Rating:
6.0
Rhapsody Of Fire - The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony [EP]
15 October 2010


01. Act I - The Pass Of Nair-Kaan
02. Act II - Dark Mystic Vision
03. Act III - The Ancient Fires Of Har-Kuun
04. Act IV - The Betrayal
05. Act V - Neve Rosso Sangue
06. Act VI - Erian's Lost Secrets
07. Act VII - The Angels' Dark Revelation


Rhapsody must think that everything they touch turns to gold. Only months after the release of their comeback album the band offer this EP, an apparent "dark romantic symphony".

For a release 35 minutes long with seven tracks, perhaps only one is worthy of all the anticipation, if that. Nowadays it seems that narrations and cheesy fantasy film-like dialogues suffice as the majority of tracks on a musical disc. Only three tracks contain music as such, although "The Ancient Fires Of Har-Kuun" is the main one weighing in at an unnecessary 15 minutes. This is the main track of the EP and contains all the usual Rhapsody traditions of orchestrations, keyboards and choirs. It has its moments, the great chorus especially, but does suffer from appearing too drawn out.

"Neve Rosso Sangue" is your usual Italian Rhapsody ballad, leading into "Erian's Lost Secrets" which opens with an extremely Manowar-eque scream. This song also lacks pace, but is at least somewhat of a singalong and shows a glimpse of the bombastic nature of the band we have all come to recognise.

This EP is therefore reserved only for the most fanatical of followers. Not only is half of the disc unnecessary, the music on here is far from the band's best also. You can't begrudge the band's momentum having only just been allowed to release material again, but it would have been nice if the follow-up EP was worth even half of the quality of The Frozen Tears Of Angels. Unfortunately it doesn't come close.


Symphonic Power metal
Nuclear Blast
Italy
Length: 35:44

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 10


Band profile: Rhapsody Of Fire
Album: The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony


 



Written on 28.09.2010 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››



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csiga - 28.09.2010 at 13:53  
I wonder how u find it already
jupitreas - 28.09.2010 at 14:01  
Written by csiga on 28.09.2010 at 13:53

I wonder how u find it already


He got it from Nuclear Blast. I know this must seem unusual for you but we're actually a real music magazine that receives promos from labels
Ellrohir - 28.09.2010 at 14:03  
I find quite strange publishing review more than 2 weeks before release date...
csiga - 28.09.2010 at 14:10  
Written by jupitreas on 28.09.2010 at 14:01

Written by csiga on 28.09.2010 at 13:53

I wonder how u find it already


He got it from Nuclear Blast. I know this must seem unusual for you but we're actually a real music magazine that receives promos from labels


you mean the 'we're' for ms?
jupitreas - 28.09.2010 at 14:12  
Written by csiga on 28.09.2010 at 14:10

Written by jupitreas on 28.09.2010 at 14:01

Written by csiga on 28.09.2010 at 13:53

I wonder how u find it already


He got it from Nuclear Blast. I know this must seem unusual for you but we're actually a real music magazine that receives promos from labels


you mean the 'we're' for ms?


Well, yes, Barry and I are both staff members.
csiga - 28.09.2010 at 14:18  
Written by jupitreas on 28.09.2010 at 14:12

Written by csiga on 28.09.2010 at 14:10

Written by jupitreas on 28.09.2010 at 14:01

Written by csiga on 28.09.2010 at 13:53

I wonder how u find it already


He got it from Nuclear Blast. I know this must seem unusual for you but we're actually a real music magazine that receives promos from labels


you mean the 'we're' for ms?


Well, yes, Barry and I are both staff members.


yea, i know, but i thought he works for hammer world or something like that, so that is the reaseon why he has it got
Carl Berg - 28.09.2010 at 14:20  
Good review, I wasn't expecting anything big anyway.
ImNotMetal - 28.09.2010 at 14:26  
Promo review
Ellrohir - 28.09.2010 at 14:34  
Written by ImNotMetal on 28.09.2010 at 14:26

Promo review

well it isnt really the best promotion that album can get

(not doubting about the fact that the review is realistic and fair)
Sati - 28.09.2010 at 15:04  
How is that the rating says 6 while the EP recieved 9-7-7-10 for performance and stuff?
Jiri - 28.09.2010 at 15:21  
Good question, Sati.
Andreas - 28.09.2010 at 15:23  
9 + 7 + 7+ 10=33, 33/4 = 8,25.

I know the rating system doesn't work like this, but the difference between 8,25 and 6 is fairly obvious to say the least.

