Review: "Symphony of Enchanted Lands" by the Italian Power Metal Band Rhapsody of Fire
Some Information about the Album Symphony of Enchanted Lands and the Concept Album Topic
The second studio album by Italian power metal band Rhapsody of Fire is called "Symphony of Enchanted Lands" and it is known as the second chapter in the Emerald Sword saga. Joining the band at this time on bass guitar is Alessandro Lotta. Joining him to play the keyboards is Alex Staropoli. Still present are the thundering riffs and drum sounds that we heard on the first album. I used to have this album but then my musical tastes went through a sort of evolution where I just got into other bands like Rotting Christ, Arch Enemy, and Lacuna Coil. Rhapsody of Fire’s albums tend to be concept albums that tell a certain story. Thus, this concept style album is similar in nature to Blind Guardian or Fates Warning with their album A Pleasant Shade of Gray.
What Are These Songs About?
Luca Turili does a very catchy interlude part before the keyboards kick in in the song Emerald Sword. The chanting vocals are superb as the first line of that part goes like this: “for the king for the land for the mountains.” Next comes the song called Wisdom of the Kings which is about a person that has removed the stones which were blocking a cave. He must now descend down a dark, long set of stairs and then he finds an ancient stone in a very amazing hallway. The track called Heroes of the Lost Valley has two parts to it. The first part has the sound of a waterfall along with some instrumentation. The second part is spoken narration.
Wow! 1998 sure was a long time ago but listening to this album in 2018 brings the feeling that the album sounds so fresh. Is Rhapsody of Fire my favorite power metal band? Far from it but Fabio Lione gave these guys some musical direction, creativity, and motivation to create some fine power metal.
Symphony of Enchanted Lands Album Cover
The Songs Have a Range of Influences Including Blind Guardian and Angra
The song Eternal Glory takes a page out of Blind Guardian’s musical book by incorporating symphonic style power metal. That’s the influence that I see at this very moment. This song is about a warrior that wants to help out the kings of a land called Algalord. He will forever be proud that he went out and fought to save this land and he became a warrior that will always be remembered. I also see an Angra influence in the lead guitar work as the keyboards are added to this. So many bands have done this and even one of my favorite bands Kalmah has done this as well. The thing that I am referring to is when the lead guitar is playing the keyboards are incorporated into the music. The next song continues in the theme of the mighty warrior of what are called the northern lands. If anyone wants to cause a commotion, they must wait until the warrior does what the kings of Algalord tell him what to do. The Angra influence occurs at two separate points in the song. Those of you that are musically skilled can figure out where those parts are.
The Dark Tower of Abyss the Album's Best Song
The Dark Tower of Abyss starts with a classical part similar to Antonio Vivaldi. And then the song turns into a power metal song similar to symphonic metal bands. Then a short keyboard part influenced by Kalmah comes in. Then the best part of the song played by Luca Turili is a beautiful but kind of long interlude. Riding the Winds of Eternity starts with thundering drums. The hero in this chapter calls on the winds of the south and north to ride these winds and get rid of the nightmares that may be plaguing the land.
This second album is good but it is still not as good as 2000’s Dawn of Victory. And this album is also not as good as Legendary Tales simply because it does not have as many outstanding songs as that one does. Or is it as good as the band’s first two albums? Let’s see: the strongest songs in this album are Emerald Sword, Eternal Glory, The Dark Tower of Abyss, and Wisdom of the Kings. Even so, to be as good as Legendary Tales is going to be tough to do even in 2020 where we are now.
Final score: 82 out of 100 points which is still very respectable.
"Dark Tower of Abyss"
© 2017 Ara Vahanian