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View Full Version : Steerpike's Spotlight #23: Rhapsody - Journey to the Enchanted Lands


Steerpike
10-01-2005, 09:53 AM
Well met, fellow R&Mers! 'Tis a glorious day to die-er, I mean... to revisit on this weekly series! Nice recovery. Our two previous spotlights in this great chapter deserve mention, so let us look back and honor them:

Candlemass - The Godfathers of Doom (http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=392118)
Blue Oyster Cult - Dark Visionaries and Satirists (http://www.musicianforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=394772)

Bravo and huzzah!

Now that the formalities have been taken care of, onward my power metal brethren! Glory and fortune await us in the enchanted lands!

Biography

Whoever says power metal is too cheesy needs to get over themselves. Good music is good music. Also, no one will think any less of you for simply outright saying you don't enjoy certain lyrical themes. But no, they've got to make up excuses! Well, some of us are more enlightened. Some of us can actually listen to the songs. And by doing so we have opened up our minds to many great bands such as Rhapsody.

It all started in 1993. Those of you who read my spotlight on Edguy may remember that this was peak era of grunge, both in the States, and internationally. The hair metal age was over, and now saying you were in a metal band was a bit of a faux pas. However, this turned out to work to our advantage as it weeded out the unworthy. Musicians who stuck to their guns really turned out some quality music. In this case, I'm referring to Luca Turilli.

Luca was a young guitarist from Italy with his first professional band at the time called Thundercross. It was here that he met up with a talented keyboard player named Alex Staropoli. Thundercross was fairly short-lived, however. Luca soon changed the name to Rhapsody and the original line-up, save him and Alex, rotated out.

Four years later, Rhapsody debuted in an explosion of bombast, fronted by their new singer, Fabio Lione. Fabio was a perfect fit for the band with his dramatic vocals and stage presence. Prior to joining the band, he had already had thorough experience in the performing arts. He sang in several bands, had experience in musical theater and even dance.

Rhapsody's debut album was released in 1997 and was titled Legendary Tales. It garnered immediate attention to the group and allowed to continue building on the grassroots fanbase they had already achieved from four years of constant touring.

The follow up was something of a breakthrough for them. The Symphony of Enchanted Lands album became the name for the elaborate fairy tale that Luca told through his lyrics. He chose such a setting because he believed it best expressed his beliefs about the struggle of good and evil.

The album also contained one of the band's most famous songs to date, Emerald Sword. The virtuosic musicianship with Luca's bombastic writing backed by Alex's classical arrangements made one of the world's only songs that could get you to bang your head to violins one minute, and a guitar solo the next.

The next album would be a noticeable change. As the story in Luca's lyrics heated up, so did the music in Dawn of Victory. The band started to move in a heavier direction while still keeping the Classical and Celtic influences that had given them so much success thus far.

Power of the Dragonflame, released in 2002, was their heaviest project so far, but they were all quite proud of it.

2004 proved to be a very exciting time when the band announced that the new album would contain spoken-word narrations from none other than Christopher Lee himself. This was rather appropriate, as European pundits had begun referring to Rhapsody as the world's first film score metal band.

The project started with the The Dark Secret EP, and was followed by The Symphony of Enchanted Lands II- The Dark Secret. Though the album was greeted with mixed reviews, it still has its strengths and the band is quite proud of the work. Christopher Lee even performed a duet with Fabio Lione on the single for The Magic of the Wizard's Dream.

The album itself was produced by Luca and Alex, who received guidance in the process by none other than founding member of Manowar, Joey DiMaio.

At the moment, Rhapsody are at work mixing their first live album and DVD, the songs on which were recorded during the first leg of Manowar's Demons, Dragons, and Wizards tour.

Fare thee well, good sirs and ladies. For now, we can only wait and see what tomorrow shall bring for these minstrels of metal.