Oh, and an Italian Rhapsody ballad? I'm buying this one.
vezzy - 28.09.2010 at 15:27  
Written by Sati on 28.09.2010 at 15:04

How is that the rating says 6 while the EP recieved 9-7-7-10 for performance and stuff?


Just because they can perform well their drivel doesn't make the drivel good.

Although the "7" ratings may be questionable, I can't deny not having used it myself as a reluctant placeholder for "seeming lack of originality". Dunno.

I think I'll listen to this solely for laughing at.
MeTalRea|istiK - 28.09.2010 at 15:51  
Cool cover..looking forward to it!!
corrupt - 28.09.2010 at 16:23  
Written by Sati on 28.09.2010 at 15:04

How is that the rating says 6 while the EP recieved 9-7-7-10 for performance and stuff?

Baz is usually not too hung up on numbers. He will tell you that the invididual scores have to be seen individually and so does the final score. And in general, he will say, you should pay more attention to the words than the numbers.
He did that to me quite a number of times
GT - 28.09.2010 at 17:42  
Written by corrupt on 28.09.2010 at 16:23

Written by Sati on 28.09.2010 at 15:04

How is that the rating says 6 while the EP recieved 9-7-7-10 for performance and stuff?

Baz is usually not too hung up on numbers. He will tell you that the invididual scores have to be seen individually and so does the final score. And in general, he will say, you should pay more attention to the words than the numbers.
He did that to me quite a number of times

And that is absolutely correct. The overall score doesn't necessarily have to be the mean of the others
Xtopher - 28.09.2010 at 20:09  
Written by GT on 28.09.2010 at 17:42

Written by corrupt on 28.09.2010 at 16:23

Written by Sati on 28.09.2010 at 15:04

How is that the rating says 6 while the EP recieved 9-7-7-10 for performance and stuff?

Baz is usually not too hung up on numbers. He will tell you that the invididual scores have to be seen individually and so does the final score. And in general, he will say, you should pay more attention to the words than the numbers.
He did that to me quite a number of times

And that is absolutely correct. The overall score doesn't necessarily have to be the mean of the others


or maybe he just needs a calculator
Andreas - 28.09.2010 at 20:32  
Written by corrupt on 28.09.2010 at 16:23

Baz is usually not too hung up on numbers. He will tell you that the invididual scores have to be seen individually and so does the final score. And in general, he will say, you should pay more attention to the words than the numbers.
He did that to me quite a number of times

Then why the hell use those numbers?
Edmund Fogg - 28.09.2010 at 21:41  
Written by Andreas on 28.09.2010 at 20:32

Written by corrupt on 28.09.2010 at 16:23

Baz is usually not too hung up on numbers. He will tell you that the invididual scores have to be seen individually and so does the final score. And in general, he will say, you should pay more attention to the words than the numbers.
He did that to me quite a number of times

Then why the hell use those numbers?


Because any band with enough money to put on a record will have a great production quality.It doesn't mean the album is any good.(Used production as an example but you get the idea)
Ag Fox - 28.09.2010 at 21:45  
Each reviewer has their own style and standard. As long as you have read enough reviews of different reviewers here, you would understand their bars. As said above, the written words is the crux
Daydream Nation - 28.09.2010 at 22:19  
Great review. I appreciate you breaking DerRozzengarten's string of reviews, haha. I could use a different perspective on albums.
Elodie Artour - 28.09.2010 at 22:30  
Oh, come on, guys! How come you're judging Baz for giving 9, 7, 7, 10 at the different modules but, on the other hand, deciding on an overall rating of 6.0 whereas I'm pretty sure his review is relevant, absolutely realistic and fair enough, as well?! (Which, speaking of Rhapsody themselves, I'm PRETTY certain about...) That's why it's called an 'overall impression' - it doesn't necessarily have to match with the individual scores.

As for reviewing the EP before its actual release, I could only say that: Like it or not, the guy is a Staffer which means he is allowed to review anything at any time, y'know. Besides that, nice job, Barry! I found your work absolutely hilarious in a good way and I'm damn sure I'm gonna check this EP out only in order to get some real laughs.

