Review of the Album "Triumph or Agony" by the Band Rhapsody of Fire
This 2006 Album is Definitely a Triumph for Italy's Rhapsody of Fire
By this album’s title, some fans may think to themselves “what is this album all about?” One thing is for sure: upon hearing this 2006 album by Italian power metal band Rhapsody of Fire, you will notice that the resulting work is definitely a triumph of epic proportions. The album begins with the soft and enchanting song Dar-Kunor. The album is the second chapter of the Dark Secret Saga so in that sense, it will be very hard to interpret the lyrics of some of the songs. The orchestration in my view sounds like a video game released on the Super Nintendo in the 1990’s but for this band, they have really matured as a unit and you are about to see why this is the case.
The Album Cover for Triumph or Agony
Why is the Album Triumph or Agony an Important Album in the Band's Career?
For Fabio Lione, it is also some new musical ground for him as he sings an entire ballad song in Italian. For once, there is a departure at least temporarily from the usual lyrics about dragons, elves, unicorns and brave warriors fighting battles to impress a king told in a story.
The Case Can Be Made for Reviewing Albums by European and Asian Heavy Metal Bands
Like previous albums released by these guys, the albums are concept albums and other people play the roles of certain characters as the album progresses. I was actually thinking of reviewing another album by American band Helstar but there’s only so much that American metal has done for the world. The amount of creativity that exists in European and Asian metal bands simply does not exist to the same degree in American bands but this is subjective and just the feelings of this writer. It is also a moment of personal growth and the willingness to explore bands outside of the country that you live in. Other countries have caught up to the United States in heavy metal and surpassed it. The US may be decent in the thrash metal genre but that’s pretty much it if we don’t count bands such as Ring of Fire. Mark Boals may be the best American born heavy metal singer in terms of range but I cannot think of any other American heavy metal singers that have the range, power, and feel of a Fabio Lione.
What Has Been the One Constant Theme Lyrically for the Band Rhapsody of Fire?
As the title track eludes to, it is either going to be triumph or glory for these brave men that fight these underground battles but they never return alive to tell the stories of their brave deeds. This lyrical theme has been the one major constant in the career of the band and it can get tiring to have to hear about this constantly but at least Fabio Lione’s voice will get you through an otherwise long power metal album.
How Ensiferum is Similar to the Band Rhapsody of Fire
In the 1990’s another band would build upon these fantasy style lyrics and that other band is Finland’s Ensiferum though they would use folk elements in their music whereas Rhapsody of Fire uses mainly rough and muted guitars combined with some keyboard orchestration and some classical elements. The comparison was brought up to point out that there have been other bands that have used fantasy style lyrics.
Why Fabio Lione is an Inspirational Vocalist
It is tough for Rhapsody of Fire to be able to compete with such elite competition in the power metal genre but they do the best that they can. Fabio Lione in spite of his heavy accent outdoes other Italian singers such as Fabio Dozzo. It was this last weekend (May 4-6) that it occurred to me that Fabio Lione is an inspiration due to the sheer power of his voice and he makes you want to tune in and listen to him and in some cases the band as well.
Fabio Lione Continues to Explore His Softer Vocal Side
The Myth of the Holy Sword is about a warrior that asks the angels for help and guidance because there is a myth that using your sword alone will help you win the battles but might is not always right as the song tries to show but it does this through a fantasy lyrical perspective. The song Son of Pain has some nice piano playing as Fabio Lione impresses us with his softer vocal range.
"Triumph or Agony"
Final Thoughts About the Album Triumph or Agony
'Silent Dream" is a song that might as well be about the fact that we ask ourselves what our purpose on this planet is as our soul has this burning desire to figure out its best path. Enlightenment is a state that so many of us seek yet it becomes elusive to most of us. "The Mystic Prophecy of the Demon Knight" is a very long 16+ minute song that begins with some Spanish style acoustic guitar before Fabio’s voice comes in again. There is a part in this song that sounds like a mixture of modern Metallica combined with orchestration. Fabio takes his voice to a new and better level as well as he sounds like he did when he was singing for the band Athena. Overall, Triumph or Agony is the best album for the band formerly known as Rhapsody since early 2000 and their musical influences are a little more varied thus adding to the strength of this album.
"The Mystic Prophecy of the Demon Knight"
© 2018 Ara Vahanian