RHAPSODY - Power Of The Dragonflame

Rhapsody - Power Of The Dragonflame

10 songs
61:06 minutes
***** *****
Limb Music

I once read a survey in a punk fanzine where more than half of the punks asked said that The Lord Of The Rings is their favourite book ever. It may be conservative, full of dated ideas, and Tolkien was as uptight as they come, but the punks didn't care and went for it anyway.

Which brings me to Rhapsody. I don't like melodic metal anymore, sometimes even hate it, and I wanted to ridicule this product of "spaghetti metal". Until I first started to listen to this new Rhapsody album. It's metal, but also more than metal. There are loads of double bass drums, and a heavy guitar sound, but the feeling - in my opinion - isn't really metal anymore. Rhapsody call their music Hollywood Metal, and although that sounds very silly, it is nevertheless the most precise description you can think of. Since we all enjoyed the Lord Of The Rings movie so much last Christmas, we don't have to be ashamed of loving this product of Italian metal music.

The arrangements are somewhat operatic, the vocals are enforced with many professional chorus chants, and there's a lot of epic keyboard sounds. It's a dangerous path between genius and silliness, and where Blind Guardian have failed so many times lately to come up with something worthwhile, Rhapsody show who are the true masters of epic metal and make you wonder if Andrea Bocelli finally became a headbanger. Just listen to bombastic tunes like The March Of The Swordmaster and Agony Is My Name, and even the totally cheesy Lamento Eroico, sung in Italian, is something very special because of it being so overdone. But then Rhapsody never even get lost in too many textures (like their German counterparts Blind Guardian), instead they always keep a steady line.

And when you think you have it all behind you, there's the 19-minutes long Gargoyles, Angels Of Darkness that proves yet again that epic metal isn't dead really, it's just hard these days to find bands like these.

Anything less than the maximum rating would be an insult for this masterpiece of regressive, epic metal.

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