Official Web Site (http://www.mightyrhapsody.com/index.php)

Steerpike
10-01-2005, 09:55 AM
Current Line-Up

Fabio Lione : Vocals (ex-Vision Divine, ex-Labyrinth (Ita), ex-Athena)
Luca Turilli : Electric, acoustic & classical guitars
Alex Staropoli : Keyboards, harpsichord, piano
Manuel Staropoli : Flute
Patrice Guers : Bass
Alex Holzwarth : Drums, percussion (Sieges Even, Val'Paraiso, ex-Blind Guardian, ex-Angra, ex-Paradox, Dol Ammad, Avantasia)

Current Label

Magic Circle Music/Steamhammer

Discography

Legendary Tales (1997)
*Symphony of Enchanted Lands (1998)
*Dawn of Victory (2000)
Rain of a Thousand Flames (2001, EP)
Power of the Dragonflame (2002)
Tales from the Emerald Sword Saga (2004, best of)
The Dark Secret (2004, EP)
Symphony of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret (2004)

*Recommended

Sample Songs

Send in requests to atomsho@gmail.com and receive the following songs:

Emerald Sword
Dawn of Victory
Holy Thunderforce
Trolls in the Dark
March of the Swordmaster

Shattered_Future
10-01-2005, 09:57 AM
First post!

You know what goes here...good job, yada yada yada.

I also know that you'll be sending out music via email, soo...

anemiate@yahoo.com

:thumb:

Riva
10-01-2005, 10:02 AM
Great thread, Alex. I have quite a few Rhapsody albums, but Symphony Of The Enchanted Lands II is my favourite. I love Christopher Lee's vocals.

GenuineImitation
10-01-2005, 10:13 AM
Great thread. I'll check them out sometime this weekend.

Lunch
10-01-2005, 10:23 AM
Great thread, Alex. I have quite a few Rhapsody albums, but Symphony Of The Enchanted Lands II is my favourite. I love Christopher Lee's vocals.

That's because you like gay powermetal lololol

Sorry, just had to get that out. Another great write-up courtesy of Steerpike.

Steerpike
10-01-2005, 04:34 PM
Bump. It's sad that it had to come this early.

Deth
10-01-2005, 05:02 PM
Nice. I've been looking for some new Power metal lately, yet I haven't gotten any Rhapsody yet.

I'll be hitting you up for that sampler, but do you want our e-mail or for us to e-mail you?

GenuineImitation
10-01-2005, 05:11 PM
I just downloaded a few songs. I am definetly getting a cd or two.

Steerpike
10-01-2005, 06:45 PM
Just e-mail me and I'll send out the uploads tomorrow.

King_Of_Terrors
10-01-2005, 07:04 PM
Awesome review, good job. I love Rhapsody, I have Symphony Of Enchanted Lands and Power Of The Dragonflame. Good job.

Txus
10-01-2005, 07:15 PM
Great thread for an amazing band.

Hells Bells
10-01-2005, 07:31 PM
Cheesiness be ****ed, Rhapsody's still wicked :D

I wonder whether Luca wrote actually wrote the story that's behind their lyrics...
/www.mightyrhapsody.com

/NP Black Dragon

Lord Abortion
10-02-2005, 02:56 AM
HUZZAH!!

Rhapsody!
No emails for Alex from me...I have those songs already :D

Steerpike
10-02-2005, 05:52 PM
Well, the Trolls in the Dark mp3 got corrupted. I'd like to know how this keeps happening.

To make up for it, I'll send over Wisdom of the Kings in its place. E-mails will be arriving shortly, just so you know.

suspect
10-03-2005, 04:34 AM
I'm not really into Rhapsody, but a friend of mine is a huge fan. I think my main problem with them is the vocals, even though I usually like powermetal vocals.

Silentia
10-03-2005, 05:24 AM
Looks good, will read sit somewhere the next couple a days. I'll maybe add my email later as well. Good job anyways!

Bartender
10-03-2005, 06:44 AM
I think from what I've heard so far, Rhapsody are somewhat inconsistent - when they're good they've been excellent, but they have a fair few tracks that I just have no great desire to listen to again.

