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Rhapsody (of Fire)

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Rhapsody (of Fire) Symphony Of Enchanted Lands album cover
3.73 | 111 ratings | 16 reviews | 36% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Epicus Furor (1:14)
2. Emerald Sword (4:20)
3. Wisdom Of The Kings (4:28)
4. Heroes Of The Lost Valley (2:04)
5. Eternal Glory (7:29)
6. Beyond The Gates of Infinity (7:23)
7. Wings Of Destiny (4:28)
8. The Dark Tower Of Abyss (6:46)
9. Riding the Winds Of Eternity (4:13)
10. Symphony Of Enchanted Lands (13:16)

Total Time: 55:46


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Luca Turilli / guitars
- Alex Staropoli / keyboards
- Daniele Carbonera / drums
- Fabio Lione / vocals
- Alessandro Lotta / bass
- Constanze Vaniyne / baroque vocals (10)
- Erik Steenbock / marching drums
- Manuel Staropoli / baroque recorder and oboe
- S?ren Leupold / baroque lute
- Matthias Brommann / lead violin
- Claas Harders / viola de gamba
- Sascha Paeth / balalaika, acoustic guitars, and mandolin
- Sir Jay Lansford / narrator

+ Russian Choirs by The Original Don Kosaken
+ Sacred Choirs by Helmstedter Kammerchor
+ Andreas Lamben / conductor
+ Choirs by Thomas Rettke, Robert Hunecke, Miro, Ricky Rizzo, Cinzia Rizzo, Tatiana Bloch, Davide Calabrese, Michele Mayer, Guiland Tarlon, Cristiano Adacher, Manuel Staropoli, Fabio Leon, Alex Starpoli, and Luca Turilli
+ Strings ensemble:
- Ulrike Wildenhof, Almut Schlicker, Stefanie Holk, Friedrike Bauer, Matthias Brommann / violins
- Marie-Theres Strumpf, Cosima Bergk, Jan Larsen / violas
- Hagen Kuhr / cello
- Andr? Neygenfind / contra bass
- Stefan Horz / cembald

Releases information

CD Limb Music Products #LMP 9810 007

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and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) Symphony Of Enchanted Lands ratings distribution

(111 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(36%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) Symphony Of Enchanted Lands reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I think the first three albums of this band combined together is a TRILOGY masterpiece. They are: "Legendary Tales", "Symphony of Enchanted Lands" and "Dawn of Victory". I could hardly define which one is the best as all of them are great albums. This album continues the story of the Algalord Chronicles, a fantasy epic created by the band. As I put in my review of "Dawn of Victory" album, the music of this band is not purely a power metal sub-genre (the kind of music pioneered by Germany's HELLOWEEN) but it has a considerable prog elements (the use of orchestra / string arrangements, varieties of shifting tempos PLUS. Well . I never heard the kind of mixture of Rhapsody's music before).

I purchased the CD of this album after I was extremely satisfied with the third album "Dawn of Victory" that represented my first introduction to the band (that I never heard the name before). Again, I was amazed with the music offered by the band: fantastic blend of metal and symphonic orchestra. Well, honestly, first listening I got problems with "dug-u-dug-u-dug" double bass drum style which sound typical to any metal music. But once I got used to it, it worked definitely fine with my ears. For those of you who love classic prog rock like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson of ELP, you may find it difficult to accept the tagline tempo of this kind of music. But, when you pass this test .. BOOM! It's gonna blow you man ...!!! This is the kind of music you'd like to listen to in order to elevate your emotion. Believe me!

As usual, this album is opened with orchestral arrangement "Epicus Furor" that really set the overall tone of the album. It's stunning opening and you should turn your power amps volume high to reach ultimate satisfaction. It flows to higher tempo with the second track "Emerald Sword". This track is really uplifting, showing a great mixture of power metal and excellent string ensembles music. If you like violin / cello instrument in rock, you will definitely like this song. The vocal part by Fabio Lione is great, accompanied by a choirs group that accentuate the song and bring the music to the ultimate power of progressive metal. I personally like the solo guitar combined with violin / cello sounds during the interlude section. It's excellent!

The third track "Wisdom Of The Kings" is opened with nice melody instrumental classical music followed with upbeat metal music and great vocal. Yes, you are ready to the war. It's a kind of music for war, I think. The addition of orchestration in between melody has enriched the music. The interlude part with lead guitar solo is stunning and uplifting.

