Rhapsody (Of Fire)

Please note: due to the repeated, ambivalent changes in lineup, as well as very similar themes and styles, the various Italian “Rhapsody” bands are being grouped here.

Reviewed by: Graham Henry

Rhapsody (Of Fire) have been one of my favorite bands for the better part of a decade. I discovered them very early on in my power metal listening days, and 10 years later I still enjoy them every bit as much as I did when I first heard them in high school. Other than one dud they have remained consistently good, and it is my pleasure to be able to rewind through their expansive catalog.

As Rhapsody:

Legendary Tales (1997)

Rhapsody at their start. A solid debut, but not quite up to the standards Rhapsody themselves would set with subsequent albums.

Symphony Of Enchanted Lands (1998)

One of the catchiest and most fun of all Rhapsody albums. Though it slows some at the end, the front end of this album is loaded with some of the best material in the Rhapsody catalog.

Dawn Of Victory (2000)

The strongest complete album in the Rhapsody catalog. The band takes a darker more guitar-focused tone here, while still retaining their great sense of melody from the first two albums. Nearly flawless.

Rain Of A Thousand  Flames (2001)

A “full length EP,” consisting mostly of narration and instrumentals. This album is much less melodic and open to dissonance than the previous albums, as it follows the flow of the Rhapsody story.

Power Of The Dragonflame (2002)

Another strong offering from a band in its prime, this marks the conclusion of the first Rhapsody saga. Darker than both previous albums, yet more melodic than Rain Of A Thousand Flames, Fabio Lione begins to explore the use of harsh vocals giving some songs an angrier, edgier tone.

Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark Secret (2004)

The band backs off the formula of the last three albums, and proceeds with a lighter, more lush symphony-focused sound. A solid release, but weaker than the other albums since Legendary Tales.

As Rhapsody Of Fire:

Triumph Or Agony (2006)

The dud. Skip this album (but read my review!)

The Frozen Tears Of Angels (2010)

A strong return to form nearly 5 years after the miserable Triumph Or Agony. The focus on the guitars is back, Fabio’s use of harsh vocals continues to escalate, and the band produces a real comeback gem.

The Cold Embrace Of Fear (2010)

Another “full length EP,” this one features Rhapsody Of Fire at their cinematic prime. The entire album sounds like something out of a movie score, but is put together better than the previous Rhapsody EP.

From Chaos To Eternity (2011)

The best album since Dawn Of Victory, and the most powerful album to date. The guitars take center stage, and brilliantly encapsulate the entire Rhapsody Of Fire saga into one final album. This also marks the split between Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli, the former going on to play in Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody, the latter remaining in Rhapsody Of Fire.

Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody

Ascending To Infinity (2012)

A proggier, more cinematic release than previous Rhapsody albums, this more closely resembles the solo work of Luca Turilli than any material by Rhapsody Of Fire. Less catchy and less powerful than From Chaos To Eternity, but not without its redeeming features.

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