Rhapsody of Fire
Live in Canada
7/3/2006 - Review by: Anthony Burke
Rhapsody – Live In Canada 2005: The Dark Secret – 2006 - Steamhammer
These metallers from Italy hit the ground running in 1993. Known then as Thundercross, the guys changed their name after signing with LMP Productions in 1994.Rhapsody are now Fabio Leone (vocals and former Labyrinith and current Athena), Luca Turilli (guitar and of solo fame), Alessandro Lotta (bass), Alex Staropoli (keyboards), and Daniele Carbonera (drums). The band has been on one wild ride, and a few line-up changes, but one thing has stayed constant. Every album has seen great production and even better epic heavy metal. This album is no different. Recorded in Montreal, Canada in 2005, while supporting Manowar, Rhapsody sought out Christopher Lee for the spoken intro.
We get nine songs of Heaven with this album. Christopher Lee does a spoken intro that sets the tone for this album. He also reels the listener back in providing a closing dialogue that is followed by Rhapsody closing the show, in what can only be descried as closing credit to a movie. It is actually very creative and an ingenious way of concluding a live album. Hard to believe this is their first live release. With that being said, we start this adventure with an opening dialogue while the orchestra plays faintly in the background. Now that the mood is set, the narrative starts off our second track. Now Lee gets the next hour off while Rhapsody kicks this ride into high gear by supplying acoustic to electric riffs and bone chilling guitar solos, provided by, you guessed it, Luca Turilli, who proves once again that he can shred. We get this followed by, what might be, the best song in the Rhapsody catalogue, “Unholy Warcry”. Here is a song with great solo breaks, but even though it is live, it was studio perfection. The guys even showcase a folk metal sound on tracks like “The Village Of Dwarves” and “March Of The Swordmaster”, but one of the most impressive pieces is that they showcase each and every instrument in solo form, often times in one song, but it is throughout the album, even soloing a flutist in the thirteen minute epic tale “Erian's Mystical Rhymes”.
They pulled off what some may deem as impossible, and they did it in true Rhapsody fashion. Along with an insane amount of effects and a great supporting orchestra; this is one for the books. I am not delusional, I know that their type of metal doesn’t float everyone’s boat, and vastly underrated comes to mind, but for anyone that likes mini epics amongst an album, you are treated to a thirteen minute tale that is a heavy metal masterpiece comparable only to "Dante’s Inferno" by Iced Earth. For the ones who have heard of them but never got into their music, this is the album that will change your mind. To the haters (you know who you are), listen to it, I can’t change your mind about them, but if any album can, this is it. For the people who just came out of a decade long hibernation, get this album after you wipe the sleep out of your eyes, and prepare to be amazed!
Rating: 10/10. Extremely well done, and an enjoyable listen for a long time to come.
Iced Mojo 6.15.06
Album Cover - http://cover6.cduniverse.com/msiart/0000501/0000501029.jpg
Band Site - www.mightyrhapsody.com
Label Site – www.spvusa.com
7/3/2006 - Review by: Veritas
Rhapsody - Live in Canada - 2006 - SPV Records
A major issue with some live albums, especially in the case of power metal, is the ability to pick out the vocals from amongst all the other sounds, whether it is the instruments or ambiance from the crowd. Fortunately, Rhapsody singer Fabio Lione does not suffer from this problem, as his powerful voice projects over pretty much everything else. In fact, Luca Turilli’s guitar work, while perfect as always, is actually a bit hard to hear over Lione and the symphonics in the background. Thankfully, this problem does not persist throughout the entire album, and is only really noticeable on the first track, “The Dark Secret.”
Rhapsody plays a pretty good mixture of material from throughout their career at this show. After opening with the intro and second track from their latest studio full-length, “Symphony of Enchanted Lands Part II,” they go straight into “Wisdom of the Kings,” a classic song taken off “Symphony Part I.” Other highlights included “March of the Swordmaster” and “Dawn of Victory,” two mid-period fan favorites. Drummer Alex Holzwarth provides fans with an additional treat after “Erian’s Mystical Rhymes” with an entertaining drum solo.
Picking up this Rhapsody live album would be something I’d strongly advise. If you’re already a fan of Rhapsody, this album will give you another, somewhat different, medium with which to enjoy this excellent band. If you’re not already a Rhapsody fan, however, “Live in Canada” will provide you with some prime examples of the band’s best work from several stages in their career, and encourage you to pick up most, if not all, of their full lengths. The bottom line is that when a band that’s been as solid as Rhapsody for almost ten years releases a live album, it’s bound to be good.
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