RHAPSODY OF FIRE

Power Metal • Italy
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Rhapsody of Fire is the new name of Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody. The name change was announced on July 14th, 2006. Read the following statement made by the webmaster:

"Due to copyright and trademark issues the band formerly known as Rhapsody has changed its name. The band members consider this a great new start, reflecting the emboldened and increasingly grandiose direction that their music has taken. “The power of the dragonflame will burn brighter than ever before,” says guitarist/songwriter Luca Turilli. Keyboardist/songwriter Alex Staropoli adds, “The name Rhapsody Of Fire better represents the energy that has always been present in this band and its music.”

With a new record company in Magic Circle Music, a new tour planned and a new album on the way, Rhapsody Of Fire will continue to explore musical fantasy worlds with the precision musicianship and unique symphonic concepts that their fans have
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Thanks to graphix, progshine, andyman1125, adg211288, DippoMagoo for the updates

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RHAPSODY OF FIRE Discography

RHAPSODY OF FIRE albums / top albums

RHAPSODY OF FIRE Legendary Tales album cover 3.81 | 43 ratings
Legendary Tales
Power Metal 1997
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Symphony Of Enchanted Lands album cover 4.05 | 46 ratings
Symphony Of Enchanted Lands
Power Metal 1998
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Dawn Of Victory album cover 3.74 | 38 ratings
Dawn Of Victory
Power Metal 2000
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Rain Of A Thousand Flames album cover 4.03 | 35 ratings
Rain Of A Thousand Flames
Power Metal 2001
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Power Of The Dragonflame album cover 3.86 | 31 ratings
Power Of The Dragonflame
Power Metal 2002
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret album cover 3.98 | 30 ratings
Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret
Power Metal 2004
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Triumph Or Agony album cover 3.92 | 30 ratings
Triumph Or Agony
Power Metal 2006
RHAPSODY OF FIRE The Frozen Tears Of Angels album cover 3.85 | 26 ratings
The Frozen Tears Of Angels
Power Metal 2010
RHAPSODY OF FIRE From Chaos To Eternity album cover 3.41 | 24 ratings
From Chaos To Eternity
Power Metal 2011
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Dark Wings of Steel album cover 3.75 | 8 ratings
Dark Wings of Steel
Power Metal 2013
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Into the Legend album cover 4.20 | 6 ratings
Into the Legend
Power Metal 2016
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Legendary Years album cover 4.07 | 3 ratings
Legendary Years
Power Metal 2017
RHAPSODY OF FIRE The Eighth Mountain album cover 4.88 | 4 ratings
The Eighth Mountain
Power Metal 2019
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Glory for Salvation album cover 4.42 | 2 ratings
Glory for Salvation
Power Metal 2021

RHAPSODY OF FIRE EPs & splits

RHAPSODY OF FIRE The Dark Secret album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
The Dark Secret
Power Metal 2004
RHAPSODY OF FIRE The Cold Embrace Of Fear album cover 3.21 | 5 ratings
The Cold Embrace Of Fear
Power Metal 2010
RHAPSODY OF FIRE I'll Be Your Hero album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
I'll Be Your Hero
Power Metal 2021

RHAPSODY OF FIRE live albums

RHAPSODY OF FIRE Live In Canada 2005: The Dark Secret album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Live In Canada 2005: The Dark Secret
Power Metal 2006
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Live - From Chaos To Eternity album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Live - From Chaos To Eternity
Power Metal 2013
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Live in Atlanta album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Atlanta
Power Metal 2014

RHAPSODY OF FIRE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

RHAPSODY OF FIRE Land Of Immortals album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Land Of Immortals
Power Metal 1994
RHAPSODY OF FIRE Eternal Glory album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Eternal Glory
Power Metal 1995

RHAPSODY OF FIRE re-issues & compilations

RHAPSODY OF FIRE Tales From The Emerald Sword Saga album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Tales From The Emerald Sword Saga
Power Metal 2004

RHAPSODY OF FIRE singles (7)

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4.50 | 1 ratings
Emerald Sword
Power Metal 1998
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4.50 | 1 ratings
Holy Thunderforce
Power Metal 2000
.. Album Cover
3.29 | 3 ratings
The Magic Of The Wizard's Dream
Power Metal 2005
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0.00 | 0 ratings
A New Saga Begins
Power Metal 2006
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Reign Of Terror
Power Metal 2010
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Sea Of Fate
Power Metal 2010
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0.00 | 0 ratings
Aeons of Raging Darkness
Power Metal 2011

RHAPSODY OF FIRE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Power Of The Dragon Flame
Power Metal 2002
.. Album Cover
3.00 | 2 ratings
Visions From The Enchanted Lands
Power Metal 2007

