Rhapsody Of Fire - Power Of The Dragonflame review
|Band:||Rhapsody Of Fire|
|Album:||Power Of The Dragonflame|
|Release date:||April 2002|
Disc I [CD]
01. In Tenebris
02. Knightrider Of Doom
03. Power Of The Dragonflame
04. The March Of The Swordmaster
05. When Demons Awake
06. Agony Is My Name
07. Lamento Eroico
08. Steelgods Of The Last Apocalypse
09. The Pride Of The Tyrant
10. Gargoyles, Angels Of Darkness
11. Rise From The Sea Of Flames [Limited Edition bonus]
Disc II [DVD]
02. Rain Of A Thousand Flames
03. Epicus Furor - Emerald Sword
04. Wisdom Of The Kings
05. Power Of The Dragonflame
06. Holy Thunderforce
With this album, Rhapsody ends its first saga. The music has evolved through each chapter, and the last one is no exception. When I first read an interview of Luca, where he said there would be even more guitars than before, I feared the worst: I would have preferred he said the emphasis was placed on the composition...
Anyway, let's listen to it together:
The introduction, as its title "In Tenebris" clearly suggests, brings you to the end, as if fate was calling. This is the result of the "orchestra + choirs" formula.
Next is Knightriders Of Doom, a speedy song as expected, but quite simple, with a repetitive chorus like those which become typical of Rhapsody. But the sound of the guitar isn't so dominant. In fact all the instruments can be heard, though the keyboards and the drums seem more important. Moreover I'm a bit disappointed about the sound, especially the guitar: it doesn't sound really neat. Definitely not the best song of the band in my opinion.
Third track, Power Of The DragonFlame. I don't really like it either, especially because of that guitar sound which doesn't fit the intro riff very well. Otherwise the song is good, again with one of those typical choruses (if you didn't like Dawn Of Victory, you're unlikely to like this album), but sometimes Fabio's voice gets lower than before, or let's say like in the verses of the well-known song Holy Thunderforce on the previous album.
With The March Of The Swordmaster comes the first real instrumental passage sounding like folklore. Then the guitar enters and we guess this is going to be a heavy song. And this guess is confirmed when Fabio begins to sing: this is quite dark... then the song sound like a Manowar song, I mean in the rhythm, the voice and the lyrics, etc.
But then you look at the song of the next two tracks: When Demons Awake, Agony Is My Name: wow, this must be even darker! And it is. Fabio's close to black metal (well not that far, but still it's the idea) on the first one, which also contains some good and varied passages, like some keys solos. I quite like this one, but it took me some time before I enjoyed it. The second is not so dark, and has some nice guitar licks.
The follower, Lamento Eorico, is a special song for the band: it's the only one entirely sung in Italian. It's a sad and slow ballad, with no guitar, but more piano and choirs elements.
Ah, my favorite on this album, Steelgods Of Apocalypse! It begins with some orchestrations, not as good as those on Eternal Glory on the 2nd album, but very nice, with the drums that give some momentum to the keys parts. It sounds a bit majestic, it's heavy and soft at the same time. It ends with some good guitar/keys solos and melodies.
Ninth track is the closest to Legendary Tales (first album). I like the chorus, it seems to take you higher.
On the version I have, there's a bonus track: Rise From The Sea Of Flames. There's nothing really special about that song. It's not really heavy, has no real orchestration or instrumental passages. Still it's a good song, with a catchy chorus.
Now, the last track, the one to end this saga. It's a really special song. First, it's a really long track, 19 minutes, divided in three parts.
The sound of the acoustic guitar is surprising, as it's like a classical-Spanish sound, a very good idea. The electric guitar comes in to settle the rhythm, , and the bass keeps it during the verses. After that the song is not really different from the other songs of the album. It's good but not surprising, not amazing, at least until Turilli breaks into a great solo at the middle of the song. Then Fabio introduces the gargoyles by a narrative passage, followed by another narrative passage (but not by the singer). The band plays again and begin a short and slow instrumental, while the narration continues. The music stops the narrator speaks... and the intro of the album ends the Emerald Sword Saga.
Maybe I've said too much, but from all that is written above you should have understand I don't really appreciate this album. It's not a bad album, and it's still one of the best symphonic power metal album at the moment. But the production is not as good as Symphony Of Enchanted Lands or Dawn Of Victory; as a result, the songs don't really touch your feelings, and many times, I don't see the difference between the songs when I play the whole CD. The fact that this album gets really heavy in some songs may perturb some fans, but I do think it could be a good way in the evolution of their music.
To conclude on the whole saga, I have to say the story in itself is a bit weak, but sufficient to create this genre. Rhapsody developed various aspects of their music throughout the chapters.
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| LeChron James
From: Bosnia and Herzegovina
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