Rhapsody of Fire
The Dark Secret
RHAPSODY - “The Dark Secret” (2004 - Steamhammer) [1 E.P.-C.D. + 1 D.V.D.] - reviewed by: Chris Galea
|Track ListingAudio C.D.: |
Thunder’s Mighty Roar
Guardians Of Destiny (English version)
Sacred Power Of Raging Winds
Non Ho Sonno (‘Insomnia’)
‘The making of The Dark Secret’
‘The Emerald Sword Saga Movie’
It is difficult to deny that Italians RHAPSODY have pioneered a new perspective of metal, and thus breathed new life into metal in general. For those nor familiar with the band’s music, RHAPSODY incorporates the classical style of Malmsteen, Manowar inspired drama and imagery and makes extensive use of orchestrations and operatic vocals. Lyrics give more than a few nods to J. R. R. Tolkien. However, the danger of being innovative is that you are always expected to be so and the risk of drying up of ideas is always around the corner.
“The Dark Secret” comes hot on the trails of the album “Power Of The Dragonflame”, which in my opinion was a masterpiece. Admittedly, this E.P.: occasionally does sound a bit repetitive compared to the band’s previous releases. Apart from that, “The Dark Secret” is once more an excellent release.
There has been a big step ahead in the production quality of RHAPSODY’s sound. “The Dark Secret”, intended as an antipasto of their upcoming album release, gives a taste of the musical and lyrical direction the band seems intent on taking. This being a focus on the ‘soundtrack’ element of their music. In fact the D.V.D. that comes with the audio C.D. contains a video-clip that strongly confirms my suspicions. They have even succeeded in hiring the participation of Christopher Lee (Saruman in ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ film trilogy) and whose image graces the front sleeve.
Therefore “The Dark Secret” contains 1 audio Mini-C.D. plus 1 D.V.D., the audio C.D. containing new compositions as well as a cover of ‘Non Ho Sonno’ soundtrack of the omonimous film by Italian horror-film maestro Dario Argento. Those who listen carefully enough will also notice melodies taken from other Dario Argento films in other tracks in this C.D.. Of course, nearly all the soundtracks of Argento’s films were originally composed by prog-rockers Goblin – Argento himself never denied being a fan of Metal music.
This is an excellent piece of music artistry whose style definition eludes being pigeon-holed. Its epic track ‘Sacred Power Of Raging Winds’ (10 minutes + in length) pretty much incorporates what RHAPSODY is about: technical aggression and speed blended with emotional melodies, female vocals, an impressively wide range of backing vocals, acoustic and orchestral instruments and lots and lots of drama.
Overall rating: 8.5/10
www.mightyrhapsody.com (Rhapsody official site)
--Chris Galea (email@example.com) 09.15.04