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Track Listing
1. Still Alive
2. Unchained
3. Whiskey Woman
4. Living For the Moment
5. At My Command
6. Is It My Body
7. When the Night is Over
8. The Hunger
9. Remember Me
10. I'm Back

Zero 2002

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More Releases by Silent Rage:
Silent Rage - Shattered Hearts (1986)
Silent Rage - Don't Touch Me There (1988)
Related Releases (in sound):
Y&T - Contagious (1987)
Shark Island - Law of the Order (1990)


Silent Rage eased on to the scene in the mid 80s with the highly underrated slab of melodic rock, "Shattered Hearts" and even with the high class party vibed "Don't Touch Me There", they still ended up nowhere. Whether it was due to being ignored by their label or the changing winds of hard rock, the flannel shirt people were lurking ominiously right around the corner at the "Don't Touch Me There" point afterall. And its still no excuse, for it was still prime time rock full steam ahead as far as mainstream radio was concerned. Adult Contemporary was cranking 'lighter in the air' ballads from Warrant, Cinderella, Scorpions and others for goodness sake! If that's not a healthy rock atmosphere then I don't know what is... Reguardless of what happened, Silent Rage slipped between the cracks and disappeared all together from public eye for well over a decade, their two discs being sold off of Ebay for skyhigh prices, but now they are back.

And the first question lurking in everyone's minds is... have they changed? Its the fear of every fan, their beloved long-gone band resurrected from extinction only to letdown expectations and become a disappointment and ultimately a joke because of one of two situations:
a.) becoming a former shadow of themselves
b.) and worse, the curse of the 'updated sound'

We've seen Don Dokken turn the melodic dream into his own personal adult contemporary solo touring outfit, Warrant and other glammers don the plaid angst ridden alternative music monster that drowned their trade in the first place, Scorpions go techno and Black Sabbath sell their souls to the highest bidder. Nothing surprises us anymore. We're jaded. Thankfully not every comeback has to be steeped in pain and shame. "Still Alive" might cause the kiddies to snicker with its flirty riffs, sleazy lyrics and catchy choruses that come packed to the hilt in melodic bounce, but those born of the time this harkens back to will adore every wading in the 1980s moment. Even better, the music is pretty darn good at that. These boys can play, and haven't missed a beat since their last album, this is a natural step right where "Don't Touch..." left off in some places, in others its a tribute to their influences. Sizzle cool guitar by Mark Hawkins, sing-along worthy choruses and thumping bass, with the multiple vocalists, my favorite being the one with the deep chested rumble in the Coverdale/Meneketti style that leaves little question about his gender.  And more often than not this disc is a swinging good time, and a perfect album for the hot dog days of summer, and those cool desert nights. Unfortunately it also settles for mediocrity in some areas but pours on 'out of this world' delights in others...


01.] "Still Alive"
Splitting the album wide open with a groovy raw vibe that smokes up the place, raw and rocking like a cross between a Whitesnake anthem and a vibrant party hardy Shark Island/Lion hybrid track. Rough and rumble and pulling punches to keep it rolling, honest and nothin' but the purist of hard rock. Good stuff and a nice way to kick off a whole lot of a good thing.

02.] "Unchained"
This Dianne Warren penned track is pure class throughout, and a melody packed killer that aims for the juglar and cuts where it bleeds... I can feel the life force being sapped out of this song's subject, the pain from the cutting of the gal's lies, pain in first person, and turning out well for both victim and listener, as the ropes are untied, the chains broken and the soul is set free from the shackles of heartache. The chorus is absolute bliss, wrapped in a blanket of divinely delightful melody. Silent Rage deliver this one with such fervent style and emotion....

03.] "Whiskey Woman"
Laid back country and western-esque ballad (in some of its stages) that starts off like one of Bon Jovi's cowboy daydreaming songs but then it riles up into an expansive power ballad worthy chorus before settling back into the previous mold. A Cinderella blues touch lies beneath the surface as well, a bit of the chill from "Long Cold Winter".

04.] "Living For the Moment"
Thumping bass heavy glorified biting Y&T/David Lee Roth rock fest, right down to the light hearted banter in the lull between rock assaults. You can hear the Meneketti in a few choice twists of a word here and there, the sleazy rhythms sending chills down the spine. If only the whole album was made of songs such as this, it would be a slayer of the same caliber as "Don't Touch Me There".

