Almost all the articles online about Meliah Rage start by telling you that the band’s name is inspired from the “Meliah” Indian tribe’s tradition of taking opium before going into battle. However, if you actually try Googling the “Meliah Indians”, you’ll find that no such tribe ever existed! The story was made up by the band. Here’s proof. Somewhere along the line, fiction became “fact”!
Meliah Rage debuted in 1988 with a very strong record called Kill To Survive (Epic Records). I enjoyed this album immensely. My ears were left smiling by Meliah Rage’s straightforward, in-your-face metal style. Their sound was a little thrashy, though not particularly fast or technical. Instead, Meliah Rage relied on chugging riffs, head banging grooves, and the rough (but melodic) vocals of Mike Munro.
Much of the ingredients that impressed me on Kill To Survive were once again present on Meliah Rage’s 1990 follow-up Solitary Solitude. Stylistically, this album isn’t all that different from its predecessor, yet something is amiss. To my surprise, Solitary Solitude does not resonate with me. The production, though decent, is not as good as the debut. Furthermore, Munro’s vocals seem a little more forced this time around. The fact of the matter is that the songs on Solitary Solitude aren’t very catchy. This album just doesn’t punch me in the mouth like the debut. Chalk it up to the sophomore jinx, I suppose. While the debut had the fury of early Metal Church, Solitary Solitude induces the boredom of late-eighties Testament.
After Solitary Solitude failed to connect with audiences, Epic dropped Meliah Rage from their label. In 2000, Sony re-released Meliah Rage’s 1988 debut Kill To Survive as well as their 1989 live EP Live Kill on CD. This was part of Sony’s “Metal Works Headbangers Series”. Solitary Solitude, however, was not re-released in the same fashion. Instead, four of the songs from Solitary Solitude were included as bonus tracks on the Kill To Survive CD and the remaining five cuts were tacked on to the Live Kill CD. My score: C+