Steel Rage - Double life 3.5/5
1. Rage of steel
2. Death at your back
3. Broken oath
4. Double life
5. Your empire has fallen
6. I don't want to say goodbye
8. Child's dry tears
9. Queen of the dark
10. Dangerous dream
11. A bullet and a last cup of rum
Steel Rage is a power metal band from Chile that entered the metal world in 1998, released a lengthy EP 'I swear revenge' in 1999, and it was 2003 when they brought us their full-length debut 'Engraved in steel', which I've always considered to be solid. Now they're back with their 2nd full-length CD, entitled 'Double life'.
While there aren't a tremendous amount of power metal bands from Chile, there are a handful of them, at least from what I've experienced. Firstly, we've got the heavier power metal bands like Bloden-Wedd, Human Factor, Valkiria and Battlerage. Next up, we've got the symphonic power metal bands like Six Magics and Magnalucius. However, the Chilean band that draws the closest comparison to Steel Rage is definitely Witchblade, and just like Witchblade, Steel Rage seems to sit between the typical Italian power metal style and the typical Brazilian power metal style.
For even closer comparisons (outside of Chile), think of Endless, Vision Divine, Angra, Labyrinth, Glory Opera, Highlord, Orion Riders and Sigma, but one band that has really come to mind is Secret Sphere. This has a lot to do with the fact that Steel Rage's vocalist (Jaime Contreras) sounds a lot like Secret Sphere's Roberto "Ramon" Messina (who is also the vocalist of the French band Alkemyst). I think Roberto is the better of the 2 vocalists, but Jaime does a fine job and shows off a bit of range, though he's mostly high-pitched, similar to many of the vocalists from the bands listed as comparisons.
'Double life' contains a well-balanced and successful tempo, as there are faster songs, some mid-paced and catchy songs (most of which could fall under the category of pure melodic metal), and a few slow songs. This balance of tempo is typical of what you'd expect from a band of this style, and just like some of the other bands listed as comparisons, there are some progressive elements that creep in from time to time, and this is an aspect of the CD that keeps things interesting.
There's no doubt that the band has improved in all areas from their debut, and there are a bunch of songs on this CD that are excellent, though some of them I'd simply call good. Special mention must be made of the cover "Maniac", a song that was also covered on Sigma's 's/t' debut, and while I like Sigma's cover better (that's one of my favorite CDs of all time!), Steel Rage's version is very good and quite similar to Sigma's version actually, complete with speed and excitement.
While 'Double life' hasn't blown me away and there's not a large amount of originality present, all of the songwriting improvemments you'd expect a band to make between their debut and 2nd CD have been made, so it's easy for me to label this CD well done and it's certainly recommended to fans of their debut, or fans of the bands mentioned as comparisons.
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