05.] "At My Command"
Heavy handed and a pure pounder that sends us back to days of yore, straight forward in your face hard rock n roll on the metallic edge. The guitars have a fuzzy feel all around, in their searing sizzlingness, the vocals commanding and straightforward. The oddly adorable little rhythm riff that supports the first leg of the lead solo, reminds me of the music from an old Nintendo game, "Rygar" to be specific. Clanking chains of pure steel this one smokes.

06.] "Is It My Body"
A by-the-numbers cover of a 1971 Alice Cooper track, faithfully done, yes, but seems lacking compared to what gems are to come and what has already been put upon display. Enjoyable 70s rock but the first track that truly feels out of place amongst these more modern ballads and rockers.

07.] "When the Night is Over"
Oh my GOD!! Some of this album may be good BEFORE this, but...everything that comes before or tags along after, lacks painfully severe in comparision. How could one possibly even dream of leading up to or following something of this caliber up? The chorus a chilling breeze on the face of the sun, its the oasis in the desert, intricately beautiful like the patterns of a butterfly's wings, the atmosphere dramatic as the last romance in the history of the earth. The singer's voice brands burning rings around the soul, breathtakingly passionate... the guitar looms devestatingly in the background, slowly and hesitant, meticulously carving looping ribbons of electric beauty. This is the kind of magnificent ballad that AOR fans break into cold sweats and feverishly daydream about. Killer, absolutely killer. "I still want you...even more than before... and we'll make love forever..." Oh this is soooo good.... reducing one to a puddle of tearful emotion.

08.] "The Hunger"
Midtempo rocking track that flaunts a bluesy brooding feel but doesn't really seem to go anywhere, floundering in a pool of mediocrity for reasons difficult to pinpoint. There's nothing at all wrong with the elements that come together to create the song. The chorus is nice, the Coverdale-ish emoting is as always, a stirring treat. Maybe it's just not melodic enough to stand up against the song that came before, and thus seems more lacking than it should be... when taken as a standalone instead of "When the Night..."'s followup it seems worlds better...

09.] "Remember Me"
I had heard it sounded like Billy Idol, and you know what? It does, absolutely, and to the extent where it has to be intentional, in a tongue in cheek kinda way. From the guitar breaks to the sneering paced vocals that are also remiscient of Danzig's pacing, you could put it up against Idol's "White Wedding" and one would swear its from the same album. It doesn't sound like Silent Rage at all, its almost as if they wished to morph into someone else for just a track (or two if you count the Cooper cover), and you know what? Its pretty damn good too... if you like Billy's early 80s fare, then this is right up your alley.

10.] "I'm Back"
The style of Idol is still in full effect for the finale, not as obvious but certainly not an excerise in subtlety. Quickly whipped vocal harmonies countering the lead provide the only unusual bit for the otherwise lackluster chorus. Uptempo yes, but seems devoid of heart or any other spark of life, leaving the album on a note flatter than a year old bottle of Pepsi with soda only skimming the plastic bottom.


They should have never included "When the Night is Over"... it is "Still Alive"'s weak spot... leaving the listener weak in the knees and vulnerable in the heart that is... It is superbly excellent, a true accomplishment... AOR at its finest... a reminder of why the genre is so close to the soul...and I could go on and on... but the point is, the song is of such high quality it sours one on the rest of the album. Sure, the power tripping "At My Command" and the title track are both enjoyable in their own special ways and the melodic magnificence of"Unchained" and the raunchy romp of "Living For the Moment" almost worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as "When the Night is Over" (but not quite, so don't get carried away yet), nothing else manages to really measure up. Then there's the pair of wayward tunes, "The Hunger" and "I'm Back" which are quite laughably pathetic in comparision. The disc would have worked much better as an eight tracker than tacking these two on. Unfortunately I'm hard pressed to recommend this one as a definite must have 'as is', yet I grieve for those AOR fans that miss out on hearing "When the Night..." and "Unchained" only because they can't wade through the rest to get to the gems. If you can sort through the mess, and live with having just a few superb songs in the 'true' Silent Rage style and caliber then step right up, "Still Alive" is made just for you, here's hoping the band will come to their senses, realize their strengths and mine them to their fullest extent for the next release...meanwhile, keep the skip button on that remote handy... take the bad with the good, for some of this is just too excellent to miss.

Ratings and Wrap Up:
Songs - 7.0
Performance - 8.0
Production - 7.5
Lyrics - 7.5

Hot Spots: "When the Night is Over", "Unchained"
Bottom Line: Silent Rage is back with a vengeance for half the album, and whimper out for the remainder.

Review by Alanna Evans -

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