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Refuge: Solitary Men
Refuge - Solitary Men Music Review

Refuge: Solitary Men

Heavy Metal Rock
4.0/5.0

What was once Rage is now Refuge, at least in some sense. Germany's Rage, featuring the line up of Peavy Wagner (b,v), Manni Schmidt (g), and Christos Efthimiadis (d), had seven year, five album, run between 1987 and 1994. After this Peavy continued Rage, but Schmidt and Efthimiadis would move on to other projects. Twenty years later, in 2014, the friends regrouped for an unpublicized one-off show, which was a huge success. So the band decided to carry on, creating new music under a new name, Refuge. (Rage had an EP in 1994 by that name.) Now they drop their debut album Solitary Man for Frontiers Music.

Refuge Band Photo

Refuge

My first instinct is to say that if you like Rage, at any point in time, you will probably like Refuge. The Refuge heavy metal formula is a rather simple one. Combine harmonious riffs with speed and groove, and then drop in some ambitious and sharp guitar solos. Repeat. Another way to describe the Refuge sound would be simply heavy metal rock. Most every song has brisk pacing, nearing a power metal style, yet wrapped in a thick rock groove from Peavy's bass lines and Efthimiadis' thundering drums. Toss in a twist and turn in a vocal melody or catchy refrain and the circle is complete.

While there's little divergence from the formula, some songs deserve some interest. One is Living On The Edge, which has a lighter electric guitar and voice start before opening into thick heavy metal. Then about the 3:30 mark there's a lighter vocal breakdown for the refrain. With Summer's Winter you have something of a distortion start which fires into fast-paced metal rocker. But then it finishes with light vocal harmony and guitar leads. Let Me Go, another quick number, truly turns on a hard rock groove, but also its catchy refrain. Then there's Waterfalls, something completely different then what has come before. It starts lighter with voice over electric guitar, and then develops with this slow lumbering pace to get heavier. At the midpoint a guitar solo erupts, after which the tempo quickens nearly to the end, before dialing out with light riffs again. Was it a ballad? A heavy metal anthem? Or perhaps a touch of the progressive metal side of Rage coming through? You can figure that one out. All said, Refuge's Solitary Man finds former Rage band mates delivering a solid album of heavy metal rock. Recommended.



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The Bottom Line

Refuge's Solitary Man finds former Rage band mates delivering a solid album of heavy metal rock. Recommended.

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