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Eternal Glory Indeed. - 78%

hells_unicorn, February 5th, 2007

Amongst the various collections of rarities floating around here is this forgotten demo, which displays the more primitive nature of Rhapsody before getting their hands on more modern recording technology to bolster their pioneering sound. Essentially this is a scattered collection of songs that would later appear on the first 2 studio releases, all of them fast and furious save “Tears at Nightfall”, which is a brief instrumental blueprint for all the various instrumental preludes that would kick off every subsequent Rhapsody studio effort.

The vocals on here are steeped in reverb, almost to the point of making the Christiano Adacher sound like he’s singing on a mountain top. His voice is not nearly as operatic as Fabio’s is, which some may consider a good thing as not everyone is into his highly expressive and sometimes over-the-top vocal vibrato on longer notes. The keyboards on here are extremely high in the mix, even when compared with the debut, and often drown out both the bass and the guitar. The drums are rhythmically precise; almost to the point of making one thing they used a drum machine.

The material that would appear on “Legendary Tales” is mostly the same here except for the different titles and shorter time durations. “Alive and Proud” is probably the most similar to its studio descendant “Lord of the Thunder”, while “Warrior of Ice” and “Invernal Fury” (aka Rage of the Winter) have been shortened and are missing some instruments. By contrast, most of the “Symphony of Enchanted Lands” material is wildly different than what would appear later. “Eternal Glory” has an extra 2 minutes tagged onto it, and “Holy Wind” (later renamed “Riding the Winds of Eternity”) has a completely different chorus.

All in all, pretty solid demo considering the year it was created in. 1995 was the year that metal was pretty much officially considered dead by the masses, but if this were true, bands like this would stem its reincarnation so quickly that its death was all but a brief interlude. Core Rhapsody fans will obviously be the most anxious at tracking down this demo. It is a decent listen, but obviously the quality pales in comparison to the later incarnations of these songs.