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Rhapsody (of Fire)

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Rhapsody (of Fire) The Cold Embrace of Fear album cover
2.79 | 33 ratings | 4 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

- A Dark Romantic Symphony:
1. Act I: The Pass of Nair-Kaan (2:01)
2. Act II: Dark Mystic Vision (1:41)
3. Act III: The Ancient Fires of Har-Kuun (14:56)
4. Act IV: The Betrayal (3:58)
5. Act V: Neve Rosso Sangue (4:41)
6. Act VI: Erian's Lost Secrets (4:28)
7. Act VII: The Angels' Dark Revelation (3:59)

Total Time 35:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Fabio Lione / vocals
- Alex Holzwarth / drums
- Luca Turilli / guitars
- Alex Staropoli / keyboards
- Patrice Guers / bass

- Olaf Reitmeier / acoustic guitar
- Sascha Paeth / rhythm guitar
- Fabio Lione, Herbie Langhans, Robert Hunecke, Simon Oberender, Thomas Rettke / Epic choir
- Bridget Fogle, Previn Moore / Opera choir
- Bridget Fogle / solo soprano vocals
- Stash Kirkbride / narrator [Dargor]
- Toby Eddington / narrator [Iras Algor]
- Marcus D'Amico / narrator [Khaas]
- Christina Lee / narrator [Lothen]
- Simon Fielding / narrator [Tarish]
- Christopher Lee /narrator [The Wizard King]

Releases information

Recorded at the Gate Studio (Wolfsburg, Germany) between September and October 2009

Nuclear blast records

Mini CD Nuclear Blast NB 2651-2

Thanks to snobb for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) The Cold Embrace of Fear ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) The Cold Embrace of Fear reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars New Mini CD, released by Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody Of Fire contains 35+ minutes long "dark romantic symphony" of 7 parts. Everything goes according to genre's rules there - bombastic orchestration, melodic tunes, symphonic arrangements, strong influence of medieval music,operatic vocals. Plus dragons, tales,narrators....

Really nice small release in traditions of Italian rock music. If you like Therion, but they are too progressive for you, taste this. Or - just imagine Iron Maiden goes power metal goes RPI (just remove all possible progressive traces from result mix). Vocalist learned plenty from Bruce Dickinson in singing manner, and really isn't bad. Instrumentation is classic Italian though - bombastic, over-arranged and very polished.

But - main problem of such music is it's not a progressive metal at all. And not a progressive music of any other form. But good Italian version of Symphonic power metal, so if you like such music - this release is for you.

Review by Conor Fynes
2 stars 'The Cold Embrace Of Fear' - Rhapsody (Of Fire) (4/10)

It's a scarce occurence in the present music industry for a band to release two albums in a year. Such is the case with Italian power metal group Rhapsody Of Fire. Coming off as an afterthought to Rhapsody Of Fire's full length album released earlier this year, 'The Cold Embrace Of Fear' is labelled as a 'dark romantic symphony.' While this is certainly not the first of the band's releases to be labelled as something along those lines, this is the farthest the band has ever gone towards a symphonic, cinematic approach than ever before. Alot of the metal sound has been mixed out of the music, making way for a larger emphasis on the symphonic sound that always hung in balance on other albums. While the making of a 'cinematic symphony' sounds like it would be a recipe for brilliance, 'The Cold Embrace Of Fear' sadly fails for the most part. Relying on a ridiculously large portion of dialogue over actual music, there is the clear sense that the band was trying to make a dramatic work of fiction as much as a musical statement. Unfortunately, their ambitions do not work well in their favour.

Taking a bit too much overt influence from Tolkien's 'Lord Of The Rings' saga, the storyline of 'The Cold Embrace Of Fear' takes place in Rhapsody Of Fire's swords-and-sorcery fantasy world, which feels far too much like a Tolkien copy to be considered original fiction. While the band has employed skilled actors (including the honourable Christopher Lee), the narration and scripted dialogue feels far too cheesy and shallow to really merit anything. Revolving around some generic party of heroes' quest to find an equally generic 'book of secrets,' the story adds almost nothing to the product; there is no sense of real intrigue or suspense to the plot. And when the aforementioned book is finally claimed, the contents of the book are left more or less ambigious, giving a feeling to the listener that the entire journey arrives at a big mottled anticlimax.

