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Now this is an interesting EP... Essentially the same song played over and over, but each in a different language. The song itself is a typical ballad arrangement but the performance is really special. Until this, I had no idea that the actor Christopher Lee could sing! I knew he had a powerful voice as far as speaking went, but he really shines here; definately on par with his stagemate Fabio (the singer of the band.)
This is a very interesting EP, and the fact that there are lyrics written in each language makes it a real feat. Each vocal performance gives a bit of a different feel to it. The french version for example, sounds close to being a love song, whilst the german version is very powerful and martial in nature...
A great idea, and a testament to just how much difference a vocal performance can make in a song.
This single is mainly consists of different versions of the song "The Magic of the Wizard's Dream" from Symphony of the Enchanted Lands II. featuring Christopher Lee as a singer, unlike the album, where he appears as a narrator.
The music is mostly the same as the album version, but it's a but softer and the orchestral part is more emphasised. I think it's better than the original version.
The vocal parts are very good too, I really like the voice of Mr. Lee, the parts of Lione is nice too, but personally I don't like when a guy sings too high, but it's ok.
The whole song is very beautiful and solemn, and really operatic...
Christopher Lee has command over twelve languages, so they recorded that song in four languages. The only bad side of this single, that it's really boring to listen exacly the same track four times. It's interesting to listen a song in eg. italian, what you already know in english, but I think they should have been made some changes in the music too.
I have a digipak version, which features two other tracks. 'Autumn Twilight' is a fast power metal song, and it has also great orchestral parts. The italian song ('Lo Specchio D’Argento') is nice too...
Despite all, I recommend this single to every Rhapsody fans, and who likes the voice of Mr. Lee.
I can state it without a single measure of shame that I am a core Rhapsody fan. As such, I follow their music avidly and am always one of the first to purchase whatever they put out, be it a new studio LP or a more side stream EP release such as this. Most often it is the latter, rather than the former, that is more suited for enthusiasts such as me rather than the run-of-the-mill Power Metal fans who casually listen to this band.
The purpose of the “Magic of the Wizard’s Dream” is twofold. First it is to showcase the less known talent of guest narrator Christopher Lee, who in addition to being an actor and a multi-linguist, is an accomplished bass with a background in opera. Of all the voice ranges out there, the bass is probably the least Power Metal friendly, and that is the principle reason for the criticisms of this EP. His voice is loud, powerful, and although Fabio’s showy tenor range obviously rises above the musical mass behind him, Lee’s voice is so deep and husky that it actually dwarf’s Fabio’s during the chorus.
Naturally the large number of different versions of this song is not for the casual fan, in fact even moderately rabid fans might get tired after the first 3 versions, but I have often enjoyed hearing the same song in a different language, be it Blind Guardian’s “Harvester of Sorrow” in French or Heavenly’s “Spill Blood on Fire” in Japanese. Perhaps having 6 versions is a bit much, but bear in mind, it’s a damned EP for crying out loud, that is what these things are for.
The two additional tracks on here are the kind of perks that I always go for, great speed metal tracks that didn’t quite make the cut for the LP, but deliver nonetheless and are unique to this particular release. “Autumn Twilight” is my favorite of the two, it’s not quite an “Unholy Warcry” or a “Never Forgotten Heroes”, but it’s a fun listen with plenty of solid Luca riffs and melodic majesty.
To the general public at large, this is fodder for core fans, and obviously a favorite whipping boy of trolls whom purchase these lower priced releases simply to sound off on how much they hate the genre and casual Rhapsody fans who take a risk on something not part of their mainstream catalog. If you loved “Symphony of Enchanted Lands 2” and want to hear more songs cut from the same tree, this is a nice addition to any collection of Rhapsody freaks like me.
To make this excursion from my average review fodder cleancut and explanatory, I'm only writing this to amuse myself. And what better way to lay down some hearty chuckles than bashing one of the silliest bands ever to emerge from metal's brief history? I gotta say, of all the power metal bands out there, Rhapsody has to be my least favorite. They are the ornate garnish on this veritable plate we call metal, and I find it very difficult to stomach the fact that so many people find this "breathtaking".
Yeah, everyone in this hilarious discotech knows the loopety-loop and the LaBamba when it comes to working their way around their skins and six strings, but for christ's sake, talent and technical proficiency does not and has never equaled an enjoyable listening experience. Especially when you invite Christopher Lee and a 42 piece orchestra along for the ride in a Baja Bouncer through L.A.
