Rhapsody Of Fire - Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret
27 September 2004

Disc I
01. The Dark Secret
02. Unholy Warcry
03. Never Forgotten Heroes
04. Elgard's Green Valleys
05. The Magic Of The Wizards Dream
06. Erian's Mystical Rhymes
07. The Last Angels' Call
08. Dragonland's Rivers
09. Sacred Power Of Raging Winds
10. Guardiani Del Destino
11. Shadows Of Death
12. Nightfall On The Grey Mountains

Disc II [limited edition DVD]
01. Unholy Warcry [video] [short version]
02. Unholy Warcry [video]
03. Unholy Warcry [video] [extended version]
04. Documentary about the recordings In Czlin
05. Building of the dragon
06. Extended interview with Christopher Lee
07. Documentary about the recordings in Wolfsburg
08. Making of the videos for "Unholy Warcry"
09. Recording with the orchestra

It's a beautiful day, the sky is clear blue, the sun in shining and it's blowing just so much so it's perfect out there, a perfect Swedish summer (autumn) day, and when the mail came I got a package with an album, no other than the new Rhapsody, seems like a perfect Friday, don't you think? At least, that's what I thought about it.

Anyway, almost all of that was irrelevant for what this reviews shall be about, the album.
So it's soon time for the creators of Hollywood Metal to release their new album, two years after the big success with "Power of the Dragonflame", and this is even more majestic, because Rhapsody has reinforced the parts that always been their weak ones, mostly I mean the narrating, that always been done by a very mediocre guy, but this time it's different, because it's no other than Mr. Lee, Christopher (Dracula, Saruman) Lee.

As you can understand, that part is now one of Rhapsody's strongest parts, with Mr. Lee doing the narrating, Rhapsody has grown much, in the narrating part.
But it's not only Mr. Lee that have made them better, they music feels better, even if it's still sounds the same.
So if we shall look above the music and so, the album is better, better production, better peoples around and stuff, Mr. Lee is fantastic, the Czech philharmonic orchestra is fantastic, so the album is better, even if it's starting to get boring, I mean, it's almost the same from album to album.

But I have to say that I like "Power of the Dragonflame", I liked it, because of its majestic sound, a sound that only Luca Turilli and Alex Starpoli can create.
And that was the biggest question I had before listening to the new album, could the guys do it again, without going over the edge and become lame?
And the answer is, yes they could do it again, create an album that's majestic as they always do, but they didn't succeed to create an album that feels fresh. Ok, this album might be their best, but it's still quite boring.

With "Symphony of Enchanted Lands II", Rhapsody gives us 72 minutes of Metal, a Metal they now call Film Score Metal, not Hollywood Metal, but who cares? It's still the same old Rhapsody.
Another thing, don't let yourself be fooled by the name, because this is not a successor to "Symphony of Enchanted Land", at least not the story. The previous story (Emerald Sword) ended with "Power of the Dragonflame" and the story for "Symphony of Enchanted Lands II" (Dark Saga) is a totally new one, but with influences from Emerald Sword.
Complicated? Yes it is, but that's nothing new when it comes to Rhapsody.

I have hard so see that a true fan of the band will dislike it, but I can understand it if others do, because it's quite the same as on previous album, maybe a little bit more majestic, but still quite the same.
The philharmonic orchestra does much and Mr. Lee too, that's new and good, but it's still the same old Rhapsody.
It's majestic; it has Gregorian chants and flutes, at all the latest Rhapsody releases.
So for fans this is a safe buy, you will probably love the album, but for all others, I recommend to try some songs before buying it, it might just not be worth the money, and that's even more likely if you own the last two releases.

I'll end this review with a quotation from the promo-sheet, I just find it too fun not to include it in the review, and you'll have to take this with pinch of salt.

"On September 27, 2004, the world of Metal will change forever with the worldwide release of Rhapsody's latest album, "Symphony of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret".
Metal will never the same again!"

*cough cough*

Band profile: Rhapsody Of Fire
Album: Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret


written by Malcolm | 26.09.2004


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Comments: 12  
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ThunderAxe1989 - 26.06.2006 at 21:51  
In some ways this is a boring album.....but very imaginative and epic! i love the tracks "Unholy Warcry" and "Sacred Power Of Raging Winds" the best!
Pianoman - 26.06.2006 at 23:32  
I have hear only the tracks Unholy Warcry that is a powerfull and majestic one.
And I have hear Tha Magic Of The Wizard Dreams that is one of the best ballads of rhapsody.
Aresius - 05.07.2006 at 17:36  
hail mighty Rhapsody!!!
+{Jonas}+ - 11.02.2008 at 22:55  
Deffinitely Rhapsody's downpoint. It bored me, It has some cool tracks, but after the first saga This is just... I don't knwo... It bored me pretty fast. I didin't even listened to the complete album.
Ellrohir - 11.02.2008 at 23:56  
maybe their downpoint, but still great music
Italics - 28.05.2009 at 00:36  
Quite easily their best. I don't know if they'll ever be able to top this one.
Lord_Regnier - 28.05.2009 at 01:03  
This album is quite average (and quite boring).

But not as awful as TOA, imo, which I consider as the ultimate provierbial punch in the face for the older fans.

Rhapsody's albums are sleep-inducing cheese after POTD.

Concerning Rhapsody's promotion, it has always been pretentious, pompous, lots of chest beating. They always made me think of Manowar on this aspect. No wonder they ended up on DeMaio's label. Problem is it doesn't look like this move served them well, as they're frozen now, and since a long time already, by a lawsuit between them and MCM (DeMaio's label).
Uirapuru - 10.06.2009 at 09:02  
Average.. it is really boring sometimes, but there are amazing songs like ''Never Forgotten Heroes'', ''The Last angel's call'' and ''Dragonland's Rivers'' is pretty cool.
''The Magic of the wizard's dream'' is beautiful.
Nyoink - 30.05.2010 at 14:08  
I think this album is very good, it makes a really relaxing atmosphere, i could hear it all day~~~ what makes it different than their earlier works is the lack of power in the songs. That's the only weakness. The lyrics are brilliant, the production, too. It took me some time to get used to the brilliance of this album, though.
BORT - 14.08.2010 at 00:08  
Never Forgotten Heroes is a great song.
powa_emanuel - 17.01.2011 at 23:02  
The song "Never forgotten heroes", before the chorus is sooo like "Wisdom of the kings"
Iron Men - 25.04.2011 at 13:56  
With a first look, the album seams like the previous Symphony but it's so different to it. It's narrative, creative, exciting trip to Rhaphody's world (metaphorically and literally).The production is perfect, the orchestra gives a different sense to this majestic piece of music and the participation of Christopher Lee is only a positive. One of the best Rhaphody's albums!

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