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Luca Turilli As Usual - 80%

metal_bryan, July 7th, 2012

This album reminds me a bit at times of Luca Turilli's first couple solo albums (the good ones). I rather miss Olaf Hayer in that case, but Alessandro Conti is still an excellent vocalist. His high range seems beyond what Fabio was capable of, which adds a new dimension to things. That's where the differences really stop on a vocal level though. In general, you get a lot of operatic/dramatic backing vocals on this album and not as much of the main vocal as you'd like. This is not unlike more recent Rhapsody Of Fire albums at times, so it was partially expected to happen on this album too.

In general, there is way too much symphonic/operatic stuff for my tastes. This is typical of Luca's writing post-Power Of The Dragonflame era Rhapsody. The music is still really cool, but you'd think a guy who is such a great player would do more playing and not so much composing. The songs where he does play a lot of guitar are bad ass. The keyboards he recorded might actually be more impressive though. He is quite a musician. Compositionally, the crazy amount of stuff going on in some of the songs with the choirs and various orchestrations is very impressive. If you like that kind of thing, then this is a wet dream.

Personally, I'd rate this somewhere in the same quality range as Symphony Of Enchanted Lands Part II. A step back in many ways, but also a step forward into a more progressive/experimental sound than Rhapsody had in the past. Luca should be proud of this, but it kinda sucks that he wants to put the Rhapsody name to it. Alex Staropoli has a lot on his shoulders now to write a Rhapsody Of Fire album that lives up to how strongly the band finished its stint together in 2011.