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Rhapsody (of Fire)

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Rhapsody (of Fire) Rain of a Thousand Flames album cover
3.64 | 90 ratings | 8 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rain of a Thousand Flames (3:43)
2. Deadly Omen (1:49)
3. Queen of the Dark Horizons (13:42)
4. Tears of a Dying Angel (6:23)
5. Elnor's Magic Valley (1:40)
6. The Poem's Evil Page (4:04)
7. The Wizard's Last Rhymes (10:38)

Total Time 41:59

Line-up / Musicians

- Luca Turilli / guitars
- Alex Staropoli / keyboards, harpsichord, piano
- Fabio Lione / lead & backing vocals
- Alessandro Lotta / bass
- Alex Holzwarth / drums

- Bridget Fogle, Previn Moore / church choirs
- Robert Hunecke-Rizzo, Olaf Hayer, Oliver Hartmann, Tobias Sammet / epic choirs
- Nadja Bellir / female narrator
- Sir Jay Lansford / narrator
- Manuel Staropoli / baroque recorders
- Dana Lurie / violin
- Thunderforce / drums

Releases information

CD Limb Music #LMP 0110-036

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) Rain of a Thousand Flames ratings distribution

(90 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) Rain of a Thousand Flames reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars An Intermission

While the world held its breath awaiting the final part of THE CHRONICLES OF ALGALORD saga (could the Nordic Warrior of Ice save Algalord from the forces of evil?), Rhapsody prolonged the rising anticipation by releasing an interim mini-album entitled "Rain of a thousand flames". Released between "Dawn of victory" and "Power of the dragon flame", and running to over 40 minutes, the album is long enough to stand in its own right, but was marketed as an "extended EP".

The title comes from an episode in the, then still to come, fourth part of the Chronicles, when two towns were "destroyed after three moons of apocalyptic bloodshed under a rain of a thousand flames". Indeed, although this album does not form part of the saga, the songs are very much related to it. The tracks on the four albums tend to paint pictures which relate to the saga, rather that actually telling the story verbatim. The songs here appear to be ones which were written on that basis, but not used for whatever reason on the four "Emerald sword saga" albums.

As a whole, "Rain of a thousand flames" stands as an equal among the Rhapsody releases to date. The album finds the band reverting to the more symphonic influences of their first 2 albums, while venturing into more diverse territories. There are two brief instrumental tracks, " Elnor's Magic Valley" being the more interesting. This track is a traditional sounding fiddle piece, with Baroque recorder accompaniment, which might well have been performed by Fairport Convention's Dave Swarbrick.

There are two feature tracks, which together occupy well over half of the album. "Queen of the dark horizons", is a magnificent opus which weaves its way through mixed choirs, female operatic solos, anthemic choruses, lush orchestration, and superb guitar and synthesiser breaks. At almost 14 minutes long, the band have the space to develop the themes further, while incorporating a number of vocal styles. The female vocal sections have similarities with Nightwish, while the semi spoken male vocal parts are like those of Phil Lynott. "The wizard's last rhymes" takes its title from the closing section of "The emerald sword saga" as documented in the booklet accompanying the following album, "Power of the Dragonflame". This 10 minute opus has plenty of orchestration, female operatics, and choirs. There's also some fine guitar work from Lucca Turilli, and a "Wizard of Oz" like section. In fact the only slight disappointment on this particular track is the band's own vocals, which are at times sub-standard. The track, which concludes the album, is unusual for Rhapsody in that it fades rather than reaching a climax. The orchestration on the closing section paints a picture of a tall ship drifting gracefully into the sunset, over a distant horizon.

The album is completed by three standard Rhapsody songs, all of which are well up to the quality of those on the "Emerald sword saga" albums. "Tears of a Dying Angel" is probably the best of these, with brief symphonic intro leading into glorious choruses, blood curdling chants, and deep voiced (and unintentionally amusing) narrative.

While "Rain of a thousand flames" was marketed as an interim release, it should be considered to be a full length album by the band, with all the quality of the official releases. A real gem.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Under the rain of a thousand flames we face the real pain falling in vain. While the dark angel screams for vengeance in the dead shadow of falling stars." - RHAPSODY "Rain of a Thousand Flames".

