Rhapsody - Symphony of Enchanted Lands II

Year of Release: 2004
Label: SPV/Steamhammer
Catalog Number: 69612
Format: CD
Total Time: 72:53:00

Founders of what is known to be Hollywood Metal, the Italian band Rhapsody and its main members Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli have once again delivered one hell of an epic. Sounding like the most bombastic Carl Orff material, especially the impressive choir combined with tons of orchestral arrangements set the tone for what could easily become the soundtrack for an unreleased Lord Of The Rings sequel. Once again Renaissance and Celtic elements are used to illustrate the band?s fantasy themes whilst none other than the world famous actor Christopher Lee lends his incredible doomy voice for the narration. With Lee having a deep baritone voice he felt he should also have sung on this album rather than be restricted as a narrator. So in December last year both Christopher Lee and the band teamed up again and re-recorded "The Magic Of The Wizard' Dream," this time as a duet and with the help of the Cologne string orchestra. With Lee's incredible knowledge of no fewer than twelve languages, the song was recorded in English, German, French and Italian. Also director Neil Johnson shot a spectacular video featuring a 40-piece orchestra and 20-piece choir. Two brand new compositions have been recorded to add to this new recording, which will soon be released as a single.

Supported by a huge orchestra and choir needless to say the endresult is powerful and bombastic like nothing ever before. It becomes interesting when Alex's keyboards work together with the authentic nature of the orchestra whilst also playing a duel with Luca's guitars as in "Erian's Mystical Rhymes." In "The Last Angel's Call" I hear the gypsy flavoured "Otschi Tschornije." Stripping the arrangements from the power of both orchestra and choir you end up with the Celtic sounding nakedness of "Dragonland's River" highlighting subtle flute playing next to clavinet and incorporating nature sounds. In "Sacred Power Of Ranging Winds" Staropoli even sneaks in some snippets from Mike Oldfield's world famous Tubular Bells. The acoustic "Guardiani" almost sounds like vintage Angelo Branduardi with Fabio Lione stepping into the heavy shoes of the Italian folk singer, backed by lovely acoustic guitar, piano and soft singing choir. The epic "Shadows Of Death" not only includes some heavy guitar riffs but also some stunning synth leads and once again terrific singing by Fabio.

All in all the addition of the unique voice of Christopher Lee has augemnted the scope for Rhapsody. As what they deliver is seen as cinematographic rock who better than to be included than the immortal Lee? However when stripped from the huge orchestra and choir I'm afraid Rhapsody would be just another heavy metal band. But they were inventive enough to add unlogical twists and turns to their music resulting in the unique position they are in now selling well over one million copies of their albums so far. There's also a limited edition digibook available combining the audio album and a DVD. If you plan a walk to the park with your pet dragon late at night, don't forget to put this new Rhapsody album in your iPod and take that mighty sword with you just in case!

The Dark Secret (4:13) / IRA DIVINA: Unholy Warcry (5:54) / Never Forgotten Heroes (5:33) / Elgard's Green Valleys (2:20) / The Magic Of The Wizard's Dream (4:30) / Erian's Mystical Rhymes (10:32) /THE WHITE DRAGON'S ORDER: The Last Angel's Call (4:37) / Dragonland's River (3:45) / Sacred Power Of Raging Winds (10:07) / Guardiani (5:51) / Shadows Of Death (8:13) / Nightfall On The Grey Mountains (7:20)

Fabio Lione - vocals
Luca Turilli - guitar
Alex Staropoli -keyboards
Patrice Guers - bass
Alex Holzwarth - drums

Special Guests:

Dominique Leurquin - guitar
Christopher Lee - vocals / narrative

Legendary Tales (1997)
Symphony Of Enchanted Lands (1998)
Dawn Of Victory (2000)
Rain Of A Thousand Flames (2001)
Power Of The Dragonflame (2002)
The Dark Secret (2004)
Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret (2004)
Rhapsody Of Fire - Triumph Or Agony (The Dark Secret Saga, Part II) (2007)
Rhapsody Of Fire - The Frozen Tears Of Angels (2010)

Rhapsody Of Fire - Visions From The Enchanted Lands (DVD) (2007)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: February 19th 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.mightyrhapsody.com
Hits: 868
Language: english


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