"Heroes Of The Lost Valley" is a short track with heavy classical music element, great clavinet melody and pan pipe (or sort of it). This track, I think, is designed to create a motivational atmosphere for warriors going to the war field. This serves to be true as the narration says clearly:

"Yes, mighty warrior... what you hear now are the suffering voices of all the heroes that crossed these lands before you. They ended their quest tragically but their thirst for victory is still alive and breathes through these ancient rocks corroded by the fury of the wind. Their pride now rides with you..."

. it continues wonderfully to the next track where the war is really started: "Eternal Glory". WOW ..!!!! What a great orchestration opening!!! It's so stunning! I don't care whether you can accept metal music or not but this opening orchestration is damn EXCELLENT!! (I'm not being generous .. but .. this is true story, no exaggeration at all, believe me .). REALLY GREAT music! The combination of pan pipe and clavinet sounds at the end of this track really blow me! Well ..friends, I'm not gonna review track by track but believe me the rest of tracks are all wonderful. And I think . you have to purchase the CD. You won't regret it! The concluding epic "Symphony of Enchanted Lands" is also top class! Honestly, I keep admiring the masterminds of this album: Luca Turili (guitar), Alex Staropoli (keyboards and orchestration) plus brilliant producers: Sascha Paeth and Miro. Great job, gentlemen! - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.


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Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The good, the bad, and the Rhapsody

Rhapsody's second album is nothing more (or indeed less!) than a straight continuation of their first. If like me, you enjoyed the completely over the top pomposity of the first album "Legendary tales", then you are in for a further treat here. "Symphony of enchanted lands" continues the telling of "THE CHRONICLES OF ALGALORD - The Emerald Sword Saga", a story steeped in mythology, heroic battles, and epic fantasy. By this time, we have a hero whose quest we follow as he tries to find the hidden keys which will unlock the Ivory Gates. Somewhere behind these gates is an Emerald sword which will help our hero to restore peace and harmony to the land. While all this is going on, the combined forces of the good guys are fighting an ongoing war against evil forces.

The Chronicles story, and indeed all the lyrics, come from the imaginative and fertile mind of guitarist Lucca Turilli. Had he not been blessed with such musical talent, he would surely have found success as an author. Turilli denies any influence from the "Lord of the rings" books, claiming that he seldom reads. He does however cite Hollywood movies as a major influence, hence the "Epic Hollywood symphonic metal" tag.

The songs on these "Chronicles series" albums do not so much tell the story, as paint pictures to accompany it. While the music superbly reflects the atmosphere of the tale, the rather phonetic delivery of the lyrics makes reference to the story and the lyric sheet essential in order to enjoy the full experience. The tale alone is worth the price of admission!

After the brief operatic opening of "Epicus Furor" we segue straight into the truly magnificent "Emerald sword". This track demands to be played with the volume at eleven, the double speed drums driving incessantly behind one of the most remarkable pieces of symphonic prog metal I have heard. It's the magnificently infectious choruses which grab you here as the all male choir run up and down the scales in true macho fashion. I defy anyone not to sing along at the top of your voice while making suitable arm waving gestures!

The album has its fair share of similar tracks ("Wisdom of the kings", "Riding the winds of eternity", "Eternal glory" etc,), all of which have impossibly fast guitar work, layers of synthesisers, bombastic orchestras and choirs, and soaring choruses. There are however other more diverse pieces. "Heroes of the lost valley" has a folky, medieval feel, and "Wings of destiny" is a delicate ballad, with soft vocals.

Several of the tracks have reasonably complex structures. "Eternal glory" moves from a brief narrated opening through trumpet sounding synths and snare drums to double speed bass drums, then a soaring chorus leading to a violin backed soft vocal section, and a symphonic conclusion. "Beyond the gates of infinity" has echoes of Dream Theater with constant time changes, and a superb synth solo.

The album closes with the epic 13 minute title track. Here the band bring together all their many influences as they move through soft passages, symphonic orchestration, folk music, and of course metallic guitar riffs. This is by far the band's more ambitious track to date and while they largely pull it off, for all its length it is not the best track on the album.

In all, Symphony of enchanted lands" is a highly polished and accomplished album. It finds the band pushing even further into their own unique territory, with stunning combinations of prog metal and symphonic orchestration. Highly recommended.

The story continues on Rhapsody's third album, "Dawn of victory".


