Rhapsody Of Fire - Symphony Of Enchanted Lands review
|Band:||Rhapsody Of Fire|
|Album:||Symphony Of Enchanted Lands|
|Release date:||October 1998|
01. Epicus Furor
02. Emerald Sword
03. Wisdom Of The Kings
04. Heroes Of The Lost Valley
1 - Entering The Waterfalls Realm
2 - The Dragons' Pride
05. Eternal Glory
06. Beyond The Gates Of Infinity
07. Wings Of Destiny
08. The Dark Tower Of Abyss
09. Riding The Winds Of Eternity
10. Symphony Of Enchanted Lands
1 - Tharos' Last Flight
2 - The Hymn Of The Warrior
3 - Rex Tremende
4 - The Immortal Fire
Here it is, the second album from the mighty Italians of Rhapsody! We were many to wait for the release of the second chapter of the Emerald Sword Saga, and our hope wasn't in vain, and our patience was greatly rewarded. Warriors, hold your shiny sword up in the air, your fate waits for you! See, this is the effect this album has on most of us!
The album follows the main guideline given by its predecessor, but adds some new aspects to the music, such as a few narrative passages, a more systematic fast double bass drumming, and a general atmosphere that links the music and the story better than on the first chapter. This is also due to the production that makes it more powerful and more epic at the same time. This is true for all tracks.
This atmospheric/epic sound is clearly displayed in songs like Eternal Glory, with it's fabulous introduction part, which reminds of some fantasy movies, or The Dark Tower of Abyss, which melts classic music and metal as never before, and is highly inspired by Vivaldi's works.
Songs like Emerald sword (one of the best known Rhapsody song) or Wisdom of the Kings are speedy and quite "short" songs, which have been used as singles or videos. They are highly charismatic tracks.
Heroes of the Lost Valley is a narrative song, which can be described as a pre-introduction to Eternal Glory. As I said before, this song has its own introduction, one of the best I've heard, and really begins with one of my favourite guitar riff. But the rest of the song is quite ordinary and repetitive...
Then the sixth track, Beyond the Gates of Infinity, has once again an atmospheric intro, with some wolf screams, and then a good power metal riff, first performed only by keys, then with the addition of guitarist Luca Turilli. After that the song goes on in what I'd call an epic/power/prog way, with many different passages leading to some gloomy instrumental section... excellent!
Wings of Destiny is a peaceful and sad ballad, with some good lyrics and vocals, piano and flute, and a chorus that will have you sing along for sure, or maybe no, emotions say it all. The chorus has the words "Virgin Skies", the short instrumental of Legendary Tales.
Next song, The Dark Tower of Abyss, begins with some violin, and then the guitar come along to create this masterpiece, THE mix of classic and metal. By classic, I mean both classic and symphonic. You will hear a lot of similarities with some of Vivaldi's compositions, lots of violin in it. The song includes some narration, which many like or dislike, but it reminds us this is a story.
Riding the winds of eternity begins with some orchestrations, to finally become a traditional Rhapsody song, fast with choruses to sing along.
The album ends as usual with the title track , the longest track: Symphony of Enchanted Lands. Some narration introduce a soft piano passage, then it changes to a church organ and sad vocals section, and then choirs are added to the vocals, making this section sounding more epic. After that, the song really begins, and its quite joyful, a mix of bardish and Celtic influences create the melody. Orchestrations, metal, violin, sad piano, even woman singing... hope and despair come from this musical piece. The last orchestration part, powerful, "royal" could I say, is then carried on by a flute, which finally ends the chapter.
To conclude this review, what else can I say... the question was at that time: "when do they release the next chapter! can't wait!", or even, "waw, when do they play live! can it be possibly played live?!"
They did tour after to promote the album, introducing Alex Holzwarth on the drums, and Dominique Leurquin on the rhythm guitar, but it wasn't so good because they lacked a real sound engineer, a problem that's now fixed.
Well if you want to hear what we usually call "symphonic power metal", I suggest you get this album, I have no better example in mind. Moreover, everyone who knows Rhapsody say it's either their best or second best album.
|Symphony Of The Enchanted Lands is chapter two of the Algalord chronicles, the story Rhapsody told in 5 parts on 5 albums.
This second part opens with a mighty intro continuing with the mighty 'Emerald Sword', to me their best song together with 'Dawn Of Victory'.
Followed by the calmly opened 'Wisdom Of The Kings', a great
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