RHAPSODY OF FIRE Reviews

RHAPSODY OF FIRE Legendary Tales

Album · 1997 · Power Metal
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UMUR
"Legendary Tales" is the debut full-length studio album by Italian power metal act Rhapsody (later Rhapsody of Fire as they had to change their name due to copyright issues). The album was released through Limb Music in October 1997. The band formed in 1993 under the Thundercross monicker but changed their name to Rhapsody in 1995. They released the "Eternal Glory" demo in 1995, which led to their label deal with Limb Music. "Warrior Of Ice" and "Land Of Immortals" are featured on both "Eternal Glory (1995)" and on "Legendary Tales". The two demo tracks "Invernal Fury" and "Alive and Proud" were also re-recorded and included on "Legendary Tales", but was given new titles ("Rage of the Winter" and "Lord of the Thunder", respectively). Other than those re-recordings from the demo "Legendary Tales" only features freshly written original material.

Stylistically Rhapsody play a symphonic European power metal style, which at its core is greatly influenced by the 1980s German power metal scene (and late 80s Helloween in particular), but expands on that sound with omnipresent symphonic and neo-classical influenced keyboards and choirs. It can get quite epic at times, but also very pompous and more than a little cheesy. "Legendary Tales" is the first album in a long line of releases from Rhapsody featuring the concept fantasy saga of the Emerald Sword. I won´t go into details about the lyrical concept, but just tell you that you get exactly what you expect from such a story (heroes, magic, and all...).

The sound production is handled by the legendary producer team of Sascha Paeth and Miro (Avantasia, Angra, Gamma Ray, Heavens Gate...etc.) and not surprisingly "Legendary Tales" is a very well produced release. Paeth also plays session bass on the album. The musicianship is generally strong and keyboard player Alex Staropoli and guitarist Luca Turilli compete for the listener´s attention throughout the album. One jaw-dropping guitar solo, intricate heavy/power metal riff follows the one before, and the keyboard playing follows suit. The drumming by Daniele Carbonera is varied and powerful, and lead vocalist Fabio Lione has a strong voice and a passionate delivery (it´s a little like listening to a power metal version of Dream Theater´s James LaBrie) and his Italian accent is tolerable (some may even find it charming).

"Legendary Tales" opens with the short classical intro piece "Ira Tenax", which builds tension and an epic atmosphere before giving way to the powerful bombast of "Warrior Of Ice", which is a song where Rhapsody show all their talents for composing and playing powerful symphonic power metal. It´s a varied and relatively complex track, while still being catchy, melodic, and well structured. The album continues with "Rage Of The Winter", which is arguably another highlight of the album, featuring an almost progressive leaning middle section which some very impressive guitar work. "Forest Of Unicorns" takes the listener on an epic acoustic folk fantasy journey, and while it certainly borders cheesy territory, it´s quite the beautiful and well composed track.

After that the album continues like this and shifts between energetic Euro power metal, symphonic parts, and folk sections, closing with the epic mid-paced and heavy title track (other highlights include "Flames Of Revenge", "Land Of Immortals", and "Lord Of The Thunder"). The quiet folky parts aren´t dominating the album and that´s a good choice, because while they work fine as variation, they are the least interesting part of the album. Rhapsody are strongest when they play their fastests and most heavy parts (and dip their toes in progressive songwriting), and least interesting when they take the tempo down and play more mellow parts.

"Legendary Tales" is an exceptional debut album by Rhapsody, featuring an incredibly well sounding production job, which is detailed, powerful, and not too polished (which happens too often in this genre), high level musicianship on all posts, and very intriguing and varied songwriting. In other words a high quality release on all parameters. If you can´t stomach bombast and epic symphonic power metal songwriting and concepts, this may not be your poison, but to those who can, this is a highly recommendable release and a 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

RHAPSODY OF FIRE Power Of The Dragonflame

Album · 2002 · Power Metal
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Since 2000’s Dawn of Victory, Italian power metal heavyweights Rhapsody had started to shred the symphonic influences off their music, veering towards a more traditional neoclassic power metal sound. Released in 2002, Power of the Dragonflame takes a further step in this direction, to the point that this is probably the heaviest and darkest of the five albums released by the band since their inception.

Things start off fast and powerful after the obligatory choral intro. “Knightrider of Doom” showcases all the best qualities of Rhapshody, from the thunderous rhythmic section, to the fast yet melodic riffs of mastermind Luca Turilli, to the spectacular vocals that climax in an epic chorus sustained by heroic backing vocals. The classical and acoustic instrumentation that one can find on Rhapsody’s earlier albums play a lesser role here as on the rest of the album. The Baroque overtones are also less prominent and as a result the album feels more direct and aggressive than the previous ones. At times, the influences of classic metal bands like Manowar surface quite prominently, like in the powerful “The March of the Swordmaster” or “When Demons Awake”. These tracks could have been lifted off Manowar’s epic album The Triumph of Steel and are among the best offerings of this record, albeit slightly derivative in sound.