I did not buy the CD of this album when it was first released because it was positioned as an EP to bridge to the upcoming album "Power of the Dragon Flames". Why bother buying a CD where some or even all tracks will be featured in the next release? Having been satisfied with the first three albums of the band (I even bought two versions of "Dawn of Victory" album: the standard and the boxed set limited edition where it has beautiful and colorful booklet - it's worth the money, actually) I could patiently wait the full album later. But wjat happened then when I purchased the limited edition set of Power of The Dragon Flame (CD plus bonus DVD) and I compared the song list between Rain and Power - oh boy . they were totally different! So, I purchased the "Rain of Thosand Flames" altogether with the Power of the Dragon Flames album.

Even though less melodic than the first three albums, this one is still a good CD to have. Conceptually, nothing new that Rhapsody offered with this album. Story-wise it's still about the Algalord Chronicles saga (which I got lost already on the overall story - it's basicall the battle between the good and the evil, or so). Musically, it's also the same with previous set-up (first three albums) only that this one is less-melodic and intensively use choirs that in a way has reduced my respect to the band's music. I got a sense that through this release music is used as a background only of singing part because so many choral sections which tend to be boring for my personal taste.

"Rain of a Thousand Flames" (3:43) kicks off the album with a full-blown music with grandiose orchestral work in power metal speed tempo (you can hear it from the bass drum pedal sounds). Fabio sings his high register notes accompanied with choirs section and the melody follows the flow of the rhythm. I like the intertwining guitar and keyboard work during interlude part. The song ends up with a combination of orchestra and choirs (like the end of a battle). "Deadly Omen" (1:49) is a nice bridge using piano as lead, strengthen by orchestral arrangement. Really nice bridge. "Queen of the Dark Horizons" (13:42) blasts the music off with a grandiose combination between accentuated choirs (female), orchestra with nice piano interplay. Oh man .. when you play this in a decent stereo set, you will get the sense of a war (oops . there should be no war anymore! Only the war to evils!!!). The music flows in high and low points with frequent tempo changes (this what has made this band is featured in this website; it's not a pure power metal - it's a hybrid one. That's why it's featured here. Typical power metal music is straight forward "dug-u-dug-u-dug" / "jeg-e-jeg-e-jeg-jeg-jeg" from start to end; no tempo change. Rhapsody music is full with tempo changes.).

The remaining tracks form an epic called Rhymes of a Tragic Poem - Gothic Saga that comprises: "Tears of a Dying Angel" (6:23) , "Elnor's Magic Valley" (1:40), "The Poem's Evil Page" (4:04) and "The Wizard's Last Rhymes" (10:38) . The first part "Tears of a Dying Angel" starts with a marching music (like troops being moved to the battlefield) followed with a blast of choirs in an accentuated line like a yell. The music flows in power metal vein with the yells come back occasionally. Yeah, I suffer quite a lot with this track actually because it's less-melodic compared to previous albums. But, what can I say? It's probably part of the story that requires the music goes this way: bombarded with choirs. "Elnor's Magic Valley" (1:40) is a bridge music containing nice and traditional violin and flute work. "The Poem's Evil Page" (4:04) begins with a very nice combination of piano and flute that let the low register voice of Fabio Lione enters the scene. The music moves up into a faster tempo with combination of keyboard and guitar work. It returns back to quieter passage and a nice classical music with violin and keyboard ends up this track. It continues seamlessly with the classical music style to the concluding track "The Wizard's Last Rhymes" (10:38) which later moves into another fast speed music in the power metal vein.

Overall, it's a good album. The weak points if I can summarize is the over usage of choirs that dominate the music. The other thing is on production and mixing. The recording volume is too high so in some segment with high points the sound is a bit disrupted. But I know, this might be the difficulty in mixing acoustic and electric instruments in fast speed music. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours,


Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Rain of a Thousand Flames is the fourth album from Italian symphonic euro power metal band Rhapsody. I remember when this album was released. At the time of the release I was a big fan of Rhapsody and as I remember this is not to be considered a full studio album, or maybe itīs something about the story on this one not being a part of the Emerald Sword story ? Well I donīt really recall and as far as the lyrics go I donīt care. I was never very excited about the fantasy lyrical concept of Rhapsody. What I do like about Rhapsody is their speed and melodic symphonic approach to the power metal genre. There are some really powerful songs on their first three albums: Legenday Tales, Symphony of Enchanted Lands and Dawn of Victory.