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Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars J.S. Bach, Paganini and Yngwie Malmsteen are guitarplayer Luca Turilli and keyboardplayer Alex Staropoli their favorites so it's no surprise that Rhapsody their music is a blend of classical and metal. After the acclaimed demo tape Land Of Immortals the band released their debut CD entitled Legendary Tales in 1997. On this successor entitled Symphony Of Enchanted Lands (1998) Rhapsody has invited a Russian choir and made use of instruments like the hobo, lute, violin, harpsichord, acoustic guitars, mandoline and the ethnic Russian balalaika. The result is a dynamic and varied mix of classical, symphonic and heavy metal, at some moments very impressive and exciting! My highlights are Eternal Glory (symphonic metal along mellow parts with flute and harpsichord), the compelling ballad Wings Of Destiny (great tension between keyboards and vocals), Riding The Winds Of Destiny (sparkling, often orchestral keyboards, violin and fiery speed metal interludes) and my favorite The Dark Tower Of Abyss, to me this composition sounds like "Vivaldi meets Savatage" featuring a swirling violin-section, biting guitar and powerful drums. Because I don't like heavy metal and prog metal, I have problems with listening to this album when the focus is too much on these categories. But when there is a balance between classical, symphonic and heavy metal, Rhapsody succeeds to generate a lot of excitement to me! My rating: 3,5 stars.


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Review by b_olariu
3 stars Rhapsody second album is a continuation of the first album. The album is like you combine Malmsteen, Bach and some Stratovarius here and there. Symphony of enchanted lands continues the telling of The chrolnicles of Algalord - The Emerald Sword Saga.The music here is with fast/slow guitar work, layers of synthesisers, bombastic orchestras and choirs, just listen to Wisdom Of The Kings Symphony Of Enchanted Lands the best pieces from here. What more if you like bands mention above this can give you some pleasure, if you don't like fast guitars or medieval instrumentation here and there stay away. 3 stars for this one, and i think their best so far. Anyway from this one they repeat the same elements to the newer albums, no big difference between them.


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Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second album from Rhapsody is my favorite from this band. Rhapsody continues the style they started on their debut Legendary Tales. This means bombastic orchestral driven power metal with fantasy/ Fairytale lyrics. I hold Legendary Tales in high regard but Symphony of Enchanted Lands is just a notch better.

Epicus Furor starts the album with a bombastic classical arrangement, itīs very beautiful and when it seques into Emerald Sword itīs so powerful. Iīm always blown back in my seat when the doubel bass drums kick in on Emerald Sword. Itīs just so great and powerful. The epic and powerful playing continues throughout the album even though it gets a bit too cheesy for me on a song like Wings of Destiny. But on the other hand youīll have to accept at least a bit of cheese to listen to power metal. I have always listened to this style with an ironic distance. Rhapsody are just so great that I canīt help being faschinated and entranced by them. My favorite tracks besides the aforementioned are Wisdom Of The Kings, Eternal Glory with itīs almost Star Wars like classical intro theme and The Dark Tower Of Abyss which is the most dark and heavy song here.

The musicians playing on Symphony of Enchanted Lands needs to be mentioned as they are all outstanding. Fabio Lioneīs vocal delivery is strong and commanding, but he can also sound very emotional ( thatīs when it gets a bit too cheesy for me). The two composers Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli are outstanding musicians. First of all for the ability to compose this music but secondly also for being virtosos on their instruments. I especially enjoy Luca Turilliīs signature sweeping on his guitar, really nice stuff. The drums and bass are also very tight. There are also some folky elements like flute and violin in some of the songs.

The production is otherworldly if you ask me. This is the way metal should be produced. Everything is clear in the soundscape and the production is very metallic and cold. Not all the organic sounding vintage keyboards here. Those belong in another genre, not in power metal. I really like the drum sound too, itīs very powerful.

This album is very recommendable if you like power metal. Normal progressive metal heads might not find this to their liking. Itīs very much an aquired taste if you like this genre. I think this album is worth 4 big stars.


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Review by Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Symphony Of Enchanted Lands' - Rhapsody (Of Fire) (78/100)

Endlessly aggravating are the people who wilfully dismiss music of this sort as a bad joke due to the cheese and bombast factor. Power metal, like any other genre of music, isn't free from its share of clichés and tropey expectations, not to mention the brand of imagery the sound is best at conjuring in the listener's mind. Not unlike the Roger Moore era of Bond films, when a power metal gets too self-aware and tongue-in-cheek with the tropes, it usually sounds pathetic-- I'm looking at YOU, Gloryhammer! For a band as shamelessly bombastic and trope-enforcing as Rhapsody, a large part of their charm is due to the fact that they do take themselves and their art seriously. Pair that sincere conviction with a fittingly bombastic grasp of composition and energy, and it's not hard to see why Symphony of Enchanted Lands became a go-to album for me when I was first getting into the genre.