Elsewhere, Rhapsody’s penchant for operatic drama shines in all their glory, like on the superb ballad “Lamento Eroico”. Sung entirely in Italian, this is probably the best ballad ever written by the band, with a style that conjugates the power of metal with the drama of opera, exploding in a majestic chorus that you’ll want to singalong to at full volume. There’s a slight dip in the album’s quality from this point on, which is only partly redeemed by the 19-minute long closing track “Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness”. As many other Rhapsody’s suites, this song presents highs and lows. It has a great acoustic intro that nicely develops into a more metallic section. However, things lose steam quickly afterwards and the over-acted narration that is woven around the sung parts eventually kills the song’s mood for me.

Yet, this is probably one of the most fun and straight up records from Rhapsody. It’s energetic and packs a hell of a punch, but it also has good melodies and great epic vibes. It’s a worthy conclusion to the Emerald Sword saga that the band had started on their debut album (although, believe me, you may want to ignore the lyrics because there is some Manowar-level cheesiness in there). The only problem with this album is that the steady progression towards a heavier and faster sound has progressively reduced the difference between Rhapsody and the rest of the classic/power metal scene. In fact, every time I spin this album my first reaction is to go and grab Manowar’s The Triumph of Steel. That’s not a bad thing necessarily, but it goes to show how Rhapsody’s sound has gradually grown derivative over the years.

RHAPSODY OF FIRE Rain Of A Thousand Flames

Album · 2001 · Power Metal
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Rain of a Thousand Flames is now considered Rhapsody’s fourth full-length record, but when it came out in 2001 was advertised as a “specially priced album”. This was essentially an EP with the duration of a full album, and it was meant to work as an appetizer while fans were waiting for the “main course” Power of the Dragonflame that would be released only a few months later.

The new album continues in the direction that Rhapsody had taken on their third record Dawn of Victory. The music is faster and more aggressive, sacrificing the symphonic influences and classical/acoustic instrumentation in favour of a ballsier and more direct power metal sound that reminds me more of Manowar than Blind Guardian (the band that Rhapsody were frequently compared to at the beginning of their career). This is particularly evident on the title-track, a raging affair that does not give the listener a second to catch breath amidst relentless double-bass drumming, razor-sharp riffs, and shouted vocals.

The rest of the album continues in a similar vein, albeit “Queen of the Dark Horizons” is more melodic and features a bombastic chorus that brings me back to the band’s origins. In my opinion this is the best piece of the album, while the following suite “Rhymes of a Tragic Poem” that closes the album, is probably the lowest point of the record. I have always thought that Rhapsody are a bit hit-and-miss when it comes to lengthier, more complex compositions and “Rhymes of a Tragic Poem” proves the point. There is very little cohesion across the four tracks that form the suite and very little sense of song development. Moreover, large sections of these four tracks are ruined by the use of a narrator (Sir Jay Lansford). This was Rhapsody’s attempt at making their music more cinematic and filmscore-like, but the end result is fairly dismal. The acting is cringeworthy and the damn voiceover goes on for what seems like forever at the beginning of the suite, completely killing the mood.

Rain of a Thousand Flames is in my opinion the weakest chapter of the Emerald Sword saga that spans the band’s first 5 albums. It’s still worthy of your money if you are a completionist. Plus “Queen of the Dark Horizons” is a very good piece that would not have disfigured on Dawn of Victory, combining bombastic melodies and power in Rhapsody’s best tradition.

RHAPSODY OF FIRE Dawn Of Victory

Album · 2000 · Power Metal
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On their third album, Italian power metal masters Rhapsody started to slightly change the formula they had so successfully employed on their previous two records. Legendary Tales and Symphony of Enchanted Lands were remarkably constructed using in equal part heavy doses of neo-classical power metal and elements of Baroque music, opera and epic soundtrack music. It was a mixture that hit the spot, allowing the Italians to carve their own niche as extraordinary bards in the busy world of European power metal.

Dawn of Victory takes one step or two further in the direction of muscle and speed, tilting the scale in favour of metal rather than classical/operatic music. The songs are faster and more centred around guitar riffs than classical orchestrations. The album is also more decidedly electric, as the score of acoustic and classical instruments that had been copiously employed on previous records is considerably reduced here (Baroque recorders and a violin). This switch towards the heavier side of the band’s sound partly reflects the development of the storyline that now enters a more bloody and belligerent phase (Dawn of Victory is the third instalment of a multi-album concept about the battle between good and evil in a Tolkienesque fantasy world). However, I also suspect that their first tour experience in 2000 may have also played a role, as the band probably realized that the incredibly nuanced and multi-layered studio compositions of the first two albums were incredibly hard to reproduce live. The songs written for Dawn of Victory are more direct, aggressive and metallized compared to the previous two records, and I can imagine they would have been much more impactful in a live setting.

