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Rhapsody (of Fire) - Rain of a Thousand Flames CD (album) cover


Rhapsody (of Fire)


Progressive Metal

3.64 | 90 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars 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.

lukretio | 2/5 |


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