One Word Review: Reboot
I admit to having lost track of Rhapsody over the past decade due to all the internal issues with the band, beginning with their switch to Magic Circle Music in 2004 and ending in 2016, with Alex Staropoli as the only original member left.
Kudos to Alex for continuing the band in spite of all the challenges, he must have faced. He completely redeems the Rhapsody (yes, I know, Of fucking Fire) name with this album. It is a feast of power metal, and at its core, has what made me love the band in the first place. Though it is highly polished, and not on the same level as the first albums, I felt drawn to its majestic melodies and overblown atmosphere.
With Giacomo Voli, Alex has found a singer worthy of the Rhapsody name and, though none can justly compare another singer to the majesty of Fabio Lione, Giacomo Voli does things his own way, and makes a tremendous impression. His voice just fits the music perfectly and he brings a special emotion to the songs.
The first part of the album blew me away. With each song, the album rises in quality, opening tough and aggressive, with Seven Heroic Deeds, each song adds melodic layers, while keeping the speed and intensity high. Rain Of Fury immediately reminded me of the day, when I heard Wisdom Of The Kings for the first time, and it gloriously reclaims past greatness.
Then everything peaks with White Wizard. The sweeping melodies that made me fall in love with the band, when Symphony of Enchanted Lands was released, back in the late 90'ies, flourish again. White Wizard gave me that warm fuzzy Rhapsody feeling, I thought to be lost in the river of time. It is a feeling that can only be conjured by music so epic and blockbuster-like, that it reaches out and grabs hold of the listener, taking one away to another place, this being a fantasy realm of adventure and excitement. White Wizard is just spellbindingly brilliant all around, and it is another addition to the long list of Rhapsody classics.
From here on out, the album looses some of its urgency and immediacy. I would have wished for more focus and better melodies after this incredible opening salvo. Still, a strong finish helps reclaim the sense of greatness, especially due to The Legend Goes On and several moments during Clash Of Time and Tale of a Heroes Fate, where even the late Christopher Lee makes a welcome appearance. A special mention also goes to the beautiful power ballad The Wind The Rain and The Moon.
It is a great feeling to rediscover Rhapsody with such an excellent album. The seeds have been sown for something even greater and I can't wait to hear what this incarnation of the band comes up with next.
Written By Steen
Online: Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Rain Of Fury
The Legend Goes On