Rhapsody Of Fire - Dark Wings Of Steel review



Reviewer:
7.0

159 users:
6.75
Band: Rhapsody Of Fire
Album: Dark Wings Of Steel
Release date: November 2013


01. Vis Divina
02. Rising From Tragic Flames
03. Angel Of Light
04. Tears Of Pain
05. Fly To Crystal Skies
06. My Sacrifice
07. Silver Lake Of Tears
08. Custode Di Pace
09. A Tale Of Magic
10. Dark Wings Of Steel
11. Sad Mystic Moon
12. A Candle To Light [extended version] [Digipak & Vinyl bonus]
13. Voler Vers Toi [French version] [Japanese bonus]


Fault-finders rarely have a hard time in finding critics to move against Rhapsody Of Fire, but it would be audacious to say that the band avoided exploring new musical directions. From 1997's Legendary Tales on, they never released an album like the previous one, always progressing, always searching for new paths to follow, arriving at their verge of experimentation with 2011's controversial From Chaos To Eternity, then…

Then Turilli left to push his research for emotional cinematic metal further in order to compose without the boundaries of the medieval leitmotifs and to develop at best all his creativity, something that remaining in Rhapsody Of Fire couldn't have allowed him. How would the members who remained in the "original" Rhapsody react to this loss? Would Staropoli, now main composer, venture in his friend's own field and dare challenge him in innovation, or would he take a step back, focusing on the consecration of the trademark Rhapsody Of Fire style?

With Dark Wings Of Steel the answer becomes crystal clear: Rhapsody Of Fire, maybe for the first time in their career, chose the safe way. It is as if The Frozen Tears Of Angels and From Chaos To Eternity, the band's more adventurous albums, had never existed as this release starts where The Dark Secret and Triumph Or Agony left off. Inheriting the faster tracks from the former, and the mid-tempo anthems (that here play a preponderant role) from the latter, Dark Wings Of Steel simply sounds like the more coherent third album of the Dark Secret Saga.

With Turilli and Leurquin's departure, and Tom Hess' hit and run, for the first time in ten years the band found itself with only one guitarist, Turilli's long-time friend Roberto De Micheli. His touch, so drastically different from the band's traditional one, is valorized at best and turns out to be one of the album's strong points. While Turilli's playing was arranged to flow with the orchestrations, to follow and merge into the compositions, De Micheli's heavy and distinctive riffing stands as a fixed point, around which the songs are built. Personal tastes will enthrone the one or the other guitarist, but what is for certain is that De Micheli is, at least until now, immensely less influential than Turilli when it comes to song writing.

Left alone with the composing duties, Staropoli didn't create an up-tempo, cheesy album (haters, rejoice!), but imagined and wrote Dark Wings Of Steel, as both the album's title and cover art show, as the heavier and darker Rhapsody Of Fire album to date. Power metal fun-rides a la "Unholy Warcry" and medieval classic tunes are few and do not live up to the band's standards, while the album flows at a well cadenced and grandiose rhythm that will cause loads of bad necks during live performances.

Almost inevitably, what's missing in Dark Wings Of Steel is inspiration, ideas, genius. Turilli's touch of magic is gone, and the void is probably unbridgeable, the result being an overall predictable album. Things Rhapsody Of Fire fans were not used to.

Dark Wings Of Steel is an album that will almost certainly silence most of the traditional hate versus Rhapsody Of Fire, but it's with heavy heart that I have to say that, though being a more than decent effort, it's the worst the band ever released.


 



Written on 27.11.2013 by Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.


Comments

Comments: 12   Visited by: 379 users
27.11.2013 - 15:48
Gothmog_Motsham
It's like the album is more "metal" rather than "neoclassical" like it's always been, I quite enjoyed the album, but Turilli's absence left a void that cannot be unheard, I was really hoping the album would have more folksy instruments like it used to be on the first albums. Still worth the solid 7.0. Good review!
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27.11.2013 - 23:29
Darkside Momo
Retired
Worst album, as in worst than the Magic Circle years?... And yet you find yourself comparing this album to Triumph Or Agony - by far their worst.
I'll have to check out by myself but I'm anxious.
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
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27.11.2013 - 23:49
R Lewis
That Useless Guy
Written by Darkside Momo on 27.11.2013 at 23:29

Worst album, as in worst than the Magic Circle years?... And yet you find yourself comparing this album to Triumph Or Agony - by far their worst.
I'll have to check out by myself but I'm anxious.