Although it's been years since I picked up this album from a record store in Seattle, my opinion has barely changed. The band's enthusiasm for all things fantastical is contagious. The musicianship is exceptionally biting and tight, and their orchestrations are well-befitting the 'symphonic' descriptor. Although I'm not totally certain I'd call Symphony of Enchanted Lands Rhapsody's brightest-shining moment, it would be the most suitable point for any newcomers to get their first fill of the band. For good and bad, all of Rhapsody's defining traits are here. Orchestral interludes ("Heroes of the Lost Valley") are cut between hyperactive neoclassical metal, set alight by one of the most brilliant voices in power metal from frontman Fabio Leone. Although some of the latter work with epics would take them to even-greater heights, Rhapsody's titular "Symphony of Enchanted Lands" demonstrated the band early on as an act fully capable of earning flattering comparisons with many of the Baroque and High Classical composers that influenced them. And, of course, there is "Emerald Sword"; even as one of the album's shorter tracks, the fusion of aggressive speed and classical elegance make it as perfect and immortal a song as Rhapsody have ever created.

Although "Emerald Sword", the similarly epic "Eternal Glory" and bombastic title piece are certain favourites on the album, Rhapsody's musical output here is wonderfully consistent. Even if by the point of "The Dark Tower of Abyss" the formula begins to repeat itself, that rare feeling of much-sought exhilaration never goes away. Much of Rhapsody's sense of classical impressement is thanks to Alex Staropoli's wizardly keyboard work, but the orchestral arrangements themselves feel full-bodied and epic in their scope. Too often do power metal bands try to get away with MIDI synth pocket orchestras, and very seldom does it ever achieve the epic atmosphere the bands strive for. Even beyond the authentic-sounding orchestrations and choral arrangements, Rhapsody demonstrate a power knowledge of classical composition here, and it makes it feel much more than the afterthought it often is in the genre.

For lack of a less-overused term, the truly 'epic' sound on Symphony of Enchanted Lands has lost none of its effect over the years. Considering the substance behind Rhapsody's music, it's actually disappointing that the execution of the album's concept is so weak. Unlike two-thirds of the reviews for this album that I've read, I don't have any issue with the ridiculous Lord of the Rings knock-off high fantasy atmosphere they're trying to create. The story itself (expanded upon in the album booklet) is autistic and impenetrable and I've given up trying to make any proper sense out of it, but the story doesn't need to make sense. What it does is set up a foundation for a host of archetypal high fantasy imagery. Enchanted swords? Check. Generic heroic chosen one? Check. Dragons? Check. Said hero riding on said dragon to fight monsters? CHECK. Tis' safe to say that Rhapsody will never win any Hugo Awards for their contributions to fantasy fiction, but it's easy to tell from the enthusiasm Rhapsody inject into their music that the story means something to them. Enthusiasm is infectious, right?

By all means it should have been, and there are times where I might care what happens to the Ice Warrior and his overgrown lizard, but the voiceover narration just kills it for me. Even when they're ineffective I don't usually let bad voiceovers get in the way of my appreciation for a concept album, but it's impossible when the voiceover is bad to the point of sounding like a [%*!#]ing self-parody. For all of its musical merits, Symphony of Enchanted Lands has the worst voiceover narration I have ever heard on an album. I swear, the lisping narrator sounds like every unfavourable stereotype of Dungeons and Dragons players rolled up into one. I hate bands like Gloryhammer for being contrived and ironic, and love Rhapsody for their sincerity, but when I'm listening to this narrator who sounds like he forgot to take his retainer out before lamenting the fall of the mighty dragon Tharos, the lines between sincerity and parody start to blur. I'd be lying if I said the narration doesn't hurt my appreciation of Symphony of Enchanted Lands; it completely works against the rest of the album's atmosphere. Given that they enlisted the extraordinary Christopher Lee for the mandatory narration on Symphony of Enchanted Lands II six years later however, it's safe to say Rhapsody recognized the error in their ways.

People (metalheads included) tend to be pretty cynical in recent years, and in virtually every sphere outside of power metal, Rhapsody's 'justice and love for all' fantasy-laden idealism is horribly unfashionable. Even the high fantasy folks are into nowadays is generally post-modern and 'edgy'. Where does that leave a story about a warrior and his faithful dragon? Where does that leave neoclassical sweep solos and harpsichords? For those who know, Symphony of Enchanted Lands is a pretty great album in spite of the lispy voiceover, though I'd hesitate to recommend it to anyone who regularly mistakes bombast for inauthenticity without first giving the benefit of doubt.


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Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Some more legendary tales

After the superb and highly original debut album, Legendary Tales, things started to go wrong already with this follow up - but only slightly so, this is still a good album similar in style to the first one. I do feel though that Symphony of Enchanted Lands is more symphonic in the negative sense of being more pompous and bombastic. They did indeed adopt a somewhat bigger sound with this album, probably as a result of having a larger budget, but it is not adding anything valuable to the music if you ask me. I very much liked the fact that they used a smaller string ensemble (violin, viola and cello) on the debut instead of a full-blown orchestra.