Rain of a Thousand Flames starts out with one of the best Rhapsody songs ever written which is the title track. This is probably the fastest Rhapsody song written so far and I just love the speed. Alex Holzwarth ( Sieges Even) plays the drums again on Rain of a Thousand Flames as he did on Dawn of Victory and he does a splendid job on this album and in particular on the title track. He is so fast and yet still provides some much needed variation in the drumming in a power metal song. Deadly Omen is a short interlude that seques into the very majestic Queen of the Dark Horizons. Queen of the Dark Horizons is a very symphonic song which has all the usual features of Rhapsody which means big choir arrangements, bombastic classical keyboard parts and power metal guitar riffing. The tempo is generally mid- tempo in this song. There are some beautiful female vocals in the otherwise instrumental beginning of this song that should be noted. Beautiful melody that one.

Tears of a Dying Angel is partly march like bombastic metal and partly dramatic storytelling. Elnor's Magic Valley is a short folky interlude and The Poem's Evil Page is again a mixed song with both metal parts and storytelling. This part of the album is not really something I enjoy too much. Rain of a Thousand Flames end with the symphonic and epic The Wizard's Last Rhymes which is of equal quality to Queen of the Dark Horizons. A mostly mid-tempo song with lots of symphonic keyboard parts.

The musicianship is outstanding on this album and especially drummer Alex Holzwarth needs to be mentioned for his skillful and adventerous playing style within the boundaries of a very strictly formulaic genre like power metal. Keyboardist Alex Staropoli also shines on this album while main composer and guitarist Luca Turilli is not as dominant as usual which for me is a real shame.

The production is powerful.

Rain of a Thousand Flames belong in any Rhapsody fans collection even though I mus confess that itīs with this album I started losing interest in the band. For me itīs a simple matter of speed. I like the very fast songs from Rhapsody the best and there is only one fast song here. Rain of a Thousand Flames indicated Rhapdodyīs new style which meant that from this album on they would focus more on the symphonic element in their music and put less effort in making great metal riffs. The balance simply shifted. unfortunately it shifted to the symphonic side and not towards the more metal oriented one which is the part of Rhapsodyīs music I enjoy the most. Rain of a Thousand Flames is still a high quality symphonic euro power metal album and deserves 3 stars. Itīs not excellent in my book ( only the title track which is one of my alltime favorite Rhapsody songs) which means it doesnīt deserve the fourth star.

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A very long E.P., or a reasonably short album, Rhapsody forged this creation in medieval steel and executed the melodies with might while being fueled by the power that dwells in the hearts of men yearning to break forth through the barriers of time to wage battle against the forces of those who oppose...and so on.

Truth be told, the singer would probably get taken down by the first gnome he ran across back in the day.

The essence of glimmering steel is apparent from the getgo, as the title track immediately pounds the listener with double bass rampages and six string workouts with choirs of men shouting about the coming of war while the lead singer sings in a high register with fists clenched and arms outstretched. It's fast and furious, but with emphasis on the keyboards, it's not all that "heavy". The thunderous wails of trumpet synthesizers have more oomph than the guitar riffs. It's fun though, with a bit of cornball narration thrown in just to add a bit of extra nerdy D&D elements to it.

Epic songs are interspersed with shorter non-metal tunage, including the folksy dancy Elnor's Magic Valley, which could make a man yearn to dance with an elfin pixie that resembles Liv Tyler or Hiromi Uehara. The most impressive, epic, and longest track, Queen of the Dark Horizons, pretty much captures the band in full glory. There's catchy periods and sing-along sections that weave in and out of instrumental showmanship and a general bombast that makes me want to rip off my shirt in glory and buy dangerous and obscure tools at a hardware store because that's what real men do...when not fighting dragons and stuff. There's also a female semi-operatic voice that adds a pretty solid layer of atmosphere within this piece, I'm guessing it's supposed to be the Queen of the Dark Horizons herself. She may be evil, but she can sing.

Tears of a Dying Angel deserves special mention as it's one of those few songs that's just hilarious beyond belief with the long emoting narration (about some ancient tome being opened) during the song's latter half. The narrator is so over the top that even The Moody Blues would blush and leave the room if caught listening to this by their buddies.

I know this album is part of some huge saga involving an emerald sword, but I honestly haven't listened to much else by this group, so I can only judge the album for the music contained within...not whether I'm pissed that my favorite character got eaten by a dragon or whacked by an evil queen. I must say the production works for this effort, and as ridiculous and cheesy as it is, it kinda wound up being a guilty pleasure. The short run time might have helped hour straight of this could send me hurtling towards some indie rock underground "cool" stuff. Yikes.