Dark Wings Of Steel ≤ Triumph Or Agony < Everything else. At least as I see it.
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We could be so much more than we are. Stop.
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28.11.2013 - 02:20
Darkside Momo
Retired
Written by R Lewis on 27.11.2013 at 23:49

Written by Darkside Momo on 27.11.2013 at 23:29

Worst album, as in worst than the Magic Circle years?... And yet you find yourself comparing this album to Triumph Or Agony - by far their worst.
I'll have to check out by myself but I'm anxious.

Dark Wings Of Steel ≤ Triumph Or Agony < Everything else. At least as I see it.

Oh shit... :/
----

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you" - Ray Bradbury

"I've lost too many years now
I'm stealing back my soul
I'm awake now"
Abney Park (Letter Between A Little Boy & Himself As An Adult)
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28.11.2013 - 03:20
Teravolt_Danny
As myself and some other posters have pointed out in other threads, RoF put the technical guitar wankery on the back burner for for this album, which I think was a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I think their last two albums were good, but they were slowly edging away from symphonic power metal and moving toward a more proggy, progressive sound - which isn't bad, but it isn't what RoF are.

With that said, while I'm happy with what they were TRYING to do on this album, I think they missed the mark a bit. Despite the emphasis they put on songwriting and choruses, there isn't as much memorable material as I wish there were. There are some killer tracks, but a few tracks, such as "Tears of Pain," are very clear filler.

7/10 for me.

PS - Anyone notice that the first half of the chorus on "Angel of Light" is almost the exact same as the beginning of the chorus to "Sea of Fate?"
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28.11.2013 - 08:43
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
Still need some more time to rate it myself but this pretty much sums up my thoughts so far...

Quote:
what's missing in Dark Wings Of Steel is inspiration, ideas, genius. Turilli's touch of magic is gone, and the void is probably unbridgeable, the result being an overall predictable album.


Well composed review btw!
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pewpew.. gotcha
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28.11.2013 - 17:52
Empyror
I agree with what was said and the score for this review. It seems everyone here agrees that alot of the cheese and catchiness we all used to love about Rhapsody is gone. Most of it went with Turilli to the other Rhapsody. I also agree with R Lewis that Triumph of Agony WAS there worst album until this was released. The second half of Triumph was still really great with songs like Il Canto del Vento, Bloody Red Dungeons and Son of Pain. This album is sort of the same way in that four of the best five songs on the album appear after track six, but aren't nearly as good as the previously mentioned songs.
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29.11.2013 - 07:51
LeChron James
Helvetesfossen
This is definitely on the same level as Triumph or Agony. Only a few good songs with all the rest being very forgettable.
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Kick Ass, Die Young

Less is More
Stay Pure
Stay Poor

Music was my life, music brought me to life and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz in my head that only I can hear.
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01.12.2013 - 13:01
theembryo
Quote:
".... while the album flows at a well cadenced and grandiose rhythm that will cause loads of bad necks during live performances....."


Then perhaps I shall debut this release by seeking a record of just such a performance including a few tunes from it. Thanks for this review!
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11.12.2013 - 23:12
Daggon
Underpaid M.D.
Their weakest release to date, I'm a HUGE fan of Rhapsody, but this album was one of the most boring and generic things I've listened this year...
I'm done with both bands called Rhapsody...
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"Les vers savent qu'ils n'ont pas d'ailes, c'est pour cela qu'ils se cachent sous terre"

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16.12.2013 - 07:41
FelixLord
I've been following for many years Rhapsody. The songs on this album seem different from the other albums, are quieter and have another melody which surprised me. This album reminds me of Luca Turilli's Rhapsody Band, the music is good, but not Rhapsody of Fire ...

7.5/10 rate is fair I think.
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01.03.2014 - 03:54
AngelofDeth
Cyborg Raptor
Great review, agree with most all points made, though I would've been a little harsher on the score. The album isn't terrible, per se, but it is incredibly boring to the point where I was barely tolerable of one complete listen. And being this boring is almost worse than being messy, at least with some messy albums you can pluck out a few gems, unfortunately, there is none here.
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pewpew.. gotcha
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