If you are a fan of the German metal group Rage and you missed this release then you really need to check it out. The origins of the title of this project trace back to the year 1996 where you will find an album called Lingua Mortis when Rage united with the Prague Symphonic Orchestra. For this new recording Rage have joined forces with not one but two orchestras from Spain and Belarus and guest vocalists Jeannette Marchewka, Dana Harnge and Henning Basse (Metalium, Sons Of Seasons).
If there is one person who played a significant role in this album it has to be Rage guitarist Victor Smolski who produced, handled the orchestra arrangements and composed the majority of the songs on LMO, while fellow Rage member vocalist/bass guitar Peavy Wagner played a part in two tracks plus he wrote all the lyrics. The theme of which "follows an exciting concept on the burning of witches in Gelnhausen in 1599, based on a true story". That striking artwork is the work of Felipe Machado Franco.
LMO was a substantial undertaking with over 100 participants and they have combined to create a powerful album of orchestral/metal. Though Rage are no strangers to such a combination and do it better than most as anyone who is familiar with their past works will know, and that previous experience shows in the way the material blends together to fit so well. Vocally you have the distinct vocals of Peavy joined by those guest mentioned above plus when you also include a choir Lingua Mortis Orchestra do have serious vocal stocks. Rage are a potent metal trio and once again they put in an dynamic performance along with the masterfully performed orchestral instruments the Lingua Mortis Orchestra sure give rise to an exciting music recording.
Not only does Victor Smolski dish out another stellar performance on the guitar with more of his engrossing work and those super catchy grooves like the Nuno Bettencourt of metal, Victor also displays his skills on the keyboards, piano, cello and sitar. Drummer Andre Hilgers doesn't back off for this album his enthusiastic performance is just what is required as after all LMO is still a metal release. "Cleansed By Fire" gets the ball rolling on LMO as we are introduced to the albums theme and captivated by the irresistible music. "Scapegoat" is a spirited track like orchestral/metal music on steroids, "The Devil's Bride" is another exceptional song the chorus is so gripping and the music is truly wonderful. "Oremus" commences with spoken words about the fate of so many and has a compelling aura that leads to Victor getting his groove on for "Witches' Judge". When he is joined by his Rage band mates and the orchestra kicks in this soon becomes one of LMO's most memorable and dynamic tracks.
They could have simply released this as another Rage album though LMO is different to their usual release. I'm sure once fans get word of this one then Lingua Mortis Orchestra will become a musical force in its own right their debut LMO should ensure that and I hope we see more albums in the future. The limited edition is so very good with two excellent bonus tracks "Straight Out Of Hell" and "One More Time" featuring more of the Rage greatness and a DVD that includes commanding performances Live At Rock Hard Festival 2010 featuring Rage performing with an orchestra and Live at 70.000 Tons Of Metal 2013 plus an interview. This material is more then worthy of having its own separate release so it really is fantastic value when included on here. This is part of my decision to reward this version five stars but even without these extras my rating would still be close to that anyway as LMO is so good.
1. Cleansed By Fire
a) Convert The Pagans PT. 1
b) The Inquisition (instrumental)
c) Convert The Pagans PT. 2
3. The Devil's Bride
6. Witches' Judge
7. Eye For An Eye
9. Straight To Hell
10. One More Time
1. Live at Rock Hard 2010
2. Interview & Live at 70.000 Tons Of Metal 2013