The quality of the music remains high. Luca Turilli’s fast-as-lightning guitar riffs and neoclassical melodic leads drive the songs, with Alex Staropoli taking the role of co-lead and throwing in a few excellent keyboard solos. The rhythmic section is powerful and relentless, and the work of drummer Thunderforce is particularly impressive (the band never revealed the identity of Thunderforce and some even think the drum parts were actually programmed – either way the drums are on fire on this record). Fabio Lione confirms his status as one of the best singers in the genre, with a dramatic and operatic voice that can hit high notes but also transmit emotions and feelings.

The tracklist is consistently good, making this one of my favourite Rhapsody albums to play. There are still a couple of songs that stand out for me and are among my favourite from the band. The title-track is an epic monster with one of the best power metal choruses I ever heard. “The Bloody Rage of the Titans” starts as a ballad with piano and vocals and then develops in a fantastic mid-tempo with strong cinematic vibes and again an excellent chorus. “Dargor Shadowlord of the Black Mountain” and the single “Holy Thunderforce” are also remarkable especially for their thunderous pace and trailblazing guitar riffs. The lengthy closing piece “The Mighty Ride of the Firelord” is intended to bring the album to an epic finale, but is actually where Rhapsody show their compositional limits as the track feels more like two songs stitched together than a well-structured, multi-part composition. I also have to subtract points for the general silliness of the concept and sappiness of the lyrics. The stories of dragons, princesses and knights are a trademark of the genre, but they have been told in much more convincing ways by other bands than Rhapsody.

Nevertheless, Dawn of Victory is a fun record to listen to, and feels fresh and spontaneous, which is a blessing after the slightly deflated and overproduced Symphony of Enchanted Lands. It marks a transition for Rhapsody music towards a more standard power metal sound where the patterns and instrumentation of Baroque music play a lesser role than in the previous albums. The band will further continue in this direction on the following records, further reducing Rhapsody’s uniqueness in the power metal scene. Fortunately, Dawn of Victory is just on the right side of this transition, which makes it one of my favourite Rhapsody albums to date.

RHAPSODY OF FIRE Symphony Of Enchanted Lands

Album · 1998 · Power Metal
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Only one year after having released their remarkable debut Legendary Tales, Italian power metal heavyweights Rhapsody hit their fans with an ambitious sophomore album, Symphony of Enchanted Lands. Advertised as a bigger and bolder continuation of their first record, the new album pushes even further the epic and bombastic style of the band, to the point that Rhapsody’s music began being described as “Hollywood metal”. But the real question is: was it for the better?

I am not sure I have a straightforward answer. In some aspects, Symphony of Enchanted Lands feels superior to Legendary Tales. Rhapsody seem more assured in their compositions and stretch their legs more comfortably beyond the simple verse/chorus paradigm they had used on Legendary Tales. On the new album we have three songs that clock above the 6-minute mark where Rhapsody experiment with tempo changes, multi-part structures and recurring themes, giving a progressive touch to the proceedings. The interplay between electric and acoustic/classical instrumentation also feels more fluid and accomplished, which is impressive considering the breadth of instruments used on the album, from complex keyboard orchestrations, to a strings ensemble, to a harpsichord to Baroque recorders and lutes. There are also three different choirs, a female singer and a narrator who accompany Rhapsody’s lead singer Fabio Lione. The scale of the project, and the smoothness of its delivery, are outstanding and worthy of the Hollywood film score comparisons that the band was striving to achieve.

On the other hand, the music seems to have lost some of the spontaneity and sense of excitement that had characterized the best moments of the debut album. Perhaps this lies in the eye (ears) of the beholder, as the novelty I experienced listening to Legendary Tales inevitably fades in a sophomore album that works essentially with the same aesthetics, albeit on a bigger scale. It’s hard to shake off the impression that we are being given “more of the same” on this new album, which may be fine for some, but that bugs me a little, especially when I listen to the two records back to back.

Despite my misgivings, Symphony of Enchanted Lands is a strong album. The musicianship is stellar and the album boasts a great mixture of power metal and Baroque music that is perfect to trigger the feelings of epicness and grandeur the band was aiming for. The fact that Rhapsody managed to pull off such an ambitious, large-scale project only two albums in their career is a strong tell-tale of the qualities of the Italian combo. If you are a fan of epic power metal who wants to see speed and muscle combined with nuance and complexity, you are going to love this.

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