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Rhapsody (of Fire) - Symphony of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret CD (album) cover

SYMPHONY OF ENCHANTED LANDS II - THE DARK SECRET

Rhapsody (of Fire)

 

Progressive Metal

3.61 | 88 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I almost reluctant to buy the CD of this album because I was not really into the band's previous album: Power of The Dragon Flame. Yes, the band blew my mind the first time I listened to their third album "Dawn of Victory" that led me to buy their 1st and 2nd album. I even bought the boxed set of Dawn album. But their follow ups with 4th and 5th albums were not up to my expectation - too much choirs, less music. But, lots of friends recommended me to enjoy this album as it brings back the sound of their previous albums. When I looked at the album title, I remembered clearly their second album "Symphony of Enchanted Lands" was. (see my review of the second album). And this album is like a kind of "the saga continues .." of the SoEL (2nd album).

When the CD arrived on my hands last week, I was still overshadowed by the fear of hearing too much choirs of Dragon album. That's enough to give me a sort of struggle the first spin of this CD. I then kept repeating it and .. ghusszzzzz ..there are a lot of catchy melodies throughout this album!! As usual, the mastermind of Rhapsody comprised of two gentlemen: Luca Turili (guitar) and Alex Staropoli (keys and orchestration). The significant change is the disappearance of their previous producers: Miro and Sascha Paeth. Actually, I was wondering the quality of this album without the hands of these gentlemen. Their reputation was really good as they also produced albums of KAMELOT "Karma", "Fourth Legacy", "Epica" and other power metal bands. Probably, the two were very busy with AINA (metal opera). So, here they are .Luca and Alex are the producer of this album. The result? It's a TRUE MASTERPIECE!

Let's have a look the saga in a little bit detail .. [just a little reminder for those of you who are new to the band: Please don't expect the band would sound like DREAM THEATER, SYMPHONY X, ICED EARTH, ICE AGE, THRESHOLD, etc even though all of them are pigeon holed under progressive metal sub-genre!! Rhapsody music is a blend of power metal and a heavy influence of classical music with powerful orchestration. Sometimes the music shifts to quieter moods giving a certain balance to it]

"The Dark Secret" kicks off with a narration by Mr. Christopher Lee to set the whole tone of the album. It's backed with an atmospheric orchestra and it continues with a choir and symphonic orchestra that reminds me to Lord of The Rings movie. It's good enough for the listener to enjoy the nuance of the saga the band is going to perform ..

It continues seamlessly to the opening of "Unholy Warcry" with soaring orchestration and power metal beat demonstrated by the double bass drum sounds and rhythm guitar. The music is very emotional and ambitious, but not too technical. Fans of melodic metal and power metal could like this kind of music. In the middle of the track there is a short narration again followed by guitar solo by Luca. The melody is really memorable because it's so catchy, augmented with great orchestra at background.

Having finished with an upbeat mood it then continues with a classical and moody intro of the third track ""Never Forgotten Heroes". What a great orchestra! (listening to this intro, it reminds me to the journey through the Two Towers of Lord of The Rings movie). There is a beautiful transition before the music turns to a faster tempo. Keyboard sound is stunning and melodic!

"Elgardīs Green Valleys" a short track with wood wind instrument takes melody augmented with violin / accordion. It sounds a traditional music with classical touch. It flows to "The Magic Of The Wizards Dream" in a ballad style. This track is very accessible to most people as it's performed in a slow mood with nice melody and stunning orchestra at background. Oh man ..the orchestration is really great!

"Erianīs Mystical Rhymes" is relatively long track opened by an act as demonstrated by a growling sound of male voice. It continues with orchestration that brings the music in power metal mood and maintaining the orchestra. At the ending part of the track, Luca presents his lead guitar work accompanied with Alex's keys. The inclusion of narration at this part is also excellent, accompanied with great piano and light orchestra.

"The Last Angelsī Call" moves the music into higher tempo with great clavinet work at the intro part. The interplay with lead guitar and light orchestra is stunning. In "Dragonland's Rivers" the band presents the nuance of people talking at the edge of a river followed by melodic and classical wood wind (pan pipe) work. It reminds me to Scotland's trad music. You must enjoy this track; it's wonderful.

"Sacred Power Of Raging Winds" is probably the most power metal music compared to the others in terms of tempo; it's performed in speed with excellent transitions. The instrumental part in the middle of the track is amazing! It's performed not in typical power metal tempo. Very very very nice ..!!!! The keyboard solo accompanied with woodwind and violin are really stunning man .!!! Try this out! This track is my favorite. (It reminds me also to the work of YNGWIE MALMSTEEN work with an orchestra).

"Guardiani Del Destino" is a melodic mellow track with trad music touch and fascinating woodwind and acoustic guitar. "Shadows Of Death" is an upbeat track with excellent guitar and keyboard solo augmented with a narration and light orchestra. "Nightfall On The Grey Mountains" concludes the album in a relatively medium tempo. Great ending! (musically .)

This album is a TRUE MASTERPIECE. GW, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |

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