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Rhapsody (of Fire) - The Cold Embrace of Fear CD (album) cover


Rhapsody (of Fire)


Progressive Metal

2.79 | 33 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
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.

Conor Fynes | 2/5 |


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