Review by Warthur
5 stars Although it's as long as a full-blown album, Rain of a Thousand Flames is not regarded as a full release by Rhapsody - as they explain it, it's an EP release which isn't a full chapter in the Emerald Sword Saga because it tells a side story that isn't essential to the main narrative. Nonetheless, it's one of my favourite Rhapsody releases because it describes how, away from the quest of the Saga's protagonist, the powers of darkness are just running riot across the land. Consequently, the album has a decidedly harder edge and darker tone than is usual for Rhapsody's music, which spices proceedings up nicely and continues the band's tradition of not resting on their laurels and shaking things up with each new release.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars For the 4th installment of "The Emerald Sword Saga," RHAPSODY continued its epic fantastical medieval themed soundtrack metal (as they call it) and started a new more progressive phase in its compositional style. RAIN OF A THOUSAND FLAMES differs from its three predecessors in that it recounts a parallel episode in the tale which took place shortly after "Dawn Of Victory" where while the Warrior of Ice is away, Akron ravages the lands with the coveted Emerald Sword. The album is rightfully conveys a sadder tone with more contemplative passages and tales of loss.

RAIN OF A THOUSAND FLAMES also engages in longer classical meanderings with massive choirs that convey emotional tones and colors before the main vocals of Fabio Lione triumphantly narrate the saga at hand. RAIN OF A THOUSAND FLAMES also utilizes themes from other bands' works such as the near 14 minute epic sounding "Queen Of The Dark Horizons" based on the main theme from Italian prog soundtracks superstars Goblin's main theme from the horror picture soundtrack "Phenomena." Likewise "The Wizard's Last Rhymes" is based on "New World Symphony" composed by Antonín Dvořák.

While the album is considered somewhat of a side story, it still approaches the 42 minute mark and primarily is composed of two main tracks: "Queen Of The Dark Horizons" and the four part "Rhymes of a Tragic Poem - The Gothic Saga" which consists of the four tracks: Tears of a Dying Angel" (6:22), "Elnor's Magic Valley" (1:40), "The Poem's Evil Page" (4:04) and "The Wizard's Last Rhymes" (10:37)" but together are almost 23 minutes in duration. The album is a lot more progressive with more varying themes and stylistics changes. While certain styles had been used for individual tracks in the past, RHAPSODY successfully infuses sprawling choral sections, classical compositional melodies, power metal heft and medieval folk flavors seamlessly into massive sprawlers.

While the symphonic power metal is still the dominant species on this album, RAIN OF A THOUSAND FLAMES is more similar to the band's debut "Legendary Tales" where there are more deviations from the neoclassical speed and pure folk jubilees although pure folk can still be found especially in "Einor's Magic Valley" which is based on an Irish traditional jig called "Cooley's Reel" which is simply a section of the "Rhymes of a Tragic Poem - The Gothic Saga," the most sophisticated and intricately designed epic complex on the album. Throughout the four suites, many new avenues are explored such as new vocal styles, more cinematic soundtrack themes and incessant stylistic shifts including a passionate spoken narrations that reminds me of films like "Lord Of The Rings."

Perhaps one of the most ambitious RHAPSODY albums, RAIN OF A THOUSAND FLAMES truly takes on the cinematic soundtrack metal characteristics that the band has always been associated with. Everything on this one is on steroids and the dramatic themes lend to great subject matter that allows the musical deliveries to take on myriad heavy-handed roles that are constructed to convey the story in more fascinating constructs than the previous albums. This is obviously music that will hit you as cheesy from the getgo or dynamic and drama driven with epic tomes that recount the greatest medieval themes that are so popular these days. While nothing new under the sun, RHAPSODY nevertheless adds a passionate take on these themes with some of the most stunningly precise musical performances that bring life to these tales. Personally i think this one is generally under appreciated in relation to surrounding albums.

4.5 rounded up

Latest members reviews

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 co ... (read more)

Report this review (#2737238) | Posted by lukretio | Wednesday, April 13, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars RHAPSODY OF FIRE "Rain Of A Thousand Flames" is the only album I have from this band. I'm not a huge fan of RHAPSODY OF FIRE because I find it to be cheesy power metal (castles and dragons, mythology, things in that vein), but some of the tracks on this album are musically impressive. "The Wizar ... (read more)

Report this review (#1053879) | Posted by SevDawg | Friday, October 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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