Rhapsody Of Fire - Symphony Of Enchanted Lands review


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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.

Written by wrathchild | 14.01.2004


Staff review by
Pierre Tombale
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

published 00.00.0000 | Comments (1)


Comments: 7   Visited by: 126 users
13.11.2006 - 05:51
The Alchemist
Excellent review
I agree with the last part: everyone who knows Rhapsody say it's either their best or second best album. I don't know if I can consider this one the best album, as I love the previous album Legendary Tales, but definetly this one is a masterpiece, the Vivaldi influence creates one of the greatest epic atmospheres I've heard

I'm not afraid to die, I'm afraid to be alive without being aware of it
Sensorium - Epica
13.11.2006 - 10:53
Baz Anderson
haha - that last bit is what i have trying to prove wrong in my favorite Rhapsody album thread - as i prefer 'Power Of The Dragonflame' and 'Dawn Of Victory'
the results still show most people think this is their favorite album though - but its closer then you'd think

11.02.2008 - 22:48
I R Serious Cat
I don't really think it's their best, nor their 2nd. I don't know why I never got really into this album, except a couple tracks. It's not a bad album, very symphonic and with cool lyrics, but I don't knwo... I never really got into it...
"Nobody wants to be the weird kid, you just end up being the weird kid. You don't know how you ended up getting there" - Rob Zombie

http://jonas-bs.deviantart.com My dA, mainly photography, go check it out!
11.02.2008 - 23:56
Heaven Knight
well this album definitely isnt bad, but imo is a bit weaker compared to other Rhapsody's stuff
So behold the flight of the sapphire dragon
soaring through the skies once again

10.06.2009 - 08:53
Liver Failure
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.

This is great stuff

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
20.05.2010 - 23:09
I think this is a different rhapsody album. You must put your heart to understand the songs, not your ears, if you know what i mean ^^
ok, emerald sword is the catchiest song here, hands down. But Wisdom of the kings and Eternal glory are awesome and speedy too.
Wings of destiny is a very good ballad... and dark tower abyss is one of my fave rhapsody songs ^^
It did take me though some time to get used to this album. But after a few listens i realised its value. A Rhapsody masterpiece indeed.
19.03.2011 - 06:30
A true masterpiece... This one blew me away since the first time I listened to it...
Personally, I don't think it's their best album... That one's Power of the Dragonflame (at least for me )
But I can't deny it, it took REALLY long to decide... This one's full of incredible tracks... Emerald Sword, Wisdom of the King, Eternal Glory, The Dark Tower of Abyss...
I completely agree with the guy aboveXD you need to FEEL this album...

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