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


Rhapsody (of Fire)


Progressive Metal

3.64 | 90 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
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

siLLy puPPy | 5/5 |


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