Rhapsody of Fire - Dark Wings of Steel
AFM Records
13 songs (59 min)
Release year: 0
Rhapsody of Fire, AFM Records
Reviewed by Joel
Major event

The angelic choirs that begins Dark Wings of Steel, to the strings that follow, Rhapsody of Fire sets you up for another bombastic trip, through their brand of Symphonic(Or Hollywood Metal as it has been called before) Metal. Fast tremolo guitar picking up with symphonic overtones begin Rising From Tragic Flames. The song takes you back to the days of Symphony of Enchanted Lands Part 1, or maybe a little bit farther back to The Emerald Sword Saga eras. Choirs join the always consistent Fabio Lione, his strong and emotive vocals are always easily recognizable. Angel of Light, is not quite as bombastic, with a quite acoustic section that opens up the first verse, before it leads into a very mid-tempo riff, that won't leave my head. Earlier Rhapsody of Fire, were either great at doing things as fast as possible(Holy Thunderforce anyone?) or beautiful ballads(The Magic of the Wizard's Dream), this album showcases a focus not just on speed, but melody that makes this a better disc than its predecessor, From Chaos to Eternity. Tears of Pain is a combination of bombastic fast and melodic mid-tempo with different tempo changes. Guitarist Robert(Roby) De Micheli deserves to be mentioned, for his strong playing, and the fact that he may not be Luca Turilli, but he doesn't have to be either. Speaking of different, listen to the opening guitar riff of Fly to Crystal Skies, he is definitely his own guitarist, and not emulating anyone who came before him. At just over eight minutes long, My Sacrifice is one of the longest songs on the disc. Its a song that gradually builds from acoustic guitars and Lione's voice to a full band. Listen for the Holzwarth's rhythm section on this one. Short flurries of Micheli's acoustic guitar leads can be heard as well. There is definitely a lot going on through this song.

Silver Lake of Tears was the first song I heard off this disc, thanks to Youtube. Another fast symphonic and bombastic piece of music, that the help of a live orchestra(which is heard throughout the disc) adds even more to the song. While I don't speak one word of Italian(except for ordering food at an Italian restaurant or what I picked up from playing Assassin's Creed 2) the next song, Custode Di Pace is absolutely gorgeous. Like the Italian ballads the band has produced before, this one is equally amazing. Thanks to Google Translate, my rough translation means, "Keeper of Peace", if anyone wants to confirm or correct me on that, it would be appreciated. The song transcends language barriers, and takes you to another place, as long as you can get lost in the music. A Tale of Magic is next, and opens with a very cool keyboard/guitar harmony. Another mid-tempo song with a driving rhythm section in the verses, and keyboards and guitars throughout the chorus. Dark Wings of Steel and Sad Mystic Moon close out the disc on two very high notes. Dark Wings is a faster song, while Sad Mystic Moon, is another mid-tempo song with a driving guitar riff throughout. The song features several different soundscapes from the orchestra behind the band. A majestic choir, a brass section, guitar solo, etc, the song has it all. Sad Mystic Moon, is definitely the right song to close out the disc.

While some people are divided between the two Rhapsody camps(Luca VS Alex), this disc carries on the name of Rhapsody of Fire, with a disc, that propels them into the future without forgetting their past. I enjoyed this disc much more than From Chaos to Eternity, even if this one doesn't have Sir Christopher Lee's narration. If your a long time fan of the band, or of Alex Staropoli, you owe it to yourself to check it out. If you hate Power or Symphonic metal, nothing here is going to change your mind at all. The only thing I am wishing for now is a US Tour, and have a show near where I live.
Killing Songs :
ALL
Joel quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Rhapsody of Fire that we have reviewed:
Rhapsody of Fire - From Chaos to Eternity reviewed by Kyle and quoted 80 / 100
Rhapsody of Fire - The Cold Embrace Of Fear reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Rhapsody of Fire - The Frozen Tears Of Angels reviewed by Erik and quoted 87 / 100
Rhapsody of Fire - Triumph or Agony reviewed by Alex and quoted 70 / 100
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