'Manowar-eque scream' LOL
Daggon - 28.09.2010 at 23:47  
As a HUGE Rhapsody fan, I'm afraid that this review will get valid as soon as I get this album in my hands, even if I love too much this band, "The Frozen Tears Of Angels" wasn't what I expected, I hope this won't have the same result on me as TFTOA. Still, I'm quite expectant.
Doc Godin - 29.09.2010 at 03:10  
Written by csiga on 28.09.2010 at 14:18

yea, i know, but i thought he works for hammer world or something like that, so that is the reaseon why he has it got

You should probably learn how promo & press stuff works before making assumptions.
RavenKing - 29.09.2010 at 04:16  
The review seems to confirm that the album will be exactly what I expected. Lots and lots of cheese with very little music. Since SOEL II this band are doing their best to play their instruments as less as possible and fill the albums with as much cheesy garbage as possible.
I wonder how someone can take this stuff seriously, apart from Turilli and his legendary epic ego. Like Baz says, they believe everything they touch is pure gold.

Looks like this album will even beat "Nightfall In Middle-Earth" for the ratio of filler tracks.
Kratos - 29.09.2010 at 04:59  
*Sigh* The narrations in Rhapsody songs rape it for the most part, imo. I'll be staying away from this filler and narration fest.
Andreas - 29.09.2010 at 07:55  
Written by Edmund Fogg on 28.09.2010 at 21:41

Because any band with enough money to put on a record will have a great production quality.It doesn't mean the album is any good.(Used production as an example but you get the idea)

And you used the most generic example. Performance is good, songwriting and originality are maybe not that good, but 7 isn't too bad. So where does the actual rating (6.0) come from?
BitterCOld - 29.09.2010 at 08:38  
Written by Andreas on 29.09.2010 at 07:55

Written by Edmund Fogg on 28.09.2010 at 21:41

Because any band with enough money to put on a record will have a great production quality.It doesn't mean the album is any good.(Used production as an example but you get the idea)

And you used the most generic example. Performance is good, songwriting and originality are maybe not that good, but 7 isn't too bad. So where does the actual rating (6.0) come from?


just because a band is skilled at their instruments, creates a song with a decent structure and great production does not mean it's actually a GOOD song...

the final overall score represents an overall opinion of the album.

i realize this is apparently really difficult for a lot of people to process, as this is the 4th or 5th time i've seen it brought up offhand, including this being the second time on this particular discussion.

buck up, Baz, i think the biggest reason people are having a hard time digesting your score is because they haven't been able to digest the music yet. my guess is if you gave it a 6, it must be pretty dreadful as you are usually a tad nicer than i.
RavenKing - 29.09.2010 at 14:01  
Written by Kratos on 29.09.2010 at 04:59

*Sigh* The narrations in Rhapsody songs rape it for the most part, imo. I'll be staying away from this filler and narration fest.


The problem is not so much the narrations in themselves (as cheesy as they are) as the way they use them. They don't blend them into the songs. I mean, if it would be some background 'vocals' just put as a complement to music, it would be much less annoying and they would sound less cheesy. As it is now, they just kill the songs by destroying the pace of the music. Listen to "Unholy Warcry" for example. The music just cuts suddenly, the song stops, and then the talking starts.
Also, the talking is way too long at times since SOEL II. Sometimes, it feels more as you're listening to the recording of someone reading a book than to music. They even seem to believe that spoken parts can be an entire song.
If I can draw a comparison, I would say I find Bal-Sagoth boring because the narrating voice is used way too much but at least the songs flow, the spoken parts are over the music. In Bal-Sagoth's case, the problem is not the way spoken parts are used but that the ratio between them and real vocals is way too high.
csiga - 29.09.2010 at 19:54  
Written by Doc Godin on 29.09.2010 at 03:10

Written by csiga on 28.09.2010 at 14:18

yea, i know, but i thought he works for hammer world or something like that, so that is the reaseon why he has it got

You should probably learn how promo & press stuff works before making assumptions.


my assumption have nothing to do with the promo and press stuffs, but never mind
DerRozzengarten - 29.09.2010 at 20:24  
Written by Guest on 28.09.2010 at 22:19

Great review. I appreciate you breaking DerRozzengarten's string of reviews, haha. I could use a different perspective on albums.

Kratos - 30.09.2010 at 00:30  
Quote:
The problem is not so much the narrations in themselves (as cheesy as they are) as the way they use them. They don't blend them into the songs. I mean, if it would be some background 'vocals' just put as a complement to music, it would be much less annoying and they would sound less cheesy. As it is now, they just kill the songs by destroying the pace of the music. Listen to "Unholy Warcry" for example. The music just cuts suddenly, the song stops, and then the talking starts.
Also, the talking is way too long at times since SOEL II. Sometimes, it feels more as you're listening to the recording of someone reading a book than to music. They even seem to believe that spoken parts can be an entire song.

