Triumph Or Agony
RHAPSODY OF FIRE

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RHAPSODY OF FIRE - Triumph Or Agony cover
3.80 | 26 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2006

Filed under Power Metal

Tracklist

1. Dar-Kunor (3:13)
I. Echoes From The Elvish Woods
II. Fear Of The Dungeons
2. Triumph Or Agony (5:02)
3. Heart Of The Darklands (4:10)
4. Old Age Of Wonders (4:35)
5. The Myth Of The Holy Sword (5:03)
6. Il Canto Del Vento (3:54)
7. Silent Dream (3:50)
8. Bloody Red Dungeons (5:11)
9. Son Of Pain (4:43)
10. The Mystic Prophecy Of The Demonknight (16:26)
I. A New Saga Begins
II. Through The Portals Of Agony
III. The Black Order
IV. Nekron's Bloody Rhymes
V. Escape From Horror
11. Dark Reign Of Fire: I. Winter Dawn's Theme (6:26)

Total Time: 62:37

Line-up/Musicians

- Fabio Lione / vocals
- Luca Turilli / guitars
- Patrice Gers / bass
- Alex Staropoli / keyboards
- Alex Holzwarth / drums

Guest musicians:
- Dominique Leurquin / additional guitars
- Christopher Lee / narration
- Toby Eddington / narration

About this release

Release date: September 25, 2006
Label: Magic Circle Music

Limited edition digipak bonus tracks:
12. Defenders Of Gaia (4:34)
13. A New Saga Begins (Radio Edit Of "The Mystic Prophecy Of The Demonknight") (4:18)

Japanese edition bonus tracks:
12. A New Saga Begins - Radio Edit
13. Defenders Of Gaia
14. Son Of Pain - Italian version

Italian edition bonus disc:
1. Defenders Of Gaia (04.35)
2. A New Saga Begins (Radio Edit) (04.20)
3. Son Of Pain (italian version) (04.47)

French edition bonus tracks:
12. Defenders Of Gaia (4:35)
13. A New Saga Begins (radio edit) (4:20)
14. Son Of Pain (French version) (4:47)

Thanks to the t 666, progshine for the updates

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RHAPSODY OF FIRE TRIUMPH OR AGONY reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

Warthur
Rhapsody's first album after an unfortunate trademark dispute prompted them to add "of Fire" to their name (but they'll always simply be Rhapsody to me) feels like a bit of a stumble to me. Perhaps they were thrown a little off their game by the unwanted legal pressures, but it seems to rely a bit more on flabby orchestral filler than Rhapsody ever have before, and the band's metal passages don't soar the way they do in previous albums. They're still just about tight enough to keep my attention, and hopefully now that the sinister Seventh Book has been discovered in the story the action will pick up, but as far as Triumph or Agony is concerned my answer is "neither" - it might not be agony to listen to, but it's certainly not a musical triumph in its own right.
Conor Fynes
'Triumph Or Agony' - Rhapsody Of Fire (7/10)

Once again Rhapsody Of Fire releases more of the same, but I'm not complaining. Abiding by the rule 'If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It', this talented Power Metal band from Italy has released more of the same music that can be best described as 'Film Score Influenced Power Metal.' With Orchestras, Choirs, and Operatic vocals, there's really an evocation of epic feeling in this album. The thing that distinguishes this album from it's predecessors is it's focus on more balladesque-style songs. This focus on shorter songs detracts from the overall cohesion of the album as a whole, but the 16 minute epic 'Mystic Prophecy Of The Demonknight' makes up for the other songs potential shortcomings, and comes out as one of the greatest epics I've listened to in a long time.

Over the course of sixteen minutes (twenty if you count the continuation track 'Dark Reign Of Fire') the listener embarks on an epic journey through caves and seemingly abandoned halls to find a mystical book, as conveyed by the album's concept. Lyrically concerned, fans of Lord Of The Rings will love it, but I can see why someone might get a bit irritated by the concept. Musically, it's fantastic and can easily match up to any Dream Theater or Symphony X epic.

The use of orchestral instruments is exceedingly well done, and one of the reasons the album is so great. The album's shortfall though is in it's lack of overall cohesion. If for example, there were more songs like the epynomous 'Triumph Or Agony' to liven things up throughout the album and provide a break in the album's slow feeling, this would be worthy of being a modern classic. However, one too many ballads makes this album a bit hard to enjoy as an album. It's still definately worth getting, if only for the epic (and most of the shorter songs are pretty good as well!) but it's far from being perfect.
arcane-beautiful
What's their to say about Rhapsody Of Fire (formerly just Rhapsody before the random decision for changing their name, some legal reason I believe, it's only an added 2 syllables).

Their amazing use of symphonic metal and merging it with fantasy, soundtrack orchestration and power metal has been a successful mix and has remained their sound for over nearly 20 years.

These crazy Italians have also been fond producers of concept based albums, with this album being the 2nd part of The Dark Secret Saga.

Like Lord Of The Rings, but even more epic, there is a darklord, dragons, elves, dwarves, caves, you know all that stuff.

The story of the album tells of a journey to get the 7th book containing the dark prophecy created by the dark lord Nekron, with the blood of angels (wow very dark). Our heroes (all with weird names), led by Dagor, a shadowlord who leaves his life of evil behind. They get the book, run away from zombies & have to escape from the Darklord's army, basically.

The story is presented amazingly with narration, orchestration and amazing instrumentation. Christopher Lee (the most legendary pensioner alive), also does some amazing narration on the album.

1. Dar-Kunor - The intro basically. The orchestration is amazing and a film vibe is present & very effective.

2. Triumph Or Agony - An amazing start to the album. Amazing vocals from Fabio. The choir and orchestra are also incredibly hair tingling. Amazing guitar solo as well.

