1 of 3 thought this review was well written
This is Rhapsody's latest release. It is a concept album, which sounds somewhat like a movie soundtrack. I will explain the storyline in the track by track. This album is filled with many symphonic instruments, classical solos, operatic backing vocals, and a lot of double bass from Alex Holzworth. Actor Christopher Lee, who plays Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movies, does most of the narrations. I picked up this album a little while ago, and thought I should review it.
The Dark Secret (Ira Divina)
This is the introductions to the storyline, which Christopher Lee does. Its talks of the son of the Hell God Kron, Neckron. Shortly before his defeat he, went into his underworld lair. There he wrote up his evil plans in six black books, then died. Over time six books were found, but the last, which contained plans for his resurrection was not. This book lay in the cave of Dar-kunor. Soon Neckron would rise. After the narration is complete, operatic vocals come in with the orchestral instruments with an eerie tune, that sounds like something of Lord of The Rings.
This is a great album opener. It starts of fast, with brass instruments, guitar and bass. Soon the drums come in, as well as operatic vocals. It abruptly, stops, and this is the first time we here Fabio. The rest of the band quickly comes in again. About 2:15, the song stops, and Christopher Lee says the most important part of the lyrics for this song, which in short is that there is only one who knows the way through the cave of Dar-kunor, named Dargor. The band comes in on a slower tempo, then soon picks up to the normal fast pace. Luca does a long brilliant classical solo, which begins with some sweep picking. It then goes back into the intro, and ends of fast.
Never Forgotten Heroes
This song starts off slow and eerie. When this song picks off a female singer comes in for a short while. Fabio comes in when she stops. The chorus for this song is awsome. At about 3:00 it goes into an interlude, then Alex does a flashy keyboard solo. When he finishes Luca does his guitar solo. It then goes back into chorus, and ends off with the interlude.
Elgard’s Green Valleys
This is a short instrumental piece. It is a neat little tune done on flutes and fiddles. It's only 2 minutes long, nothing special at all, and rather bland.
The Magic Of The Wizards Dream
This is a ballad. It begins with piano, and a flute. Fabio begins singing with the first verse about 15 seconds in. Fabio's voice sounds quite odd in this song, but never the less it is still good. The song becomes stronger at, the chorus, which I find to be quite emotional. This song follows a very basic song structure. The flute comes back at the end to finish the song.
Erian’s Mystical Rhymes (The White Dragon’s Order)
This track opens up with a demonic voice uttering a spell, which I believe is intended to be Neckron. The orchestral instruments come in with a slow tempo. The operatic vocals, come in, then the rest of the instruments with a clash. It soon picks up to a fast pace. The song picks up to a faster pace at the chorus, then goes back to the normal pace for the verse again. At 6:15, after the second chorus, we hear a quick bass solo from Patrice. After some more vocals from Fabio, it goes into a classical passage done by string instruments. Now we hear dueling/duet solos from Alex Staropoli and Luca, which are great. When the music stops there is some more narrations, but this time not by Christopher Lee. They talk of The Order of The White Dragon. The Order of the White Dragon, is a group of hero's including Dargor, who will set out to find the seventh black book in The cave of Dar-Kunor.
The Last Angels’ Call
This is a good track, but nothing special in my opinion. This song starts off with a cool duet between Alex and Luca. The lyrics mention what path The Order will take, which is the path of Eloria. Luca does another great solo in this song.
This is the second ballad of the album, and like the last track it's nothing special. It starts off with some strange oozing noises, which I believe is intended to be Dragons. The lyrics are all about seeing the Dragons in the Sky, and on The Mountain tops. Like The Magic Of The Wizards Dream, Fabio's voice sounds odd.
Sacred Power Of Raging Winds
At the Opening of this track we hear Christopher Lee saying a spell, which is meant to hide the tracks of the heroes. Luca comes in suddenly with a fast, and awesome riff. At about 3:40, the song stops, and it is just Fabio singing, but having a conversation, with a demonic voice, which is intended to be Dragon's Father. I really can't stand that part, but the rest of the song is great. After a keyboard solo from Alex, it goes into the riff from Elgard’s Green Valleys. Luca then comes in with yet another amazing classical solo. The song comes later to an abrupt finish on a fast tempo.
Guardiani Del Destino
This the third ballad of the album, and song in (correct me if I'm wrong) Italian. So I don't know what the lyrics are about. This song begins sounding some-what like Elgard’s Green Valleys, with Luca playing a classical guitar. Just before, Fabio begins singing we hear a female opera singer. Unlike the other ballads, Fabio's voice does not sound odd.
Shadows Of Death
This is my personal favorite of the album. It opens up with brass instruments, then an awesome riff from Luca, which is played throughout the song. The lyrics are about being near cave of Dar-kunor. At 4:30 Fabio does a Halford like scream, then a long, and in my opinion, the best solo section from Alex Staropoli and Luca. At 6:30 The song stops, and we hear Christopher Lee once again, introducing the next song. He tells us that the heroes will now go into the cave of Dar-kunor.
Nightfall On The Grey Mountains
Yes, this is finally the end. This track opens with The howl of a wolf and demon like whispers. The keyboards and operatic vocals come in playing an eerie sound, then the rest of the band with a clash. The song then continues in into the moderate pace it is. It’s a great way to end this album. It’s one of the more emotional songs of the album. The lyrics are all about venturing into the cave. The song stops, and we hear the voice of Christopher Lee saying ‘Perhaps never to return’. The song goes back to the opening tune, then ends the album. I found the end of the lyrics disappointing, because it never seems to finish the story.
Overall this is a great album, with fast, and slow songs. The musicianship on this album, as well as all their other albums is great. Some may not like Fabio’s vocals if they are new to power metal.