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Review of the Album Power of the Dragonflame by Italy's Rhapsody of Fire

Updated on February 27, 2018

What is the Concept Behind This Album?

Rhapsody of Fire started their career as Thundercross in 1993, had original vocalist Cristiano Adacher and then Fabio Lione came onto the scene and provided the band with an identity, a vocal identity that they have improved upon. Their 2002 album Power of the Dragonflame is the last chapter of the concept album series of the Emerald Sword saga. If you recall, there was a song called Emerald Sword on the band’s 1998 album Symphony of Enchanted Lands.

Power of the Dragonflame Album Cover

Source

What is One Con or Weakness About the Band Rhapsody of Fire?

However, Rhapsody of Fire has one weakness if we ever want to call it a weakness in a musical sense. They have a formula of starting off albums with a choir type of instrumental that is short and has chanting and then they start off with a fast full song. The cycle just repeats itself becoming somewhat predictable.

Power of the Dragonflame the Review Part 1

The song is basically telling a story of the people calling out the powerful dragon so that it can rise again and help them out. They call out his name from the hills. The dragon has historically been a powerful monster in many video games and this creature is typically an enemy that heroes must try to vanquish. Lyrically, “The March of the Swordmaster” is similar to Finland’s Ensiferum as bravery and great fighting skill for warriors is emphasized. However, the two bands are vastly different in the style of heavy metal they play. Rhapsody of Fire is a symphonic classically influenced power metal band while Ensiferum is a folk influenced power metal band. The vocal styles are very different as well between the bands.

Rhapsody of Fire's Main Strength is the Powerful Vocals of Fabio Lione

Even if Rhapsody of Fire does sound predictable at times, one of the reasons for writing about this longtime Italian power metal band is for Fabio Lione himself. This man from Pisa, Italy first caught my attention back in 1997 or 1998 as I heard a legendary vocal performance in the song called “Land of Immortals.” In spite of his heavy accent, his voice has a sort of thundering and powerful quality to it especially in the song called “Power of the Dragonflame.”

Power of the Dragonflame the Review Part 2

The song called “When Demons Awake” sees Fabio Lione using the vocal style that he sometimes used as a member of the band Athena. This vocal style is harsher yet not any less powerful. The song is about a Nordic warrior that prays to GOD for survival because he thinks that it is his mission to hunt down undead creatures and vanquish them once and for all. Steelgods of the Last Apocalypse is a song that tells the tale of the arrival of winter as the people have to rise up and protect their ancient kingdom. This album may be better than 2000’s Dawn of Victory. In future albums, this band would incorporate spoken parts of people that would play certain roles of certain characters so in a sense, the band’s music would turn out to be a sort of musical play. Knightrider of Doom has a VERY impressive interlude that is even great for an album that as of 2018 will be 16 years old.

"Knightrider of Doom"

Final Thoughts About Power of the Dragonflame

How does this solid album end? As usual as part of the band’s tradition or practice, they end their albums with very long songs. In this case, they end it with the song called Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness which has a very progressive feel to it and it has a part of the song that kind of sounds like The Gipsy Kings. Then the song switches to typical Rhapsody of Fire lead guitars as the song is about gargoyles flying and rising as the name of an ancient kingdom is revealed. Overall, Power of the Dragonflame is definitely an improvement over the previous two albums before it.

"Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness"

© 2018 Ara Vahanian

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