Excessive synths are stupid. Even when they're real, outside of an intro track or a big instrumental, they sound incredibly silly and far too over the top. I mean, c'mon. This is heavy metal. Why make quite possibly the stupidest genre even cheesier? Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hater. I've just embraced the reality. "Singing" about foetus consumption, The Lord Of The Rings, and rehashing Punk lyrics is pretty rockbottom. The fact that the majority of the genre (the VAST majority) is only here to be 'extreme' makes it all the more queer. But hey, it's fun. Gimmicky, but fun.
So! Rhapsody. May I first state: What the fuck is Christopher Lee doing here, singing along, no less? I mean, has his career really become this puppy-eye pathetic? I mean, goddamnit, he's posing in a freakin' crown on one of their past albums. If you don't see the hilarity in that, I feel very sorry for you and your family. But really, is it necessary to include the the same song six times in one EP? I can't see where the purpose lies in including not only the original version, but the single version, the Italian version, the French version, the German version, and the orchestral version. What the hell? Are they planning on slipping this in for the next League Of Nations gathering? Is it the new theme song to a universally aired Soap Opera? Metal bands worldwide write their lyrics in English for our listening pleasure. Do we really care if it works the other way around?
Following this strange venture are two additional tracks, equally goofy and pompous, but no where near as diseased as the title track(s). What else is there, even? It's Rhapsody. There's corny falsetto, boring blastbeats, and flowery guitar heroics popping up for air whenever the Synths/Orchestra take a breather. Sure, Rhapsody is a group of amazing musicians with a massive following. I don't think they suck. Really. I just would rather tie my gentleman parts to the back of a car awaiting the green light than ever listen to them again. The 20 points spawns merely from the aforementioned statement that this review was written so I could giggle.
After the brilliant releases and success of "Symphony of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret" and "The Dark Secret" EP, both which feature the legend Mr. Christopher Lee, a new single has come out, once again featuring the man. No longer a master in the film industry, Mr. Lee is now a king in the Power Metal world.
Some might think that a release which contains six versions of the same song (digipack version) is overkill but I disagree. I personally find it impressive that a group like Rhapsody would show their talent and skills and sing a song in four different languages. "The Magic of the Wizard's Dream" is found on this album in English, Italian, French and German. The English and Italian versions are great because it sounds authentic. This is the direct result of Rhapsody being from Italy. The French and German versions are beautiful. I'm biased towards the French version as I am French. The German version is impressive because it sounds like such a hard language to master. And of course, Mr. Christopher Lee has no problem with these different languages as he is a master with the language knowing over ten different ones.
On this single, there are two new songs. "Autumn Twilight" and "Lo Specchio D'Argento". The first is a typical and superb Rhapsody song. This track could have been on the last album. It has a great solo and the keyboard presence is phenomenal. "Lo Specchio D'Argento" is a sweet Italian ballad. This like the latter could have been found on the previous album or any of the other ones in the back catalogue.
In conclusion, this single is not for everyone but it is highly recommended. "The Magic of the Wizard's Dream" is a great track and with the added vocals of Mr. Lee it is simply perfect. This song is great in any language and no other song could have received this treatment. The only down side is after listening to the duet with Mr. Christopher Lee and Fabio Lione you can't go back to the original version from last years album. Besides this, the two new songs are great Symphonic/Orchestral Power Metal songs.
To start off, I will say that I like Rhapsody. I may not be the biggest fan in the world, but I do like the majority of the material they pump out. I find them to mix symphony and metal perfectly...well most of the time.
The new "Magic of the Wizard's Dream" EP I personally found to be an utter piece of crap. If having Christopher Lee narrating their last album wasn't enough, they have him sing on this release! Yes, you read correct, he sings! Personally I like Christopher Lee as an actor, but as a singer....let's just say I hope he dies before Rhapsody releases another album.
The first track we get is The Magic of the Wizard's Dream, a newly recorded duet with Christopher Lee and Fabio Lione. Frankly, this isn't metal, and having Christopher Lee sing was a bad idea. It’s like a bad Chistopher Lee opera release! If that song weren't enough we also get it sung in Italian (ah!), French (Shit!), and German (FUCK!). We also get that an orchestral version of the song and even the original version! It's like I kept waking up from a bad dream and finding myself in another nightmare! That's right folks, we get 6 versions of this song. Talk about overkill. The EP's only saving grace is the two new Rhapsody tracks Autumn Twilight and Lo Specchio Dàrgento. These are both standard symphonic metal platters from the band, but nothing really spectacular.
Diehard fans may like this, but for passive fans like me, this is a joke. To me this release just seems to be a way for Rhapsody to squeeze a little more money from their fans.