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You Will Never be the Same Again - 100%

Immortally_Insane, July 6th, 2012

Luca Turilli is an Italian musician, specializing in guitar and keyboard, and is arguably best known for his work with power metal giant Rhapsody of Fire for nearly two decades. Turilli was Rhapsody of Fire’s lead guitarist, primary song writer and lyricist, but in 2011 the band Rhapsody of Fire continued on without Luca after Luca and Alex Staropoli, who plays keyboards for Rhapsody of Fire, decided on a friendly split. Staropoli would continue on as Rhapsody of Fire, and Luca would continue on as Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody, attaching his name to the epic name of Rhapsody to avoid any nonsensical lawsuits (You all know what I mean!).

Ascending to Infinity is LT’s Rhapsody’s first full length release, currently available in Europe and releasing in North America on July 3rd. On the band’s website they have three songs up for free streaming, new merchandise, and their next tour dates listed for Belgium, England, Spain, Italy, and France (sorry, no North American dates yet!). This album, produced and written by Luca, in my opinion, is the perfect example of beautiful, well written, and epic as fuck power metal. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rhapsody of Fire, but honestly…this is what Rhapsody of Fire wishes they sounded like. But hey, I’m not going to sit here and compare the two. I’ll save you all from that, because I’m sure you’ve seen it everywhere by now.

The whole album is heavily influenced from myth, with tracks like Clash of the Titans, Dante’s Inferno, and Excalibur, you cannot go wrong. What is more epic than mythology hailing from all over the world? (This album makes me really appreciate that college class I took on mythology. I now feel the need to thank my professor.) LT’s Rhapsody’s website quotes that they are born to sound cinematic, based on LT’s true passion for cinema and soundtracks, and it would be really hard to deny that when listening to the new album.

“Take an amazing journey through a world of wonders, to a place that will blow your mind and move your heart so you will never be the same again.”
You’re excited already aren’t you?

After the fantastic intro track the above quote was taken from, that does nothing less than make you want to piss your pants in anticipation, the album explodes into the title track Ascending to Infinity. It begins with a fantastic guitar driven intro, reminiscent of speed metal of the likes of Malmsteen, with perfectly articulated arpeggios that would make any guitarist jealous. The song’s true feeling comes to life when vocalist Alessandro Conti, an unknown voice to me before this, jumps in with amazing power and body to his voice. He manages to tower over a VERY commanding fanfare of instruments, and when the chorus comes in behind him… well I’ll keep it G-rated, but this chorus is absolutely breathtaking.

Dante’s Inferno is my favorite song on the album, and that may be because I do have a fond attachment to the epic poem, the Divine Comedy. In the poem, Dante is thrown into a hero’s journey through the depths of hell. “Abandon all hope ye who enter here” is inscribed in the gates he passes through. The song’s intro really makes me picture that exact moment when Dante reads those words but still continues on. The hero’s journey is broken up into many parts, the descent, the belly of the whale, and the return. This track does an amazing job of taking you along that journey, through perfectly written power metal (who would complain?) and brings this poem to life in a way that I’ve never heard before.

The album’s single, Dark Fate of Atlantis, features some fantastic musicianship all around, and a minute long intro that will send chills up your spine. Yet again, Conti’s vocals are very prominent and strong over a hard-hitting track, with fast drums and heavy guitars and keys. Of Michael the Archangel and Lucifer’s Fall, the end to this album (I know, I’m sad it’s over too) is a 16 minute long epic telling the tale of the Archangel Michael, broken into three parts. In my opinion this is one of Luca’s best epics. The three different parts to the song are distinguished, yet uniform enough to work together as a whole. The Frozen Tears of Angels (Rhapsody of Fire) is one of my favorite epics, also written by Luca Turilli, but this one tops it by far.

I can seriously go on forever about the many reasons you should order this album. 1) North America needs to realize if we want to see bands live on our side of the world we need to actually buy records. 2) There is a limited edition available with bonus songs including a Helloween cover. YAY! 3) This album is fucking amazing, in every way, it’s perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing. If my bosses would allow it, I would have seriously just published this review as “THIS ALBUM FUCKING RULES” and that’s all… but alas, that is not going to pass. So please, any fans of epic, symphonic, power, and the newly titles cinematic metal… buy this album. You won’t regret it.

100%, yeah I said it!

[Originally written for]