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Rhapsody of Fire
Into The Legend
Release Date: February 5th, 2016
The absolute masters of cinematic, theatrical power metal return with yet another magnum opus, this one entitled Into The Legend. One would be hard pressed to find a more fitting title, as not only are these guys legendary in the genre of symphonic metal but their lyrics are always deep, fantasy based tales of magic and might. If you are familiar with Rhapsody of Fire (or Rhapsody, as they were called prior to changing their name in 2003 for legal reasons) then you know what you’re getting into here. Rhapsody of Fire create epic, oftentimes operatic metal which appeals to a certain demographic, which is most certainly not your average, casual listener. Rhapsody of Fire is to metal music is what ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ is to ‘Monopoly’. There’s a whole lot more going on, and that just will not appeal to most. But if you’re of the D&D mindset, then grab on tight because you just found your next session’s soundtrack!
Beginning with “In Principio” a two minute operatic intro, which includes a chorus singing in what I assume to be Italian (the musician’s native tongue, though they’ve also been known to use Latin in their vocals) the album creates a growing sense of majesty and anticipation. Then come’s “Distant Sky” which is pure, classic Rhapsody of Fire. The instrumentation that these guys bring to bear is just amazing, and the instantly recognizable vocals of Fabio Lione is totally on point. What *really* gets this party started however is the next, and title, track Into The Legend. Take everything you love about this band, the operatic vocals, the fast paced shredding guitars and frenetic drumming, the sublime melody, and jack that up to 11. If this tune does not get you pumped then my friend you just might need a coroner as you could very well be deceased. “Winter’s Rain” mixes things up a bit by slowing down the tempo, upping the angst and including some bagpipes (which admittedly could be synth). I don’t know these things, just like I don’t know the difference between Latin and Italian when sung by an opera singer. All I know is it sounds friggan awesome. And that is a good a way as any to describe Into The Legend: Awesome in the literal sense: “extremely impressive or daunting; inspiring great admiration.” Valley of Shadows is another noteworthy track, amongst an entire album of them. It includes Lione’s trademark soaring vocals, an opera chorus, a phenomenal female operatic singer and some entirely unexpected death style backing vocals! Holy crap! Can this album get any more epic?!? Well, it turns out it can! The album closer is a full on monumental slab of majestic grandeur clocking in at 16:45. That’s a heapin’ pile of metal right there.
Fabio Lione (lead vocals) Roby De Micheli (guitar), Alessandro Sala (bass), Alex Staropoli (keyboards), and Alex Holzwarth (drums) are musicians of the highest caliber. Combine that with superb production, creative and passionate songwriting and an attention to detail that would make an FBI detective envious, and you’ve got something truly special.
I must admit that in recent years I’ve found Rhapsody of Fire to have become somewhat stagnant and boring. But Into The Legend brings it all back to what drew me to these guys to begin with. It’s a step back and a major step forward to solidifying their status as true metal legends.
Reviewed by: Farron 1340