Rhapsody Of Fire - Legendary Tales
27 October 1997

01. Ira Tenax
02. Warrior Of Ice
03. Rage Of The Winter
04. Forest Of Unicorns
05. Flames Of Revenge
06. Virgin Skies
07. Land Of Immortals
08. Echoes Of Tragedy
09. Lord Of The Thunder
10. Legendary Tales

So here the legend begins, with this first album signed on one of the most prestigious label (Limb at that time), the now well-known Italian band stroke the minds. We could argue on what is this music, is it power metal, symphonic, epic, or even Hollywood metal, what remains the same is that this album is great. I have to let you know before you read more of this review, that I consider this album the best release of the band, while many fans consider it's their weakest album. Let me explain why in details.

This is the first chapter of the Emerald Sword Saga (four chapters, four albums and a half), which can be considered as a general presentation. I'm too lazy too tell you about the whole thing and anyway it's well written on the official website, and very complete. And you don't want me to tell you how it ends especially if you have not heard the album yet!

The album begins with a symphonic intro, Ira Tenax, powerful with some great choirs, it shows the talent of those two composers, Luca Turilli (guitars) and Alex Staropoli (keyboards). Then one of my favourite Rhapsody track ever, Warrior Of Ice: excellent instrumental / symphonic / metal parts, great riffs, perfect vocals for the song - which doesn't get boring, with some various parts, some fast, some slow, some soft, some loud. Excellent.
Third track Rage Of The Winter, more clearly power metal, which shows some similarities with the fifth track, Flames Of Revenge. Between those two songs is Forest Of Unicorns, a sort of folk ballad, with some flute for example. Fabio sings in a sad way at the beginning but on the chorus, he sings really high, it's quite funny the first time. A really good song.
A small and relaxing instrumental (1:20), Virgin Skies, comes before Land Of Immortal, a speedy song that I like very much, mainly because of good and catchy riffs and chorus. Then another soft song, with mainly keys and piano, vocals on verses and choirs on chorus. And then again a quite speedy one, Lord Of Thunder, again with some great riffs and some great orchestration passages, etc.
Finally the title track of the album, Legendary Tales, alterning some soft instrumental melodies and vocals, with some electric chorus that keep the melodic line.

This album really shows how good can be metal mixed with some classical, symphonic, and "bard" elements, and it set the standard for the other chapter of the saga. It's very technical, all the musicians are great, even if, at this time, there was no real bass player (producer Sasha Paeth), and that drummer Daniel Carbonnera had some hard time learning the songs. I highly recommend it to all of you who haven't heard Rhapsody before. Even if the 2nd chapter, Symphony Of Enchanted Lands is one of the best album in terms of recording, this first album doesn't suffer from serious sound problem, I think it's really good because it places the emphasis on the compositions more than on the guitars.

Band profile: Rhapsody Of Fire
Album: Legendary Tales


written by wrathchild | 14.12.2003


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The Alchemist - 04.08.2006 at 06:49  
Excellent review wrathchild, I agree with you in most of the things you wrote here.

I think that this is the best album of the band too, I really like the sound of the album, the atmosphere the music creates, the lyrics, etc. And besides that, there is a very good variety of sounds, like the songs you described above: "Ira Tenax" so powerful with excellent choirs, "Forest Of Unicorns": sad, funny, fantastic, folk ballad. The instrumental song "Virgin Skies" based in ancient times with excellent instrumentation. "Land Of Immortals", "Lord Of The Thunder" and "Legendary Tales" with excellent lyrics, choirs and awesome atmosphere. these are my favorite songs.

About the mixture between metal and symphonic elements, I agree, this one would be one of the first ones I'd show to someone who wants to know about symphonic metal with classical elements. And of course this album is the first one I'd recommend to someone who wants to know about Rhapsody Of Fire
Megadeth88 - 13.08.2006 at 02:55  
I agree with you on that one Wrathchild. This is their best album they put out. I like their other albums but this one just means alot to me. So I like it alot.
Francesca - 05.11.2006 at 14:29  
Great album! The best possible combination between metal and classical music. My favorite song is Land of immortals! Superbe!!!
Talvi - 20.11.2006 at 11:27  
This is what Rhapsody should be. They are now too soft and orchestral for my taste...
Grey_Dandelion - 07.05.2007 at 21:55  
Their best album the next ones disappointed me a little-i give half point more so its 8.5 for me
Dreamwar_86 - 12.11.2007 at 12:03  
rage of the winter and llord of the thunder are kick ass tracks
+{Jonas}+ - 11.02.2008 at 22:45  
This is indeed their best release... teh lyrics are awesome and the soft tracks among the fast and epic make a great combination that is not boring, but great.
Ellrohir - 12.02.2008 at 00:07  
i think this album is slightly different than the later ones...but i enjoy it same as them
Mr. Doctor - 14.10.2008 at 22:30  
I listened to the album after more than a year sparing dust...
Anbd it felt amaizing... I hit myslef because I didn't listen to it so often but now the album really shines.

The symphonic parts are breathtaking
Kib Thanyarath - 19.05.2009 at 03:26  
Land Of Immortals !!!
Lord_Regnier - 19.05.2009 at 15:33  
Written by Talvi on 20.11.2006 at 11:27

This is what Rhapsody should be. They are now too soft and orchestral for my taste...

Same here. After "Power Of The Dragonflame", this band really went downhill. SOEL II was quite boring and TOA sucks big time.

They're barely metal anymore. Get rid of the orchestra, stop putting us to sleep with boring soft ballads, and bring back the speedy songs. That is, if ever this band is still alive.
Uirapuru - 10.06.2009 at 08:51  
Great review. This is the kind of band who never released a bad album imo. Its just hard to do bad music with those excellent folk, symphonic, ''bard'' elements. Wonderful album.
Epictemptation - 04.11.2012 at 18:05  
What are the best songs in the album because this albu is hard for me to understand?
Andreas - 09.11.2012 at 20:56  
Written by Epictemptation on 04.11.2012 at 18:05

What are the best songs in the album because this albu is hard for me to understand?

I don't find myself listening to this album very often, but I enjoy the following songs very much: Forest of Unicorns, Flames of Revenge, Lord of Thunder.

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