Rhapsody of Fire: From Chaos to Eternity
The Italian symphonic power metal veterans Rhapsody of Fire return with a quick follow-up to The Frozen Tears of Angels and EP The Cold Embrace of Fear, their latest saga of fantasy metal titled From Chaos to Eternity. With legendary film actor Christopher Lee once again providing the narration to this continuing storyline, you can expect more of the same 'hollywood metal' from Rhapsody of Fire, impeccably produced and with stunning musicianship.
One new thing to report, and that's the hiring of an additional guitar player, Tom Hess, who shares lead & rhythm duties with band leader Luca Turilli throughout this exciting album. The two are joined by longtime singer Fabio Lione, keyboard wizard Alex Staropoli, bassist Patrice Guers, and drummer Alex Holzwarth. The title track and "Tempesta di Fuoco" kick things off with a strong 1-2 punch of blazing symphonic neo-classical metal, as Lione's soaring vocals fly over lightning riffs & leads, huge beds of keyboards, and powerful rhythms. More traditional power metal structures can be heard on the excellent "Ghosts of Forgotten Worlds" (Kamelot fans will love this one!), and the gorgeous "Anima perduta" is a lush opera metal cut with Lione singing in glorious Italian. "Aeons of Raging Darkness" sees the first appearance on the CD of some guest black metal screams to do battle with Lione's soaring clean vocals. This is something they dabbled with on the last album, and it works here too, adding a new dimension to the Rhapsody of Fire attack, similar to what Kamelot have done on occasion, and what bands like Epica and Scar Symmetry do regularly. The symphonic, and highly progressive "I Belong to the Stars" follows, a great vehicle for Lione and Staropoli, while the dueling clean & extreme vocals return on the sizzling, guitar fueled "Tornado".
All this of course gets the listener ready for the near 20-minute epic "Heroes of the Waterfall's Kingdom", a 5 part suite that starts off in full blown folk mode with Italian vocals, acoustic guitars, flutes, choirs, and keyboards, before the frenetic orchestral metal kicks in. Plenty of wild musical passages throughout this one, and if you like layers of vocals, you get that in full here. Toss in a cover of Iron Maiden's "Flash of the Blade", and you have another highly enjoyable release from this Italian juggernaut.
Though you can say that there's nothing new on display here, what Rhapsody of Fire do they do so well. The musicianship is stellar, the vocals tremendous, and the storyline is fascinating as always. For many, the highlight will surely be the epic "Heroes of the Waterfall's Kingdom", which is worth the price of admission alone, but there's not a weak track here to be honest. Turilli & Hess are sure to be one of the most talked about guitar teams in metal (there's plenty of shred-o-rama on display), and with the future of Kamelot somewhat cloudy, there's no reason why Rhapsody of Fire can't soar to the top of the symphonic power metal heap. Quality stuff here!
1."Ad Infinitum" - 1:30
2."From Chaos to Eternity" - 5:45
3."Tempesta di fuoco" ("Firestorm") - 4:48
4."Ghosts of Forgotten Worlds" - 5:35
5."Anima perduta" ("Lost Soul") - 4:46
6."Aeons of Raging Darkness" - 5:46
7."I Belong to the Stars" - 4:55
8."Tornado" - 4:57
9."Heroes of the Waterfall's Kingdom" - 19:39
I. "Lo spirito della foresta" ("The Spirit of the Forest")
II. "Realm of Sacred Waterfalls"
III. "Thanor's Awakening"
IV. "Northern Skies Enflamed"
V. "The Splendour of Angels' Glory (A Final Revelation)"
10."Flash of the Blade" (Iron Maiden cover, bonus track) - 4:17
Added: July 31st 2011
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
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|Rhapsody of Fire: From Chaos to Eternity
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-07-30 22:34:24
Rhapsody of Fire have established themselves among Italy's finest power metal exports throughout their long and illustrious career, and From Chaos to Eternity is yet another excellent addition to their shining catalog. Featuring Christopher Lee's legendary voice acting, as well as some of symphonic power metal's most bombastic compositions and top-notch musicianship, calling this album a winner would be an understatement. Although Rhapsody of Fire hasn't revolutionized their sound this time around and they still remain exceptionally close to their symphonic power metal roots, the fact that they manage to still keep their sound fresh and inventive is highly impressive. From Chaos of Eternity won't win over the haters, but anyone who enjoys an occasional burst of power metal on the more bombastic side should certainly take a look in this direction!
Anyone even passingly familiar with Rhapsody of Fire will recognize their blend of symphonic power metal from a mile away, and that also applies to From Chaos to Eternity. Expect symphonic power metal with lush keyboards, operatic vocals, voice narration courtesy of Christopher Lee, lyrics revolving around fantasy-related subjects, and of course plenty of the standard power metal trademarks (fast double-pedal patterns, shredding guitar solos, powerful lead vocals, etc.). Although this may sound extremely clichéd and cheesy (which, in a sense, it is), Rhapsody of Fire manages to deliver the sound in one of the most powerful, professional, and just plain enjoyable formats I've ever heard. Through a journey of well-composed songs, captivating lyrics, and impeccable musicianship, Rhapsody of Fire takes us on a voyage through some of symphonic power metal's finest offerings. The near-20 minute epic "Heroes of the Waterfalls' Kingdom" especially highlights the band's captivating songwriting talents.
From Chaos to Eternity may not be terribly original, but it's sure to be one of the year's best power metal albums. With such excellent compositions, top-notch musicianship, and sleek production, it's hard not to be at least somewhat impressed by this effort. I was personally very satisfied by From Chaos to Eternity and find it to be a highly recommendable purchase for anyone who enjoys some wizards and folklore to infiltrate their stereo from time-to-time. 4 stars seems very appropriate here. Anyone who enjoys Rhapsody of Fire should definitely make sure this finds its way into their collection!
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