Talk about your surprising business decisions. It seems as though the creative members of the band Rhapsody Of Fire have decided to part ways. Do you know them? If not, they are a wonderfully orchestrated Symphonic Power metal band from Italy and their stuff is really epic at times and very majestic. I had heard of the band in the early 2000’s but didn’t start doing reviews of their work until about 2004 with their “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands” album. They were called Rhapsody back then and added the “Of Fire” in 2006 based on trademark issues with the previous name. Strange how that happened since they had been formed way back in 1993.
It’s important to know that while these two creative partners (and I am speaking of guitarist Luca Turilli and keyboardist Alex Starapoli) have parted ways, the band will still exist but will do so in two distinct formats. According to what I have read around the web, Alex will continue along with singer Fabio Leone and drummer Alex Holzwarth under the existing moniker Rhapsody Of Fire while Luca will take bassist Patrice Guers and drummer Alex Holzwarth for that project. The search for new members will obviously be paramount for both sides of the fence and one has to anticipate that using the same drummer for the project will eventually become a problem. The band’s output on the Nuclear Blast Records label since 2010 has been very regular which was great to see happening after the hiatus that was cause by their joining forces with Manowar bassist Joey DeMaio’s Magic Circle Music. There were many who believed that the band was hidden away on purpose by the label. Who knows, but it wouldn’t surprise me in all honesty. Nothing in the music business does anymore.
PiercingMetal Thoughts: My thoughts on it all? Well, the first one is that Luca should have gone a different name route instead of using Rhapsody. Yes he is known for it all but why risk confusion in the fans eyes. We already have two L.A. Guns, two The Sweet’s and probably a few more that I just cannot recollect at this time. You’re creative and you’re well known, so move on into something bigger for yourself. As far as the Rhapsody Of Fire side goes, well, I think they will have some issues too if the fans are only wanting the original band guitar god. Can they find another exceptional player? Of course they can. There are thousands of amazing and technical players out there who would be dying to be in the group. I do think that they will be alright in the long run as the voice often becomes the band. We have all seen this happen before and some fans drop the group entirely when the voice they know and love is no longer a part of the lineup. The timing of this is actually on the strange side as the band Kamelot is currently touring with Rhapsody Of Fire singer Fabio Leone and he is doing a stand up job at their material if any of the YouTube clips are to be believed. One has to wonder if ROF should have just broken up entirely and called it a band career well done. That would have let the members all do their own thing at this point instead of offering up a sure to be confusing pair of groups. Let’s divide the fans down the middle and start the debate on which one will be better off in the long run.
Hey since I am already a couple of days behind with this announcement I am going to keep my intro piece brief and let you all just read the latest announcement from the band Kamelot. Dig in.
The Press Release:
In the ongoing campaign for their newest release, Poetry for the Poisoned, we are extremely pleased to announce that KAMELOT have confirmed a full North American Tour to take place late this Summer!
The long-awaited trek, dubbed Pandemonium Over North America 2011, is in support of KAMELOT’s epic, Billboard-charting album Poetry for the Poisoned (peaking at #74 on the US Billboard Top 200!), which was released in September. Along for the ride are Pirate-metallers Alestorm, as well as Blackguard and the The Agonist
Due to continuing medical and personal issues, Roy Khan will not be able to continue touring in support of, Poetry for the Poisoned. To his fans he states: “Hello all. I am here in Norway still recovering from what seems to have been a severe burnout syndrome. I am getting better but still under medical care. My priorities at the moment are my health & family. My future endeavors in Kamelot and music in general are being evaluated, however at this time my focus is on getting back on my feet and spending time with family and friends. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes!” Continue reading Kamelot Announce Full North American Tour!!!→
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. Continue reading “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands, Vol. 2: The Dark Secret” by Rhapsody→
Artist: Rhapsody Title: “Live In Canada 2005: The Dark Secret” Label: Magic Circle Music/SPV Records Release Date: 1/31/2006 Genre: Symphonic Metal Rating: 8/10
The Mighty Rhapsody gives the world their first full concert album which was recorded in Canada while the group supported Manowar in 2005. The group was part of a killer lineup that placed The Kings Of Metal with Rhapsody and Holy Hell (not to be confused with Rob Rock’s album) and together they toured the US and Canada for a series of sold-out capacity crowd shows. For fans of Symphonic Power Metal the name of Rhapsody is not at all a new name, it’s just the amount of music available in certain markets is limited which sadly affects the bands influence. Fortunately, SPV Records gave us “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands, Vol 2: The Dark Secret” in 2004 which continued the bands exploration into the different levels of Metal that they were well known for. On “Live In Canada 2005: The Dark Secret” the band is found in perfect form and performing for a very hungry and supportive audience. Not only are 4 numbers from the last studio album present but the album also covers some ground from their back catalog. The music from “SOELv2” is very rich in its orchestration parts and is done very well especially in the epic track of “Erian’s Mystical Rhymes”. My favorites from this album are included on this live recording and those are “Unholy Warcry” and “Nightfall On The Grey Mountains”. Their classic numbers that I leaned toward are “Emerald Sword” and “Dawn Of Victory”. I was a little sad that “Holy Thunderforce” was not performed as this was the first song that I enjoyed from this band. However given this was a supporting slot for them the luxury of time is limited. Everyone in the group is on top of their game and singer Fabio Lione showcases the level of skill he possesses as he performs an operatic number in “Lamento Eroico”. Composer/keyboardist Alex Staropoli certainly did a great job in getting all of this music together. Luca Turilli (guitars), Patrice Guers (bass) and Alex Holzwarth (drums) all perform in an effortless fashion and seem very tight for the level of speed that Rhapsody music sometimes entails. Continue reading “Live In Canada 2005: The Dark Secret” by Rhapsody→