Rhapsody - Power Of The Dragonflame

Year of Release: 2002
Label: LMP
Catalog Number: LMP 0203-040 CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 61:00:00

Hats off to the mighty Rhapsody.

Before the release of Rain Of A Thousand Flames, Rhapsody had been both praised and criticised for their music, even though they have been the forerunner of what has become epic or Hollywood or classical styled symphonic power metal. With overly positive reviews of their mini-disc of 2001, it was time for Rhapsody to show us if they were going to run and hide in the shadows of past glories or to slay those who would denounce the might of these Italian metal warriors.

Power Of The Dragonflame is the name of the new album and it is an album that will offend some and ignite others (just like their past releases then?). For me, PotDF represents a band in fine form and a band not resting on their laurels. The new disc features Rhapsody in all their glory - classical symphonic passages, epic harmonies, coy troubadour influences like Blind Guardian, and just a big, big sound that only the likes of Sascha Paeth and Miro can provide. Tracks like "The March Of The Swordmaster" show the band at their most diverse whilst the following track "When Demons Awake" are Rhapsody at their most aggressive. It's so much heavier than "Holy Thunderforce" and it is this onslaught that Rhapsody need to remain at the top. Whilst I have yet to peruse the lyrics, the Emerald Sword Saga returns and I'd be interested in how Luca Turilli (g) has developed as a lyricist. Speaking of the guitars, they have transformed themselves once again and opened up more classical components to play with. Luca's constant interplays with Alex Staropoli (k - and also the orchestral arranger) are just superb. They seem not only majestically classical but infinitely more aggressive.

Continuing on with this heavy theme, the antagonism in Fabio Lione's vocals is just amazing, although he manages to move from the totally aggressive ("When Demons Awake") to the softly supple ("Lamento Eroico"). His voice, like the album as a whole, moves from one extreme to the other effortlessly. The songs seem more diverse and I really believe that their EP was a prelude to what was coming on this album. The actual songs themselves have a certain pride about them and both stimulate and provoke. All of the original elements still show up but the album has more character than what Dawn Of Victory provided - it blows that album out of the (fantasy) universe. I was hoping to get away with not hearing that bloody narrator, but he does make an appearance in the "epic" finale, the 20 minute "Gargoyles, Angels Of Darkness" which is royal and elegant and typical Rhapsody. Overblown, yes, but we like that don't we? Once again, orgasmic artwork that I would love to see enlarged.

This album is truly magnificent. You'll like it if you enjoyed Rain Of A Thousand Flames - just don't look at the song titles because you may laugh too hard.

Similar To: Rhapsody are the leaders in their genre.

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

In Tenebris (01:28) / Knightrider Of Doom (03:56) / Power Of The Dragonflame (04:27) / The March Of The Swordmaster (05:04) / When Demons Awake (06:46) / Agony Is My Name (04:58) / Lamento Eroico (04:38) / Steelgods Of The Last Apocalypse (05:48) / The Pride Of The Tyrant (04:53) / Garoyles, Angels Of Darkness: Angeli Di... (19:02)

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

Additional Musicians:

Epic choirs - Herby Langhans, Miro, Robert Hunecke-Rizzo, Cinzia Rizzo, Oliver Hartmann
Church choirs - Bridget Fogle, Previn Moore Female baroque voice: Bridget Fogle
Manuel Staropoli - Baroque recorders
Dana Lurie - Lead violin
Jay Lansford - Narration
Sascha Paeth - Bass Thunderforce - Drums 1st classical guitar intro of 'Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness' composed and performed by Sascha Paeth
2nd classical guitar intro and interlude composed by Luca Turilli and performed by Johannes Monno

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 Rock

Origin IT

Added: February 20th 2005
Reviewer: Gary Carson
Artist website: www.mightyrhapsody.com/
Hits: 1010
Language: english


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