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Luca Turilli has been a very busy man of late. Between his own solo project, Rhapsody, and his latest creation DreamQuest he has been taking a route of gradual evolution over the fly-by-night pandering to mainstream fancy that has apparently haunted some bands in the power metal fold lately. Some of his stuff is highly metal oriented, but alot of it is geared more towards Symphonic music and electronic music.
I am often asked what the difference is between this part of his solo career and Rhapsody's music, because there are alot of similarities. As this album occured very early in Luca's musical career, it contains only a few small moves towards the main difference between all of Rhapsody's music and his solo project, the electronic influences. Here you get hints of them, but they mostly tend to blend in with the more metallic side of Luca's guitar playing. "Knight of Immortal Fire" is the only song on here that really contains these electronic tendencies in certain sections, although several songs on the full album that followed contain them.
This single contains "King of the Nordic Twilight's" most catchy and accessible song, "Ancient Forest of Elves". The violin work on here is quite pleasing to the ears, although the lead guitar does give it a good run for it's money. The chorus is quite easy to sing along with, and is well suited for the memory of the casual metal fan. "Knight of Immortal Fire", by contrast, sees alot of structural intrigue with it's many varying sections. The slow section with the piano, followed by the solo, is my personal favorite part of this more guitar driven anthem.
This single also contains a duet version of the rather riveting ballad "Warrior's Pride", one of my favorite ballads of all time actually. The interchange between Olaf and the female vocalist is a nice touch, although I prefer the album version to this one because it has a much more climactic ending.
In conclusion, this single would be well worth picking up if you have been a steady fan of Luca Turilli's work with Rhapsody. It has enough on it to make the extra purchase worth it. I also encourage fans of classical music who don't mind metal mixed in with it. And to all of you Metallica fans out there who drooled over the "S&M" material, this is what you get when you actually have music that fits in with an orchestra.
Luca Turilli's first solo single is nothing to complain about. Although the disc contains only three songs, they're all beauties.
The first track off "The Ancient Forest Of Elves" is, of course, the title song and the sixth track off of Turilli's first LP, "King Of The Nordic Twilight". The song starts off with Olaf Hayer, Turilli's vocalist, singing the song's chorus right off the bat, with the help of some beautiful backing vocals, giving us a early hint of exactly how the song is going to sound like. The song keeps the same pace throughout the entire 4:43 minutes and, of course, contains some beautiful guitar work by the man himself, more specifically a sweet solo about 2:30 minutes in.
"The Ancient Forest Of Elves" = 9.5/10
Song number two, "Warrior's Pride", is an alternate version of the one that appears on "King Of The Nordic Twilight". In this short ballad that focuses less on the brilliant work of the Rhapsody guitarist, Hayer sings a duet. This song contains a chorus that will blow any metal fan away. There's not much else to say about this one, it's your typical power metal ballad, and I say that without any criticism.
"Warrior's Pride [Duet Version]" = 9/10
The third, and final, track from Turilli's first solo release is called "Knight Of Immortal Fire". This song is the icing on the cake for metal fans because it doesn't appear on "King Of The Nordic Twilight" or any other Turilli releases. "Knight Of Immortal Fire" sounds very similar to the single's title song, and since I gave "The Ancient Forest Of Elves" a good grade, why the hell shouldn't I give this song one???
"Knight Of Immortal Fire" = 9/10
Being a single, "The Ancient Forest Of Elves" is obviously short, but a great addition to any metal collection and definitely a must-have for all power metal fans and, more specifically, for all Rhapsody fans.