Rhapsody - Rain Of A Thousand Flames

Year of Release: 2002
Label: LMP
Catalog Number: LMP 0203-040 CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 42:01:00

What the hell happened to the Rhapsody from Dawn Of Victory?

Rain Of A Thousand Flames (yes, it's got one of those names that may make you cringe) is good. In fact, it's more than good - it's bloody great. Dawn Of Victory, their previous disc, was over-produced symphonic metal that had one insanely aggressive track - "Holy Thunderforce." Well, would you believe that they've taken the belligerence of that one song and created a 42 minute EP in the same vein? Neither did I - until I heard the damn thing.

There are 7 tracks comprising 2 short interludes, 3 medium length tracks, and two huge number both clocking in at over 10 minutes each. If we explore each in turn, it begins with the title track which is pure, over-the-top glorious symphonic metal - similar to "Holy Thunderforce." Next up is the dramatic, classically inspired two minute piano interlude that leads in to the "epic" (finally, I said it) 14 minute track "Queen Of The Dark Horizons" - Rhapsody at their absolute finest. If at first I thought the title track wasn't going to be beaten, then I was wrong. Choirs, operatic female vocals, and a certain vocalist in Fabio Lione who outshines everybody. This is theatre. This is classical. This is unbelieveable. This song shows each and every musician showcasing their talents, especially that of Luca Turilli (g) and Alex Staropoli (k) in creating the song (it does contain the main themes composed by Dario Argento's "Phenomena"). Sound-wise yes, it is overblown (production by Sascha Paeth & Miro), but it doesn't sound as cheesy as Dawn Of Victory.

The final four tracks fulfill the "Rhymes Of A Tragic Poem - The Gothic Saga," umm, saga. Once again they have THAT bloody narrator who seems to annoy everybody and he's back for almost a full song ("Tears Of A Dying Angel") but at least there is a bit of feeling in his spoken words. This has a soundtrack feel to it (John Williams anybody?) and is an example of the improvement in the band. A short, troubadour interlude leads into the rollercoaster ride that is "The Poem's Evil Page" (and just to top themselves, they have a female narrator on this!). The final track is the 10 minute number "The Wizard's Last Rhymes" that, as well as having a nicely played bass solo by Alessandro Lotto, runs the gamut of Rhapsody-metal prose with melody after melody. This is the most traditional track in terms of what Rhaposdy have done before.

I can't believe I have written so much for an EP review, but there you have it. With the bonus video tracks you are definitely in for a treat. Their full length disc will be out early next year but do yourself a favour and get this when it comes out in November. These songs will not appear on the full-length album.

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Rain Of A Thousand Flames (3:43) / Deadly Omen (1:49) / Queen Of The Dark Horizons (13:42) / Rhymes Of A Tragic Poem - The Gothic Saga: Tears Of A Dying Angel (6:23) / Elnor's Magic Valley (1:40) / The Poem's Evil Page (4:04) / The Wizard's Last Rhymes (10:38)

Fabio Lione - vocals
Luca Turilli - guitar
Alex Staropoli - keyboards
Alessandro Lotta -bass
Alex Holzwarth - drums
Dominique Leurquin - guitar

Additional musicians:

Bridget Fogle, Previn Moore - church choirs
Robert Hunecke-Rizzo, Olaf Hayer, Oliver Hartmann, Tobias Sammet - epic choirs
Nadja Bellir - female narrator
Sir Jay Lansford - male narrator
Manuel Staropoli - baroque recorders
Dana Lurie - violin
Thunderforce - drums

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 20th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website: www.mightyrhapsody.com/
Hits: 855
Language: english


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