Also the addition of a few spoken word passages (of which the debut was thankfully free) makes this album cheesier in comparison. The storyline is indeed very cheesy and it is not wise of them to draw more attention to it than absolutely necessary! Yet another thing that makes the present album less effective is the prolonged running time. The extra ten minutes or so compared to the debut makes the impact of Symphony of Enchanted Lands less powerful to me. By the end of the album I start to feel that I have heard everything the band has to offer.

Some of the features that I liked very much about the debut are still here though even if to a slightly lesser degree; the folky and medieval influences and the Yngwie Malmsteen's Rising Force-influenced guitar and keyboard play. I personally enjoy the Folk and Neo-Classical Metal aspects of the band much more than the Power Metal aspects (even if I don't mind a bit of progressive Power Metal). Once again both the instrumental and vocal talents and the compositional skills are strong and most of the songs are very enjoyable.

To sum up. This is a good album that is both different from and similar to the debut. In those aspects that it is different it appeals to me less and in those aspect in which it is similar it lacks the novelty of the debut and thus adds little than just more of the same.

I strongly recommend to start with the great debut (and that is all the Rhapsody most people will need, really)


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Review by Warthur
4 stars Symphony of Enchanted Lands sees Rhapsody refine and perfect the formula established on Legendary Tales. The classical instrumentation gets to be a little more prominent this time, especially on the epic title track, and we get a bit more narration here and there to help out those who want to follow the story, but otherwise it's essentially more of the same, with just enough variation and musical development to save the album from feeling redundant or unnecessary. If you're going to do Dungeons & Dragons metal, you may as well go completely over the top with it, and Rhapsody pull this off in fine form.


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Latest members reviews

4 stars Symphony of Enchanted Lands' follows on from 'Legendary Tales' in its revelation of 'The Chronicles of Algalord'. The storyline of the album is best summarized by these opening sentences from the cover slip; "What is told between these pages destined to memories was written by the wise old ha ... (read more)

Report this review (#97028) | Posted by Ktrout | Friday, November 03, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Why this album is listed here remains a mistery for me. It's just the usual happy (power) metal, yeah, the singer has a lot of range, the instrumental part is also fast and has some good points... but hell, this is not progressive at all! Just listen to the first two tracks... A catchy riff and ... (read more)

Report this review (#84687) | Posted by laynor | Monday, July 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is NOT a progressive rock album, but there's some progressive parts. Even I don't count this album in the progressive music, it's not poor album. Italian way to express english is kind of ridiculous, but Lione's voice is majestic. Turilli is very talented guitarist and his classical parts is ... (read more)

Report this review (#75431) | Posted by Toomio | Wednesday, April 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Much people say, this is not a prog materpiece because is heavy metal, well is true but is better that much prog albums; why? because the songs are a amazing combination of heavy metal, progresive rock and baroque music (like Vivaldi) with the unique touch of Rhapsody. Epicus Furor: A great ... (read more)

Report this review (#37260) | Posted by | Wednesday, June 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I agreed with freehenkīs review: this album is not progressive but surely power symphonic metal with the repetitive, fast and boring (for my taste) drums in several tracks. Some tracks with with classical instruments, however this is not enough to be a prog band. Perhaps it deserves a three t ... (read more)

Report this review (#32230) | Posted by Asiostygius | Thursday, June 02, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Do not wasted your time listening to this album. There's no prog element at all. It's just a power metal album. Pure POWER METAL polished with orchestration and operatic choir and so on and so on... If you looking for the REAL symphonic power metal band (and also the BEST!), just listen to NIG ... (read more)

Report this review (#32221) | Posted by | Monday, August 30, 2004 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A nice record that i actually don't know how it make it here, anyway... a nice virtuoso album featuring strong medieval influences, but is no more impresive or original than any of the "KEEPER'S OF THE SEVEN KEYS" albums from HELLOWEEN (which happen to be a main influence). To be honest, this ... (read more)

Report this review (#32220) | Posted by arqwave | Tuesday, August 17, 2004 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Majestic LP of symphonic metal which perfectly unites metallic cavalcades, inspired keyboards and epic orchestral parts. This collection of anthems ( "emerald sword", "eternal glory",... ) even includes a quite well done ballad contrary to others Rhapsody's LP. Some lively, conquering and ... (read more)

Report this review (#32224) | Posted by | Monday, August 02, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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