The name may be different, thanks to copyright and trademark issues, but the music is most certainly Rhapsody. Or, ahem, Rhapsody of Fire. The new name also represents a slightly new sound for the band on its seventh full-length studio album, Triumph or Agony.
Vocalist Fabio Lione eases up a tad on his aggressive delivery, making way for Alex Staropoli's increasingly complex and grandiose keyboards, Luca Turilli's neoclassical licks and fertile imagination, the 50-member Brno Academy Choir and the 60-piece Bohuslav Philharmonic Orchestra. Rhapsody wouldn't be Rhapsody (or Rhapsody of Fire) if it released an album that wasn't a "saga," so Triumph or Agony tells the second chapter of "The Dark Secret Saga," originally begun on the band's last studio album, Symphony of Enchanted Lands II. For details about this classic story between good and evil, visit the band's web site. All you really need to know is that Triumph or Agony contains 11 tracks (plus two bonus songs) inhabited by dragons, dwarves and elves. It boasts multiple guest vocalists, annoying narration and musicians galore, one major epic (a 16-and-a-half-minute Celtic-inspired scorcher called "The Mystic Prophecy of the Demonknight") and one song ("Silent Dream") that may be among the band's best pieces of work ever. In other words, business as usual ...
Don't be fooled by members of Rhapsody of Fire who have proclaimed to various press outlets that the band has toned down with more mid-tempo and straightforward material. This stuff is still way over the top, more orchestral than previous records and wholly emblematic of the fantasy-laced hollywood-metal genre that Rhapsody invented a decade ago.
2) Triumph or Agony
3) Heart of the Darklands
4) Old Age of Wonders
5) The Myth of the Holy Sword
6) Il Canto del Vento
7) Silent Dream
8) Bloody Red Dungeons
9) Son of Pain
10) The Mystic Prophecy of the Demonknight
11) Dark Reign of Fire
12) Defenders of Gaia (Bonus Track)
13) A New Saga Begins (from The Mystic Prophecy of the Demonknight) (Single Edit)