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Rhapsody (I refuse to use the "of Fire" part) are one of those bands that have the most dedicated fans and the most rabid haters. Fans praise the band constantly, hailing their power metal prowess and haters relish in the disgusting overly happy 'flower' metal. Well I probably fit in more with the first group, Rhapsody have been one of my favorite power metal bands throughout the years, Dawn of Victory was one of my first power metal albums and is still at the top of my list. They have accomplished much in their existance creating very symphonic, epic and majestic power metal that few other bands can claim prize to.
Now I'll get off their laps and talk about the DVD. Visions From The Enchanted Lands is an excellent collection of live performances on their first North American tour and some shots of their performances at Earthshaker Fest. Before I get to the actual songs and performances, I will admit this is quite possibly the best footage of live bands played, perfect camera angles, professional camera men with lighting in all the right places, shots at each individual member at the right timing of their highlights, all of this fits in perfectly for each performance. Absolutly top notch production makes this an already elite DVD before we get on to the music.
Their are specific segments that go behind the scenes and show a making of a music video with the talented and amazing Christopher Lee guest starring and aiding his friends. The backstage glimpses show the band members in a lighter side where the mood is completly happy and an atmosphere of fun is about (oh yeah dramatic difference from their sound) where the Outakes reel shows a scene where Alex Starapoli is all worried about his plane flight and his fellows all mess with him a bit etc. This is all bonus for fans who like to delve deeper into seeing the band members in particular. There is even a segment dedicated to the fans.
Rhapsody are on top of their game with this, all the songs are done with such professional skill and ease that they sound like almost duplicates from the actual album studio recording. Fabio Leone I think shines the most on here, he has great stage energy and really knows how to work with the crowd and entertain them, for example having them participate in singing and messing with them by showing off his vocal range, go watch and you'll see what I mean. He is quite an exceptional singer and could very well fit in the opera if he wanted to, but I'm glad he doesn't he fits Rhapsody's power metal style perfectly.
Luca Turilli and Dominique Leurquin are both above adequate guitarists, while Luca is the more talented and gifted musician. He stands out over everyone else when Fabio isn't singing, from his blazingly fast shred solos to the power metal riffs his showmanship and flair is flawless. Patrice Guers is also a competent bassist making himself known with small noticeable bass sections in each individual songs, but more like going with the flow.
Not to be forgotten is the one and only Rhapsody drummer, the stellar Alex Holzwarth. His talent is noted all throughout their music and he makes himself known with a Drum Solo in their Canadian show where his skills are flaunted with eye gouging double bass.
All of the famous and well known Rhapsody songs are here, Land of Immortals, Holy Thunderforce, Emerald Sword, Village of Dwarves - all which are great live songs that get the crowd going. There are even a couple lesser well known songs like the epic Erian's Mystical Rhymes that all mystify the audience. The making of the music video for Unholy Warcry and the actual video itself are nice added bonuses that make for great additions. The only thing I could find myself being disappointed by with this DVD is that it is too short, there aren't enough fan favorites and they could have put in more, but I guess this can be outweighed with all the other bonuses littered throughout.
For those hardcore Rhapsody fans, you'll be pleased that their are two audio recordings of previously unreleased songs and might I say that they are fucking EXCELLENT! Great songs that I hope and pray to Odin will be released on their next album! This is highly recommended if you are a fan of live performances that showcase a great sense of professionalism towards the dedication of creating a live experience that is quite memorable. And of course, this is essential for Rhapsody fans.