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Luca Turilli’s solo magnum opus “Prophet of the Last Eclipse” was preceded by this rather sizable single that in fact is labeled as an EP. The story behind the music is quite an interesting mix of science fiction, mysticism, and a bit of Neo-Romanticism. The love story is tragic, the final end of our hero (according to the words of the closing song, which is on here as well in a shorter version) is shrouded in mystery, and all the while Luca is showcasing a more deep and human form of storytelling that contrasts with the more traditional High Fantasy model of his work with Rhapsody, a difference that was actually present in his first solo album despite the similar Fantasy concept.
In addition to containing the most catchy and lyrically relevant track from his 2nd studio effort “Demonheart”, we are also treated to a large number of rarities, making this my personal ideal for an EP. “Rondeau in C minor” is a non-album track that also appeared in a special limited edition CD with 4 bonus tracks (which I have not been able to track down) that is a nice lead-in to “Black Realm’s Majesty”, which is another new track with a load of speed and guitar soloing brilliance. Both are heavily influenced by classical music and are cut more from the vain of the last album, though with some of the electronic tendencies of the following album.
Both of the edited versions of the epic closers of Luca’s solo efforts are quite intriguing. I usually despise shortened versions of songs, particularly epic songs that I love, but these two particular examples work quite well. Essentially they have been compressed into something quite similar to Luca’s shorter works by eliminating all the development sections and instrumental theme sections. It is telling of his compositional style, as all of his works are fairly cut and paste friendly, as was the case with many other composers of the Classical period such as Mozart and Haydn, whose music could be easily recognized simply by hearing 8 measures of the music.
The final track on here is taken from Luca Turilli’s rendition of the opening track of Helloween’s classic Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1 release “I’m alive”, also found on the Helloween tribute album “Keepers of Jericho”. It has been Rhapsodied up quite a bit with plenty of orchestration, which Helloween’s music is quite well geared for, much the same way that Rhapsody’s contribution to that tribute album “Guardians” is. Luca’s impact as a musician and a composer is probably the reason why he was able to get his guitar playing onto 2 tracks on the same compilation.
To fans of Rhapsody who have yet to discover the more deep and introspective side of Luca Turilli’s songwriting, this EP is a nice addition to the collection of any fan of his. Likewise fans of other bands utilizing Neo-Classical elements (including fans of Yngwie) are encouraged to check this stuff out. If you are otherwise inclined towards non-melodic metal or you are an old guard purist, steer clear of it, it’s not something that you will like, particularly if you provided one of the many reviews bashing both Rhapsody and the “Kings of the Nordic Twilight” release.