Yeah, everyone of their songs with narrations are all long, boring, and out of place. They even feel embaressing to listen to most of the time, imo, the cheesiness is just too much. The only Rhapsody song I can stand with their narrations is "Rain of a thousand flames" because the narration, kinda flows with the song and is only a few seconds long, but if it was a few seconds longer it probably would have butchered the song.
RavenKing - 30.09.2010 at 03:05  
Written by Kratos on 30.09.2010 at 00:30

Yeah, everyone of their songs with narrations are all long, boring, and out of place. They even feel embaressing to listen to most of the time, imo, the cheesiness is just too much. The only Rhapsody song I can stand with their narrations is "Rain of a thousand flames" because the narration, kinda flows with the song and is only a few seconds long, but if it was a few seconds longer it probably would have butchered the song.


Exactly. I don't mind the narration on "Rain Of A Thousand Flames"because it blends with the music. Guitars and drums don't stop like on "Unholy Warcry".
Though, to tell the truth, I haven't really listened to Rhapsody in years. And yes, since SOEL II, the narrations are way too over-the-top cheesy. It's just bad and laughable.
Andreas - 30.09.2010 at 07:53  
Written by BitterCOld on 29.09.2010 at 08:38

Written by Andreas on 29.09.2010 at 07:55

Written by Edmund Fogg on 28.09.2010 at 21:41

Because any band with enough money to put on a record will have a great production quality.It doesn't mean the album is any good.(Used production as an example but you get the idea)

And you used the most generic example. Performance is good, songwriting and originality are maybe not that good, but 7 isn't too bad. So where does the actual rating (6.0) come from?


just because a band is skilled at their instruments, creates a song with a decent structure and great production does not mean it's actually a GOOD song...

the final overall score represents an overall opinion of the album.

i realize this is apparently really difficult for a lot of people to process, as this is the 4th or 5th time i've seen it brought up offhand, including this being the second time on this particular discussion.

buck up, Baz, i think the biggest reason people are having a hard time digesting your score is because they haven't been able to digest the music yet. my guess is if you gave it a 6, it must be pretty dreadful as you are usually a tad nicer than i.

Well still the question stands: where are the other ratings for if it's only minor side information?
BitterCOld - 30.09.2010 at 08:19  
Written by Andreas on 30.09.2010 at 07:53

Well still the question stands: where are the other ratings for if it's only minor side information?


there aren't other. it's a list of primary components and overall opinion. sorry this is apparently lost on you. i'm done talking about it here, although undoubtedly will again when other folks on another review on another day have a problem.

Baz says it's a 6. it's mediocre. well produced mediocrity by guys who know their instruments... which doesn't really make it any better than mediocrity put out by guys who are mediocre with their instruments.
Ellrohir - 30.09.2010 at 11:23  
I'd suggest to drop those four "mini ratings" completely and those discussions will magically stop...anyway, honestly - who of you really pay attention to themand do they affect your opinion about the album? or is it more likely based on the "overall score"?
farfaramir - 30.09.2010 at 20:52  
Written by BitterCOld on 30.09.2010 at 08:19

Written by Andreas on 30.09.2010 at 07:53

Well still the question stands: where are the other ratings for if it's only minor side information?


there aren't other. it's a list of primary components and overall opinion. sorry this is apparently lost on you. i'm done talking about it here, although undoubtedly will again when other folks on another review on another day have a problem.

Baz says it's a 6. it's mediocre. well produced mediocrity by guys who know their instruments... which doesn't really make it any better than mediocrity put out by guys who are mediocre with their instruments.

It does. They know their instruments ...
Agaton Sax - 30.09.2010 at 23:43  
A cheesy album with narrations, orchestrations and hollywood metal? I'm going to buy it right away!
Ellrohir - 30.09.2010 at 23:55  
Written by Agaton Sax on 30.09.2010 at 23:43

A cheesy album with narrations, orchestrations and hollywood metal? I'm going to buy it right away!


finally a word
RavenKing - 01.10.2010 at 01:42  
Written by Agaton Sax on 30.09.2010 at 23:43

A cheesy album with narrations, orchestrations and hollywood metal? I'm going to buy it right away!



Sorry to be so negative but, from my point of view, it's bands like Rhapsody who bring down the genre and turn it into a joke. Imo, it's not a coincidence if the Power/Speed Metal genre went downhill at the same moment bands like Rhapsody started to be popular. Bands like Rhapsody stand for all that is wrong with modern Powermetal. Such bands draw the attention of people on anything not metal, childish, cheesy or not even musical sometimes. It sounds fake, even more a studio trick than Dragonforce can be. It's just all flash no substance.