I do like them, though. Their close association with Manowar pretty much assures that in itself. I think I heard that Christopher replicated his contribution to the album live as well, didn't he?

As for the next one, I went with tradition and voted for what I voted for last time - Atomic Bitchwax. I was sorely tempted by Firewind though, as I've never heard of them, and like the name.

Deth
10-03-2005, 07:58 AM
Well, I'm listening to my first Rhapsody song, Emerald Sword (courtesy of Steerpike) and it's really good.

I'm digging the speed these guys play at, I wasn't expecting that.

EDIT: After three songs, I am really loving them. It's nothing all that different from the power metal I already listen to, it's just done really damn well.

Iron Bars
10-03-2005, 10:34 AM
Turilli is an amazing guitarist. I already have a bunch of their albums so no uploads this time.

I was also tempted to vote for Firewind but also decided to go for the same one as last week (Gamma Ray).

Steerpike
10-03-2005, 10:56 AM
It's true that Rhapsody are hit and miss for some folks. There were some tracks off the new album I could have done without, personally. But overall, they're a very enjoyable band.

I was kind of hoping that the polls this week would finally go to Warren, but right now Atomic Bitchwax and Gamma Ray hold the lead. Still it's only Monday. A lot can happen over the next couple days.

Lord Abortion
10-03-2005, 03:18 PM
I love rhapsody...They have some great riffs and ... how should I describe it?
Ambient moments? like the intro to "village of the dwarves"

NP- Blind guardian- a script for my requiem.

paranoid923
10-03-2005, 08:48 PM
Nice write up. I only have Symphony of Enchanted Lands but I want to get some more albums. Maybe I'll check out Dawn of Victory.

Huber
10-03-2005, 08:55 PM
I was so surprised at the amazing use of symphonics when I first heard this band. I only have Symphony Of Enchanted Lands, but I definetly plan on getting more.

Lord Abortion
10-04-2005, 10:15 AM
They really are great...the symphonic parts are superb.
*discreetbump*

Shred Danson
10-04-2005, 10:23 AM
Rhapsody=splooge.

(that's a good thing :lol: )

Great write up as usual.

Steerpike
10-04-2005, 10:27 AM
They really are great...the symphonic parts are superb.
*discreetbump*

Maybe it's just my lack of sleep this week, but I swear when I saw your avatar I thought, "What the hell is Silent Bob doing in a Dream Theater picture?"

Lord Abortion
10-04-2005, 11:05 AM
:eek:

Has anyone ever seen Mike Portnoy and Kevin Smith in the same room?!?

Steerpike
10-05-2005, 08:03 PM
Bump, because I'm in a good mood for a change of pace.

Dried Muffin Remnants
10-05-2005, 08:12 PM
This band is inconsistent; they're extremely cheesy at times... But that doesn't take away from this write-up, nice job.

Deth
10-05-2005, 08:13 PM
I'm slowly introducing one of my friends with crappy music taste to power metal. I got him into Dragonforce and I think Rhapsody will be a good 2nd band for him.

Steerpike
10-05-2005, 08:15 PM
What does he listen to now?

Deth
10-05-2005, 08:18 PM
Oh boy. Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, you know the type.

Steerpike
10-05-2005, 08:19 PM
Also give him some early Blind Guardian, Iced Earth, and Savatage.

Deth
10-05-2005, 08:23 PM
I gave him some Iced Earth as well, he liked it, so it's a step in the right direction.

He hated the vocals of Dragonforce though, he just liked the speed and solos. But I can change him dammit!

Lord Abortion
10-06-2005, 03:08 AM
You must change him, or the fate of the universe is at risk!

I voted Gamma ray, but would like to see Zevon up here.

King_Of_Terrors
01-22-2006, 01:25 AM
I'm sorry for bumping this, but I've been obsessed over this band ever since Symphony Of Enchanted Lands came in the mail. They are such an incredible band, I only had a few songs before, but then I started ordering all the albums. They were one of the first metal bands I ever heard. Still one of my favorites as well.

I decided to bump this thread because it includes such a great write-up.