Review Summary: Rise.
At this point in time, it has been five years and four albums since the release of Rhapsody’s first record Legendary Tales
. Sure their first three were great, but they all had one problem: they stuck to the same formula throughout the whole time. And their previous release, Rain of a Thousand Flames
failed at trying to bring a change in their style. There was practically no way out of the mess that they made for themselves. If they stick to the same formula, then it’s going to get boring, and if they try to change things it’s going to be horrible. However, this time around, Rhapsody seemed to go all out, bringing everything they got right to the table and cross their fingers with their fifth release Power of the Dragonflame
. And by a huge surprise, Rhapsody has managed to create quite possibly their most ambitious, climactic, and remarkably amazing album that they’ve done to date.
In a sense, Power of the Dragonflame
may seem nothing more than an overblown power metal album. With the choruses being sung by choirs in almost every single song, orchestrations being blown at full blast, even a nearly twenty minute epic at the end of the album, it seems like Rhapsody has given their all and then some, and thus may seem exhausting to the bitter end. But then again, isn't the whole overblown thing part of the idea of the band as a whole?
There literally is never a single dull moment in the record. Every song is a huge blast of energy rolling at you at over a hundred miles-per-hour and it never tires itself out from the first second to the last. The beginning instrumental ‘In Tenebris’ actually manages to powerfully sets up the album with meaning which is something that Rhapsody has never managed to accomplish before. And after that is ‘Knightrider of Doom’ which has Rhapsody at their greatest potential ever and it only goes beyond from there. Every song accomplishes the task of pulling you in with extremely catchy choruses and pounding instrumentals. Even vocalist Fabio Lionne has himself pushed to the limits, using his more aggressive style that was present in Rain of a Thousand Flames
and this time it works incredibly well. Even its melody song ‘Lamento Eroico’ (get used to having Italian vocals in the melodic songs from now on) brings out emotion that’s so powerful and engaging just like the other songs.
However, if there is one thing that managed to sell the fact that Power of the Dragonflame
is a force to reckon with, it’s the epic nineteen-minute epic, ‘Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness.’ It’s not just a ridiculously long song or anything like that, but in itself, it’s a journey, an experience that never loses interest. The song itself creates an atmosphere with the acoustic moments while the rest of the instrumentation carries the rest of the song so effortlessly and beautifully. Perhaps it may be a little too long for its own good, but even so listeners don’t want it to end regardless because every second is filled with amazing talent.
To put it in simple terms, Power of the Dragonflam
is the reason why power metal can be so incredibly enjoyable if it’s done right. I guess from a more critical standpoint, this may not be an incredible album, and sure, not everybody will like this, nor should they. But if you let yourself engage in the experience that this album brings, then you will get a taste in what the genre overall can truly bring, regardless of how cheesy or overblown it can be. And if you do enjoy it, then by all means go through the journey that Power of the Dragonflame
sets up for you. Good luck!