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Rhapsody - "Power Of The Dragonflame"
SPV 2002

In fairytales it is clear and true that forces of cosmic justice always prevail at the end. But reality is very different unless you are not of human heritage or... well, one who is making symphonic metal for a couple of years. If you do not think so, then ask Italian metal heroes Rhapsody, who have been fighting with strange creatures since their very first beginning. Those creatures were impersonated by some people of music industry who do not share their faith with the power of epic and symphonic metal. Thankfully it was a band who won every battle and in short time they released their fourth full-length album, which is the last of their entertaining and dramatical saga about the Emerald Sword, a chapter from the history of Enchanted Lands.

After some important changes in the band (new bass guitarist and another guitarist were added) everyone expected a good album and they got it. Despite some shitheads moaning that Rhapsody are always the same and they do not have anything new to say. Yes, it is true that they are still playing symphonic metal, which was discovered by themselves on their debut album "Legendary Tales". But it is however something new and different than its predecessor.

The first thing that I realized different on this album was more fulfilled sound and they added more orchestral elements again, but it is also a very heavy and speedy album. Most credit for that goes to the band's leader and lead guitarist Luca Turilli, who even improved his amazing playing from the previous albums and with his original riffs proved that he is one of the most exciting European guitareros. A song, which demonstrates their epic and speed sound best, is definitely a title named "Power Of The Dragonflame" which is one of their fastest songs yet. "When Demons Awake" belongs to that same category, where Fabio demonstrates his most aggressive vocals up to date. But a man who impressed me on this song was keyboarder Alex Staropoli with his great bag of tricks, giving some reminds of Jens Johanson (Stratovarius). There are also their classical songs such are "Knightrider Of Doom" and "The March Of The Swordmaster" and quite innovative "Agony Is Many". It is this nice song which, with its intro and great riffs, reminded me of a totally different band - Running Wild. But hey, I said only reminded, because this is another combination of orchestral elements and chorus singing.

But my favourite song is "Steelgods Of The Last Apocalypse". This song is showing all its greatness and is blowing of versatility and power. The beginning is just like as we have discovered one of the forgotten realms! And then they strike with full anger. Definitely one of the best songs in their history. For "The Pride Of The Tyrant" I can say just one thing - gas to the end! With the last song "Gargoyles, Angels Of Darkness", which is the longest and most dramatic, they once again proved why they are the leading Italian metal band and the masters of Symphonic metal. The only song for which I can say that it does not suit me is a ballad "Lamento Eroico", performed in Italian singing by Fabio. It is a good song, but it is not what Rhapsody normally represent.

I would recommend this album to all Rhapsody fans, not only because it is the last part of the saga, but because it is another very good performance in the last three years. The band truly believes in what they're making. They will need that because our favourite storyteller Luca has already announced their next saga: J.R.R. Tolkien`s Lord Of The Rings. Warrior Of Ice is dead, long live Gandalf!

Author:   Peter

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