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Rhapsody of Fire: The Eighth Mountain

Rhapsody of Fire (formerly Rhapsody, once belonging to Alex Staropoli and Luca Turilli but NOT the new Turilli/Lione Rhapsody although I am sure what I am about to say works for them as well) don’t do stuff half-cocked. Oh no, if a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing in a way-over-the-top manner. In fact, that’s the only way to do it. AFM Records do their press releases in a similar manner.

“To dress the new material in appropriately lavish sounds to suit its extravagant songwriting, Rhapsody Of Fire have worked with a major orchestra again. This time the musicians of the acclaimed Bulgarian National Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, renowned for their contribution to more than 600 movie soundtracks, were instrumental in recording The Eighth Mountain’s sublime, atmospherically dense overall sound. Two choirs featuring more than 20 vocalists, as well as a number of soloists playing medieval instruments, also deserve to be mentioned.”

Arguably the newest version of the band has been given the proverbial kick up the arse by the arrival three years ago of vocalist Giacomo Voli. I’ve seen the band play live and his voice is less accented than Fabio Lione’s but equally, if not more powerful and on The Eighth Mountain he handles the bombastic material with suitable aplomb. If anything he’s more versatile especially in the lower register. The songs, as one might expect from the pen of Alex Staropoli are musically complex, at times bewilderingly so, sometimes really immediate ("Rain of Fury", the single,) sometimes less so ("March Against the Tyrant" or "The Courage to Forget") but this is a supremely cohesive piece of work. Special mention must go to the work of guitarist Roby De Micheli who must have to dip his fingers in ice after every recording session so nimble are his fingers!

The album was mixed and mastered by Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann (Orden Ogan) and sounds unfeasibly gargantuan yet in the quieter moments is given ample space to breathe. The first non-Turilli Rhapsody of Fire album definitely bears repeated listens and it’s tremendous to hear Christopher Lee one more time from beyond the grave on "Tales of a Hero’s Fate".

Track Listing:

  1. Abyss of Pain
  2. Seven Heroic Deeds
  3. Master of Peace
  4. Rain of Fury
  5. White Wizard
  6. Warrior Heart
  7. The Courage to Forgive
  8. March Against the Tyrant
  9. Clash of Times
  10. The Legend Goes On
  11. The Wind, the Rain and the Moon
  12. Tales of a Hero’s Fate

Added: March 30th 2019
Reviewer: Simon Bray
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 1297
Language: english

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