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I have a ton of respect for classical music and the composers that make that shit happen. It’s got to be tough. In ye olden days, guys like Beethoven, Bach, Berlioz and countless other fuckos who are known by their last name had an uncanny ability to get a hundred or more narcissistic, egomaniacal musicians (in most cases) on the same page and bang out some of the greatest music ever penned. Even today, guys like John Williams and Hans Zimmer take that classical knowledge and combine it with the big screen and create music that is so good it becomes unmistakably synonymous with the film for which it was written. And I’m not going to stop there. I love “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night”, and the music on that video game was just as good as any other modernized classical tunes you can find in any film.
So, why am I ranting and raving about how impressive classical music is? Because that’s pretty much what Luca Turilli’s brand of Rhapsody of Keytars on “Ascending to infinity”. The entire album is magnificently written and the performance is ace, but the problem is that very little substance actually exists, and the songs are just not very catchy or enjoyable.
First of all, there are plenty of good things that this album has going for it. Luca Turilli is one of the world’s most talented and best guitarists, even with the flowing blouse and even more flowing mullet. His chops on ATI even rank among some of his finer moments from his extensive career. If you have always dug his blazingly fast fretboard escapades, you’ll like those parts of this album because they are a-plenty. Not only that, but relatively unknown vocalist Alessandro Conti arrives on the scene with some authority, and really seems to be a valuable find for a band like this. The guy can wail.
As a total package, the band sounds terrific. They’re like an expensive hooker: tight and talented. They should be. It’s essentially the same band that Rhapsody (“of Fire”, if I have to) has been for several years only without Fabio Lione and Alex Staropoli. Needless to say, they know each other pretty fucken well, and they sound terrific together as a unit.
Now for the bad. This album has absolutely no flow whatsoever, and the level of pretentiousness that many moments present is utterly staggering. Songs have no real composition. It seems as though each track is just an overly drawn out experiment to see how many completely different movements one band can shit out and put into a song. There is absolutely nothing about that style of songwriting that makes even a single track appealing or even stand out in any way. There’s no reason to replay anything other than to hear just how fast the last guitar solo was. Rhapsody was never my favorite band by a long shot, but at least they had memorable choruses or something that gave their tunes an identity. If that’s not bad enough, the boring monotony is broken up every now and then by an atrocious movie-trailer-style narrator that says a few inane sentences of vague and ridiculously pointless drivel that will literally make you laugh whenever you hear it.
So can I recommend this, the latest incarnation of half of the old Rhapsody? Not really. They’ve got a lot of work to do. Even with the amazing musicianship of the likes of Luca Turilli and Patrice Guers, they are simply not very good at writing good, memorable songs with this lineup. Maybe next time, gentlemen.
Written for globaldomination.se