In terms of the music, there are really only two tracks here that have any real music to them (the rest of the album sucuumbing to the dreadful dialogue). While the actual music here is indeed strong, it is pretty typical of Rhapsody's regular work, except with the orchestral elements quite a bit higher in the mix than usual. Listening to it really makes me want to listen to another, more legitimate work from Rhapsody's discography; despite a good performance from Fabio Leone and company, there is far too much unnecessary filler here to be worth the quest.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Titter ye not, this is serious!

Having returned in 2010 with "Frozen tears of angels", which constituted part 3 of "The dark secret saga", Rhapsody of Fire released this mini-album later the same year. "The cold embrace of fear" is described as part 4 of the saga, then sub-titled "reprise from part 3". What this means is that it does not really further the ongoing story much, but rather takes stock of our heroes predicament, and amplifies the tale. In that sense, this release can be compared with the 2001 mini album "Rain Of A Thousand Flames". Much of the narrative which appears in the accompanying booklet repeats the final text from the booklet which accompanies "Frozen tears of angels", the intrepid party having now reached the convivial town of Ainor.

The story does move on a bit though, as the "white book" is found and taken into the custody of the good guys (hooray!), save for a few pages which the baddies (boo!) tore out.

This set is actually a little different in terms of the way Lucca Turilli and the boys have approached its development, as the entire album is described as a single 35 minute song in 7 acts. The intention here is to create a cinematic experience, with even greater emphasis on the theatrics. This is done through extended use of narration (Christopher Lee guests again here) and more emphasis on the orchestrations.

I have to confess that the extended dialogue sections did cause me to laugh out loud a couple of times, such is the way they are hammed up by the various participants. The opening section for example sees the gang getting caught in an avalanche, the narrative in the sleeve notes continuing "ALL TOGETHER - What's that?. . .The ground . .it's an avalanche!".

It is really Act III before we get the first of the real meat of the album, the 15 minute epic "The ancient fires of Har-Kuun" swimming in superb waves of chorale, orchestra, metal and folk. The language of this the first sung track alternates between Italian and English, the infectious chorus boating one of Rhapsody/Of Fire's great melodies. This "Act" really is the pinnacle of the album and reason alone for acquiring it.

The extended conversational dramatics return on "The betrayal", which tells the story vividly but needs to be heard only once or twice. "Erian's lost secrets" is the other stand-out track of the set. Here, choral vocals, anthemic melodies and epic orchestration come together in another fine Rhapsody classic. Unusually (for the band) but highly effectively, the song includes a reprise from "Ancient fires..".

While "The cold embrace of fear" is put forward as a single track in seven acts, it really is another suite of separate tracks. The set certainly flows well, but the epic "Ancient fires of Har-Kuun" can readily be heard on its own without mitigating the pleasure.

Overall, this mini-album takes the saga on a little further, while offering a slightly different perspective on the band. For Rhapsody/Of Fire fans, an essential addition, for others a good album.

Review by Warthur
3 stars Huh - this is an odd one. Recorded during the sessions for The Frozen Tears of Angels, this multi-part epic tells an important part of the story of the Dark Secret Saga - it's not a side-tale in the same way that Rain of a Thousand Flames was to the Emerald Sword Saga. On balance, I think the band made the right call in leaving this off that album, since it is a major departure from Rhapsody's usual compositional style which wouldn't fit well on that album, or indeed on any of Rhapsody's other releases.

The multi-act song here relies far more on sweeping orchestral sections and extended narrated portions than any other Rhapsody album, to the point where it includes full-blown radio play sections. On top of that, there's more or less none of the band's usual energetic power metal excursions to moderate the pace and aid the flow, to the point where it feels like an experiment in creating more purely symphonic metal than Rhapsody are known for - or just a symphonic soundtrack when the band don't play altogether and let the actors get on with it. It's an interesting attempt, but in all honesty I think they do a lot better when they sound like Rhapsody.

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