3. Heart Of The Darklands - Very catchy chorus with amazing vocals. Incredibly epic. This song basically sets up the story for the album. Very powerful & epic.

4. Old Age Of Wonders - Very folky & almost madrigal like. The female vocals in the chorus add to the Tolkienesque vibe of the song. Very beautiful. I love the cadence at the end of the chorus.

5. The Myth Of The Holy Sword - This song is the perfect example of how the choir, orchestra and the band themselves work off each other so perfectly. Amazing chorus, catchy and epic, what more do you want.

6. Il Canto Del Vento - An amazing composition by Fabio. Basically this song is an Italian aria, showing of Fabio's amazing tenor.

7. Silent Dream - Very cheesy but very catchy with amazing vocals in the chorus.

8. Bloody Red Dungeons - This song basically details a weird bloody cave. Again another amazing chorus.

9. Son Of Pain - This song is about Dagor's change in face basically. Amazing discourse between orchestra and Fabio's amazing vocals. The cadence at the end of the chorus reminds me of Sparach Zasthura.

10. The Mystic Prophecy Of The Demonknight - Wow, what a mother of a song. The first part of the song, A New Saga Begins is incredibly catchy with amazing choir parts. The instrumental section which follows is amazing, before it ends with some narration. The narration in Through The Portals Of Agony is amazing, creating real sense, with the actors really making the story believable. In The Dark Order, Fabio does some screaming, which to be honest is amazing, the growls aren't the best, but the screams had me reminiscing to Dani Filth. The gang vocals are incredibly epic & very powerful. The last 2 parts sum it up very well.

11. Dark Reign Of Fire - Amazing choir sections & amazing vocals from Fabio. A nice eerie ending.

12. Defenders Of Gaia - Ok, this is only a bonus track, but a pretty amazing one at that. Amazing chorus and some amazing instrumental work, with every member of the band having a solo basically. This song is also environmental, which is different from their usual fantasy writing.

CONCLUSION: Epic beyond belief. One of the best symphonic metal albums I have ever heard, these guys are force to be reckoned with. Amazing story, I think it is more epic than Lord Of The Rings (both did have Christopher Lee though). If you don't have it, then you should be buying it now.

Members reviews

kluseba
I have never been a big fan of Rhapsody Of Fire because I thought that their early works included to many fast and hectic tracks and a lot of useless bombast and silly orchestrations. On "Triumph Or Agony", the Italians reduced their speed and focused on a more diversified song writing without losing their very own style and this works surprisingly well for me.

Instead of symphonic "wankery", the band kicks off with a short and atmospheric introduction which is the opener "Dar-Kunor". Even the ballads work quite well such as the beautiful "Old Age Of Wonders" that features some soft female guest vocals or the touching "Son Of Pain" with some great orchestral work and maybe the most stunning vocal performance on the record. Even the piano ballad "Il Canto Del Vento" that features Italian lyrics is not as cheesy as I feared and in fact a quite beautiful song with a great vocal performance. The orchestrations rather remind of Therion or even Dimmu Borgir at some points and not of pointless power metal bands but at the same time the band icluded some soft folk elements. This combination works best in tracks as "The Myth Of The Holy Sword" that also features an epic guitar solo that reminds a little bit of Manowar. That's nothing surprising as the band had signed with Magic Circle Music at the time that has a very close connection to Manowar.

The album's epic track "The Mystic Prophecy Of The Demonknight" is divided into five parts and resumes very well the new strengths of the band on this record. It's surely one of the best if not the best song Rhapsody Of Fire have ever written in their long career. I especially appreciate the folk sounds with the use of violins and the powerful drum play in the first part, the narrative play passages in the second part, the more metal orientated and heavy speed and power metal passages in the unusually brutal third part that even includes some piercing screams and soft growls, the guitar solos that open for the fourth part that includes some very atmospheric passages and the calm ballad tones in the fifth and final part of the epic masterpiece.

There are still some elements that seem very pathetic to me. The fantasy topic and some parts of the lyrics play with too many stereotypes and offer nothing new or innovating in the universe of Rhapsody Of Fire. This album won't win a price for its originality. Some potpourri songs featuring multiple male choir's voices, orchestrations and high pitched lead vocals still give me headaches if I get an overdose of them as in "Bloody Red Dungeons". But this kind of song is so rare to find on this record that it doesn't pull down the final rating by much.

In the end, we have a very epic and powerful record that focuses more on mid tempo tracks, includes some nice folk orchestrations, great narrative passages and overall more creativity than ever. This kind of music might still be too overambitious and overwhelming to some which I would completely understand but in my opinion the band just found the perfect mixture this time and the powerful music creates a lot of images in my mind. The final verdict is that this underrated record is probably the best effort the band has ever released to date and only grows on you as time goes by. There are many passionate details to be discovered over and over again. This is more than music, it's an epic story and worthy of a theatre play or epic movie without sounding too ridiculous as for example Manowar's attempts on this kind of music. It's nothing revolutionary but simply Rhapsody of Fire on the peak of their career and there really isn't much to criticize on here.

Ratings only

  • Fant0mas
  • willprogresivo
  • cennsor
  • powermetal2000
  • StargazerSlave
  • DippoMagoo
  • KatiLily
  • ProgHead
  • guitarherosucks
  • SevDawg
  • abdulbashur
  • yair010390
  • Rendref
  • SrEstaire
  • 666sharon666
  • Bartje1979
  • aecht
  • vikt73
  • Conan
  • Fernandi
  • snowman1980
  • The T 666

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