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RHAPSODY - “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark Secret” (SPV – 2004)

Track Listing
1. The Dark Secret – Ira Divina
2. Unholy Warcry
3. Never Forgotten Heroes
4. Elgard’s Green Valleys
5. The Magic Of The Wizard’s Dream
6. Erian’s Mystical Rhymes – The White Dragon’s Order
7. The Angel’s Last Call
8. Dragonlord’s Rivers
9. Sacred Power Of Raging Winds
10. Guardiani Del Destino
11. Shadows Of Death
12. Nightfall On The Grey Mountains
My comments on this new full-length are somewhat similar to the review of “The Dark Secret” E.P.. (Rhapsody seem to have adopted the strategy of releasing an E.P. a few weeks prior to each album release.) “Symphony….II” may not be the heaviest release by this ‘European’ band but it’s definitely the most polished and versatile. As a result, even the long songs contained here never risk being boring.

Luca Turilli (guitars) here seems to have matured further – his sweeping solos are balanced by a few great riffs and he also displays a improved sensitivity, whether using electric or acoustic guitars. Luca, of course is the author of Rhapsody’s lyrics and his skills in writing fantasy stories may be yet undervalued.

Main vocalist Fabio Lione again displays his gifted voice – singing with a style that reminds me collectively of Freddy Mercury, Andi Deris (Helloween) and even Bruce Dickinson. He is one of the very few Italian vocalists (male or female) to sing with a decent English accent (something Italian vocalists tend to suffer from).

“Symphony….II” is also probably Rhapsody’s tightest album to date, in the sense that despite its aforementioned versatility it tries to be ‘one’ effort as compared to an album with several disparate songs. The downside of this is that it might get tiring to some.

Being myself an admirer of Rhapsody’s music, I occasionally caught myself trying to forcibly subdue the nagging feeling that the band is trying to be bombastic and ‘over-the-top’ just for the sake of it, sidelining the songwriting freshness.

Having said that, most fans of power-metal will doubtlessly adore this gem, not least due to the sophistication of the orchestral arrangements and dynamic choir employed. I do believe Rhapsody still has much to offer – indeed continuing to come up with creative musical ideas shall now be a major challenge for the band.

My favourite songs: ‘Erian’s Mystical Rhymes’, ‘The Last Angel’s Call’, and ‘Dragonlord’s Rivers’.

Main official web-site:
www.mightyrhapsody.com


MY OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10

--Chris (MetalKnight) – luciferlament@yahoo.com 11.01.04
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: RHAPSODY OF FIRE
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
Live in CanadaRhapsody of Fire
2006
Anthony Burke7/3/2006
Live in CanadaRhapsody of Fire
2006
Veritas7/3/2006
Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark SecretRhapsody of Fire
2004
MetalKnight11/1/2004
The Dark SecretRhapsody of Fire
2004
MetalKnight9/15/2004
Triumph or AgonyRhapsody of Fire
2006
Etiam12/8/2006


ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: RHAPSODY OF FIRE

No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: RHAPSODY OF FIRE
INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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