Refuge – Solitary Men
Review by Adam McCann
Frontiers Records – 2018 – Heavy Metal
What started as a little bit of fun for the members of the Rage line-up from 1988-1993; Chris Efthimiadis, Manni Schmidt and Peavy Wagner in their hometown, soon sprawled into a new band named after Rage’s 1994 EP and song of the same name ‘Refuge’. Although the members of Refuge are still committed to other bands, Wagner in particular is still in Rage, the band have finally got around to recording and releasing their debut album ‘Solitary Men’.
For fans of classic Rage, ‘Solitary Men’ offers everything that could ever be wanted, driving rhythms, memorable choruses’ and vocal performance from Wagner that would hugely appeal to fans of not only Rage, but also Grave Digger, Running Wild and Lingua Mortis Orchestra. However, the continuing issue that has stalked Rage over their 30 years rears its head once more with Refuge and that is unfortunately ‘Solitary Men’ sounds very generic. Because of this, the album can without conscious listening fall into background music. Yet, scratch beneath this surface and there is plenty which ‘Solitary Men’ can offer such as the melodic hooks and choruses’ of ‘The Man In The Ivory Tower’, ‘Mind Over Matter’ and ‘From The Ashes’ which are extremely enjoyable.
‘Solitary Men’ is far from the best release for this year and many of the songs feel as if they are a minute and a half longer than they need to be, but that does not make this album poor. For this release, Refuge have stuck to what they know and has all the professionalism and maturity that is expected making the album easily better than average, but still falls short of being something spectacular. Yet, it provides a more than decent foundation stone for this new project.
Rating : 78/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann