Rhapsody Of Fire - Dark Wings Of Steel Metal Traveller Rating: 4,5/5 (Already A Classic)
Moment of truth. Alex Staropoli and Luca Turilli parted ways, thus creating two entities branded as Rhapsody: Rhapsody Of Fire and Luca Turilli's Rhapsody.
In 2012 Luca Turilli released his first album without his long term bandmates, and the results was an impressive and complicated record of a genre he called Cinematic Metal.
Now it's Alex Staropolis's turn to have his saying and to show the first record of his version of Rhapsody, without Luca.
The record is called Dark Wings Of Steel and long time Rhapsody fans will love it.
Those who feared a keyboard-lead band are wrong. The guitars are strong and heavy, while keyboards are not more present than in other Rhapsody Of Fire albums. Also, the mix made that bass lines can be clearly heard on every song.
Of course, the characteristic Luca Turilli style is missing, but Roby Di Micheli does a great work. And most importantly, the essence of the band is still here. Not only it's still here, I think the magic is back.
As any Rhapsody fan would expect, Dark Wings Of Steel starts with a short symphonic intro, Vis Divina. It opens the path to a fast song named Rising From Tragic Flames.
Everything is great on that song: Fabio's vocals, the orchestrations, the choirs, the solo...This is a future Rhapsody classic, and it's not the only one.
Silver Lake Of Tears is one of the greatest Rhapsody songs ever. It's a really epic tune with a wonderful intro and a great chorus. A Tale Of Magic is another highlight. It's a classic Rhapsody song, the chorus and the solo are totally amazing... And then comes the title track, Dark Wings Of Steel, which is a great atmospheric and epic song.
I also love the structure of Angel Of Light, there are many changes and it's a truly beautiful song.
Those are my favorite five, but all songs on this record have something special.
Fly To Crystal Skies and Tears Of Pain both have very catchy choruses and great melodies.
There's also a beautiful ballad, Custode Di Pace, which is sung in Italian.
I only would have changed two details on this record:My Sacrifice is a very emotional mid-tempo song, but 8 minutes is a bit too long.
Finally, Sad Mystic Moon is a great song with a very particular atmosphere, but I would have expected something else to end the record.
Anyway, Rhapsody Of Fire is setting standards again.
It's been a long time since I haven't enjoyed that much one of their albums!
To be honest, the music of the band went a bit too complicated for me after Rain Of A Thousand Flames. But in Dark Wings Of Steel I've found every element that made me love Rhapsody in the early days.
So, Rhapsody has split in two bands.And the winner is... There's no winner here. There's no winner because each band has its own sound. Rhapsody Of Fire stays faithful to its roots, while Luca Turilli's Rhapsody went on exploring a whole new universe, somewhat futuristic, or progressive, or cinematic, to use Luca's own words.
If you also lost track of Rhapsody sometime during their career, Dark Wings Of Steel is the album that will reconciliate you with the band again.
Take it like a new beginning, this one is set to become a classic Rhapsody Of Fire album.
Picture: Promo AFM Records
Picture: Metal Traveller
Rhapsody Of Fire Line-up:
Fabio Lione – Vocals
Alex Staropoli – Keyboards
Roby De Micheli – Guitars
Oliver Holzwarth – Bass
Alex Holzwarth – Drums
01. Vis Divina
02. Rising From Tragic Flames
03. Angel Of Light
04. Tears Of Pain
05. Fly To Crystal Skies
06. My Sacrifice
07. Silver Lake Of Tears
08. Custode Di Pace
09. A Tale Of Magic
10. Dark Wings Of Steel
11. Sad Mystic Moon
12. A Candle To Light (Extended Version) (Digipack Bonus Track)