Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Rhapsody (of Fire) - Symphony of Enchanted Lands CD (album) cover


Rhapsody (of Fire)


Progressive Metal

3.74 | 143 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Only one year after having released their remarkable debut Legendary Tales, Italian power metal heavyweights Rhapsody hit their fans with an ambitious sophomore album, Symphony of Enchanted Lands. Advertised as a bigger and bolder continuation of their first record, the new album pushes even further the epic and bombastic style of the band, to the point that Rhapsody's music began being described as "Hollywood metal". But the real question is: was it for the better?

I am not sure I have a straightforward answer. In some aspects, Symphony of Enchanted Lands feels superior to Legendary Tales. Rhapsody seem more assured in their compositions and stretch their legs more comfortably beyond the simple verse/chorus paradigm they had used on Legendary Tales. On the new album we have three songs that clock above the 6-minute mark where Rhapsody experiment with tempo changes, multi-part structures and recurring themes, giving a progressive touch to the proceedings. The interplay between electric and acoustic/classical instrumentation also feels more fluid and accomplished, which is impressive considering the breadth of instruments used on the album, from complex keyboard orchestrations, to a strings ensemble, to a harpsichord to Baroque recorders and lutes. There are also three different choirs, a female singer and a narrator who accompany Rhapsody's lead singer Fabio Lione. The scale of the project, and the smoothness of its delivery, are outstanding and worthy of the Hollywood film score comparisons that the band was striving to achieve.

On the other hand, the music seems to have lost some of the spontaneity and sense of excitement that had characterized the best moments of the debut album. Perhaps this lies in the eye (ears) of the beholder, as the novelty I experienced listening to Legendary Tales inevitably fades in a sophomore album that works essentially with the same aesthetics, albeit on a bigger scale. It's hard to shake off the impression that we are being given "more of the same" on this new album, which may be fine for some, but that bugs me a little, especially when I listen to the two records back to back.

Despite my misgivings, Symphony of Enchanted Lands is a strong album. The musicianship is stellar and the album boasts a great mixture of power metal and Baroque music that is perfect to trigger the feelings of epicness and grandeur the band was aiming for. The fact that Rhapsody managed to pull off such an ambitious, large-scale project only two albums in their career is a strong tell-tale of the qualities of the Italian combo. If you are a fan of epic power metal who wants to see speed and muscle combined with nuance and complexity, you are going to love this.

lukretio | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this RHAPSODY (OF FIRE) review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.