1. The Dark Secret 2. Unholy Warcry 3. Wisdom of the King 4. The Village of Dwarves 5. Erian's Mystical Rhymes 6. Dawn of Victory 7. Lamento Eroico 8. Nightfall on the Grey Mountains 9. The march of the Swordmaster 10. Emerald Sword 11. Gran Finale
Any power metal fan knows what to expect from Rhapsody – epic power metal with a plethora of symphonics coupled with bombastic songwriting. On their “Live in Canada” release, the Italians provide an energetic and emotional performance, which is exactly what fans should expect. The album was recorded on June 13, 2005 at the Albert-Rousseau Arena in Quebec City during their tour with Manowar. Rhapsody’s set contained nine songs (plus an intro and outtro) taken from various stages of their career, and by the sound of the French Canadian crowd in the background, did not fail to please.
A major issue with some live albums, especially in the case of power metal, is the ability to pick out the vocals from amongst all the other sounds, whether it is the instruments or ambiance from the crowd. Fortunately, Rhapsody singer Fabio Lione does not suffer from this problem, as his powerful voice projects over pretty much everything else. In fact, Luca Turilli’s guitar work, while perfect as always, is actually a bit hard to hear over Lione and the symphonics in the background. Thankfully, this problem does not persist throughout the entire album, and is only really noticeable on the first track, “The Dark Secret.”
Rhapsody plays a pretty good mixture of material from throughout their career at this show. After opening with the intro and second track from their latest studio full-length, “Symphony of Enchanted Lands Part II,” they go straight into “Wisdom of the Kings,” a classic song taken off “Symphony Part I.” Other highlights included “March of the Swordmaster” and “Dawn of Victory,” two mid-period fan favorites. Drummer Alex Holzwarth provides fans with an additional treat after “Erian’s Mystical Rhymes” with an entertaining drum solo.
Picking up this Rhapsody live album would be something I’d strongly advise. If you’re already a fan of Rhapsody, this album will give you another, somewhat different, medium with which to enjoy this excellent band. If you’re not already a Rhapsody fan, however, “Live in Canada” will provide you with some prime examples of the band’s best work from several stages in their career, and encourage you to pick up most, if not all, of their full lengths. The bottom line is that when a band that’s been as solid as Rhapsody for almost ten years releases a live album, it’s bound to be good.
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