What is Rhapsody since SOEL II, really? A mix of mediocre Powermetal and simple orchestrations (nothing comparable to a real movie soundtrack or classical music). Some people would tell you it's genius because they mix Powermetal and classical music. But how is it done? By watering down both Powermetal and classical music immensely. That's what you can see if you look below the surface.

And I often love medieval lyrics but their lyrical ability is non-existent. It just comes out as cliched and unintentionnally hilarious because it is intended as something serious and deep but the result is completely the opposite.
Even most of those who like the band are saying that it must not be taken seriously and that it's cheesy but they like the over-the-top cheesiness and enjoy this band for a good laugh.

Perhaps I'm taking it too seriously. However, judging by what I read from interviews, Turilli takes it much more seriously than me.
Agaton Sax - 01.10.2010 at 13:48  
My comment was more implying that you can't expect anything else out of a Rhapsody - of - fire-disc. Customers knows what they'll get when buying this.
Andreas - 01.10.2010 at 20:24  
Written by BitterCOld on 30.09.2010 at 08:19

there aren't other. it's a list of primary components and overall opinion. sorry this is apparently lost on you. i'm done talking about it here, although undoubtedly will again when other folks on another review on another day have a problem.

Now you're pretending as if I don't understand the rating system. I do understand the system, mind, I was just doubting it...

Quote:
Baz says it's a 6. it's mediocre. well produced mediocrity by guys who know their instruments... which doesn't really make it any better than mediocrity put out by guys who are mediocre with their instruments.

OK, tell me what's unoriginal about such an overkill of narrations on a metal album? That's actually the only thing I'm sure about when it comes to this album, so I can't tell about the rest yet. Anyway, this review is a good example of the fact that the reviewer's opinion is a major factor. (not saying that's a bad thing)
Dargor - 04.10.2010 at 17:58  
There are samples on Amazon and it sounds exactly as I expected. Nothing more, nothing less.
Sounds like a mix between ToA and TFoA, oriented mainly on symphonies and narration which isn't that bad in fact.

It's like they ripped off all the orchestrations and narration that could have been on TFoA and made an EP out of it.
And hey, it's Rhapsody, we all know they had to do something like that one day or another.
Chris Steele - 15.10.2010 at 13:59  
Is the dude who speaks on the last track Sean Connery? Cause that is awesome!
Dargor - 18.10.2010 at 17:11  
Finally, I have it and I think this is an excellent EP.
Act III is an especially impressive song.

I like the fact that they kept that new prog approach and also the screams vocals, they're still there.
Daggon - 29.10.2010 at 03:09  
I'm saying this as a metalhead, not as a Rhapsody fanboy, I love the band, and as a fan I even recognize their mistakes and let me tell you that, at least in my humble opinion, this EP is not one of them, sooo I'll try to be brief in this post.

After listening this EP many times (because actually I really enjoyed it), I can say that even if your review is well done, it doesn't get to the point, even if you expressed your opinion about the album, I think that your review doesn't express very well what the hell is this album about, still I think that it can stand alone because when we are talking about this band we all know what to expect, but I can say that maybe this review will give a wrong impression not only to everyone.

The EP is really well done, they could have released something of only 20 minutes long, but they had the balls to do what they really wanted, narrations, orchestrations, and stuff, something to remember, not another simple EP with a couple of songs.

Something compared this with "A Nightfall In The Middle-Earth" by Blind Guardian, and I can say that this two albums are completely different; while the aforementioned has mindless fillers and boring songs, this EP goes straight to the point, the "fillers" actually have something to say.

Finally, someone said that this band is an example of what gives a bad impression about metal... Really? C'mon, even if Luca Turilli (someone who I deeply respect) takes himself veeery seriously, there are other guys who take their ridiculous bullshit more seriously than him, people who really give a wrong impression about metal than the whole Rhapsody crew. Examples? Oh c'mon, don't get me started, let's say... Varg Vikernes (Burzum), Jon Nödtveidt (Dissection), Nergal (Behemoth), Dead (Mayhem), and so on...
AngelofDeth - 12.09.2013 at 21:10  
^^^^ fanboy alert... lol Though I will agree with you about Varg, Jon and Nergal giving a much worse name than Luca ever did/does. Good point.

On the other hand I completely agree with the review, out of the whole album I only remember and re-listen to one song, Act III, and even then that song is as you said, unnecessarily long.

I thought this album was a great concept but when it came down to it, it just turned out to be boring. I guess there's a reason we demand Metal accompanied by Orchestration and not Orchestration accompanied by Metal; at the end of the day we aren't Bach or Mozart fanboys, were Metalheads.

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