensland (Communic), Marko Hietala, and Tarja Turunen (Ex-Nightwish). It features a variable collection of "All Stars" much in the same vein as Roadrunner United. The whole album was written by Victor Smolski, who also recorded all the guitars, some bass and keyboards. The drums were done by Volker Schultz and André Hilgers.

<i>Speak of the Dead</i> 2006 studio album by Rage

Speak of the Dead is the 18th studio album by German heavy metal band Rage, released in 2006 by Nuclear Blast. The album contains a mix of different music genres, adding symphonic and progressive influences to their usual fast power metal/melodic thrash metal. The band go back to the album Lingua Mortis' themes and atmospheres in the suite that opens the album, called "Suite Lingua Mortis" that consists in eight parts, using a full symphonic orchestra recorded in Minsk, Belarus. The album marked the last featuring drummer Mike Terrana.

<i>Carved in Stone</i> (Rage album) 2008 studio album by Rage

Carved in Stone is the 19th studio album by the German heavy metal band Rage. The album includes a bonus DVD with their full show at Wacken Open Air in August 2007 plus the videos for the songs "Lord of the Flies" and "Open My Grave".

<i>10 Years in Rage</i> 1994 studio album by Rage

10 Years in Rage: The Anniversary Album is the ninth full-length album released by the German heavy metal band Rage in 1994. It contains new material and previously unreleased tracks from the band's long career, as well the re-recording of "Prayers of Steel", from Avenger's first album and a medley of Rage's fan favourite tunes. The album features guest appearances from all the musicians that had played in Rage. The album was remastered by Noise/Sanctuary in 2002 with five bonus tracks.

<i>Strings to a Web</i> 2010 studio album by Rage

Strings to a Web is the 20th studio album by German heavy metal band Rage, released in Europe on 5 February 2010 through Nuclear Blast Records. The American and Japanese editions of the album were released in a special two-disc set, which included a DVD with live performances and videos.

<i>XIII</i> (Rage album) 1998 studio album by Rage & the Lingua Mortis Orchestra

XIII is the 13th full-length album by the German heavy metal band Rage, and the second collaboration with the Lingua Mortis Orchestra. It was released in 1998.

<i>Lingua Mortis</i> 1996 studio album by Rage and Prague Symphony Orchestra

Lingua Mortis is the eleventh full-length album by the German heavy metal band Rage, released in 1996. It's the band's first collaboration with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, which played with the band Rage's songs re-arranged for a classic orchestra. The album consists of re-recorded songs from the previous album, Black in Mind and an epic medley of songs from recent albums to that time.

<i>Ghosts</i> (Rage album) 1999 studio album by Rage & the Lingua Mortis Orchestra

Ghosts is the 14th full-length album by the German heavy metal band Rage with the Lingua Mortis Orchestra. It was released in 1999.

<i>Unity</i> (Rage album) 2002 studio album by Rage

Unity is the 16th studio album by the German heavy metal band Rage, released in 2002 by SPV/Steamhammer.

<i>The Best from the Noise Years</i> 1998 compilation album by Rage

The Best from the Noise Years is the first compilation album by German heavy metal band Rage, released in 1998 by Victor Entertainment. The album is made up of 15 songs from the band's early albums (1986–94), released by Noise Records.

<i>Full Moon in St. Petersburg</i> 2007 live album by Rage

Full Moon in St. Petersburg is a live music album by German heavy metal band Rage, recorded in SKK, St. Petersburg, Russia on 25 May 2006. The album was also released on DVD, separately from DVD only in Russia and Argentina. On other countries released only as part of CD+DVD combo.

<i>Metal Meets Classic Live</i> 2001 video by Rage & Lingua Mortis Orchestra

Metal Meets Classic Live + All G.U.N. Bonustracks is a live concert recording by German heavy metal band Rage, released as a DVD in November 2001 under name Rage & Lingua Mortis Orchestra.

<i>The Lingua Mortis Trilogy</i> 2002 box set by Rage

The Lingua Mortis Trilogy (The Classic Collection) is a box set by the German heavy metal band Rage. It was released in October 2002, by GUN Records. It contains digipack versions of three "classical" albums by Rage with the Lingua Mortis Orchestra: Lingua Mortis, XIII and Ghosts.

<i>Welcome to the Other Side</i> 2001 studio album by Rage

Welcome to the Other Side is the 15th studio album by the German heavy metal band Rage. It was released in February 2001 by GUN Records. It is considered a concept album revolving around "the journey of a soul after death".

<i>LMO</i> (album) 2013 studio album by Lingua Mortis Orchestra featuring Rage

LMO is the debut album by Lingua Mortis Orchestra in collaboration with heavy metal band Rage, released on 2 August 2013 through Nuclear Blast Records. The production was helmed by Charlie Bauerfeind.

Seasons of the Black is the 23rd studio album by German heavy metal band Rage, released on 28 July 2017 through Nuclear Blast Records. Videos were made for the singles "Blackened Karma" and "Seasons of the Black". A bonus disc, Avenger Revisted, are re-recording of songs from Prayers of Steel, Rage's first album under the name "Avenger".


  1. "The BNR Metal Pages – Helloween". bnrmetal.com. Retrieved 10 May 2021.
  2. 1 2 Colin Larkin, ed. (1999). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Heavy Rock (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 39. ISBN   0-7535-0257-7.
  3. Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Heavy Metal (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 288. ISBN   0-85112-656-1.
  4. "Rage biography". metallian.com. 11 January 2023. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  5. Best of Rock & Metal – Die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten (in German). Rock Hard. 2005. p. 105. ISBN   3-89880-517-4.
  6. "Rage beim Bundesvision Song Contest". Metal-online.com.
  7. "Blabbermouth.net". Blabbermouth.net. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2019.
  8. "The Soundchaser Archives". Nuclearblas.de. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  9. "Rage To Release 'The Devil Strikes Again' Album In June". Blabbermouth.net . 26 February 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  10. 1 2 "Rage Signs with SPV/Steamhammer; 25th Studio Album Due In January". Blabbermouth.net. 15 April 2019. Retrieved 10 July 2019.
  11. 1 2 "RAGE Announce New Studio Album Resurrection Day". Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. 2 July 2021. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  12. "RAGE – Lingua Mortis Orchestra". Rage-official.com.
  13. "Original RAGE Lineup Reunites As REFUGE, Plans Festival Appearances". Blabbermouth.net. 4 December 2014.
  14. Tsekas, Giorgos. "Interview with Peavy Wagner (Rage) | Metal Invader". Metalinvader.net.