Rhap­sody Of Fire

LEG­ENDARY YEARS

Metal Hammer (UK) - - The Gospel - Italy’s power me­tal mavens re­visit a past life MAL­COLM DOME

The plan is sim­ple: se­lect tracks from the Ital­ian band’s first five al­bums, span­ning 1997-2002, and re-record them with the cur­rent line-up. This cov­ers the sym­phonic me­tal mas­ters’ Emer­ald Sword Saga, when they were called Rhap­sody. So, is it worth the ef­fort? Only key­board player Alex Staropoli re­mains from those times, so this is a chance for him and the new boys to reimag­ine the mu­sic. How­ever, mostly they stick solemnly to the ar­range­ments and lengths of the orig­i­nal ver­sions. That of it­self rather de­feats the pur­pose, be­cause it doesn’t al­low for any creative in­ter­pre­ta­tion. On the plus side, not only is the pro­duc­tion clearly su­pe­rior to what was done be­fore, but vo­cal­ist Gi­a­como Voli roars with con­vic­tion, while guitarist Roby de Micheli com­bines neatly with Alex. Tracks like the ebul­lient Dawn Of Vic­tory, the moody Be­yond The Gates Of In­fin­ity and the op­er­atic Rid­ing The Winds Of Eter­nity are ir­re­sistible. There’s lit­tle to at­tract any­one who owns the orig­i­nals, but as an in­tro­duc­tion to the band it works well.

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