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“Symphony Of Enchanted Lands, Vol. 2: The Dark Secret” by Rhapsody

Artist: Rhapsody
Title: “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands, Vol. 2: The Dark Secret”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 9/28/2004
Style: Symphonic Metal
Rating: 7/10

Rhapsody has returned with a new record label and a new release entitled “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret”. Starting off with the one and only Christopher Lee who Narrates the tale that the group has outlined, you are quickly enraptured in a mystical world similar to that of the Author J.R.R. Tolkien. This is the type of CD that requires a few listens before you can pass proper judgment and believe me you will find something interesting on every play. Labels in the Metal genre have grown wider and weirder over the years and Rhapsody adds to this by forming “Film Score Metal”. Yes, you read that correctly and when “Unholy Warcry” begins you not only feel as if you are in a theatre but also that you were watching a great horse ride through open plains as heroes ride with swords raised high prepped for battle. It has a lot of upsides and yet on the same coin there are parts that can bore you if you if lose focus on the story being told. There are some great chorus and of course epic levels of guitar and drum work from the band. The line up (or cast for that matter) is: Fabio Lione (vocals), Luca Turilli (guitars), Alex Staropoli (keyboards), Patrice Guers (bass) and Alex Holzwarth (drums). There is some considerable dueling going on during the music between Luca and Alex S. with guitar and keyboards and it adds a lively sense of energy to the piece. Other tracks that I found myself leaning toward are “Never Forgotten Heroes” and “The Angel’s Last Call” (for it has a keyboard riff that is outstanding in my opinion). Fans of the Power Ballad will enjoy “The Magic Of The Wizard’s Dream” since that song clearly has raise your fist or lighter (or even illuminated cell phone) as it plays. While the whole group is accomplished, it is clear that some members stand out and on vocals it seems like Fabio is not only singing but acting as the album plays along. The group also provides some healthy epics with two songs running over 10 minutes. Their length is not all music but has some dialogue and story content to it which of course makes the story a little more interesting to follow.
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