Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2024
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Privacy Policy

Rhapsody of Fire > Eternal Glory > Reviews
Rhapsody of Fire - Eternal Glory

Beginning of the Legend - 70%

Vespasiaan, April 4th, 2021

Every once in a while an act comes along in the endless stream of aspiring bedroom-studio musicians that catches the eye—or more accurately, the ear—of both the general public and recording labels. Even in the far, far away lands of the early to mid 1990s, what has since become one of the most influential power metal bands in history was struggling with the same initial trial by fire (of Fire?): the demo tape.

While initially Rhapsody had released a demo as Thundercross prior, this is the more complete version of this demo, and as such this is the version that should be looked at to answer the question, “Just where the hell did these guys come from?”

The most intriguing thing about this is the sheer skill on display. Actually, many of the songs here outdo their counterparts on Legendary Tales and Symphony of Enchanted Lands in that department. Even despite its quality of production which I will absolutely touch on, it’s rather impressive that at such a young age Turilli and the gang displayed a huge level of both confidence and ability at their selected instruments. Luca Turilli, who had only been playing guitar for all of six years at this point shows a clear understanding of his instrument that many veteran guitarists lack, and, most importantly, the ability to absolutely fucking shred, a key feature of power metal by all agreements.

Regarding production, it’s not exactly the pinnacle of metal demos. It’s very obvious they were in over their heads at least at the time for their vision. The orchestrations are the most obvious point of this, sticking out like a sore thumb. Then again, in those days you had to work with what you had, and that meant scouring everywhere for a damn violin sound for your keyboard. The guitar tone is ok, but lacks the cleanliness and polish of later Rhapsody studio productions. The bass is virtually inaudible, only coming through at a few different points. The entire mix really feels too quiet almost, but I don’t expect perfection from a demo, so whatever. The vocals of Cristiano Adacher are also almost drowned out by everything else going on.

It’s very interesting to see the direction Rhapsody was headed at this point. Rather than the grand orchestrations of Symphony of Enchanted Lands, it almost feels like the orchestra is just kind of...there. As an addition. But this is made up for by the focus on the guitars. For example, take Warrior of Ice, Alive and Proud (Lord of the Thunder) and Holy Wind (Riding the Winds of Eternity), all three of which are similar in the regard that their versions on official Rhapsody studio releases down the line have the addition of orchestral sections (and some major reworking on Holy Wind in particular). The shredding, arpeggiated solos are much more present than on Symphony of Enchanted Lands, reminding me a lot of early DragonForce.

There are many songs that have remained virtually unchanged. Invernal Fury (Rage of the Winter) and Land of Immortals are pretty much identical to their studio releases, the biggest difference being lyrics. Eternal Glory is very similar to its final product, but it is very obviously still a work in progress, the chorus being shorter here and less impactful than its later appearance. It also totally lacks the pounding brass in the intro.

There is also Tears at the Nightfall, which is the only truly unique song, and its basically just a midi instrumental, not unlike what appears on Legendary Tales in many regards.

The biggest disappointment here is the aforementioned Alive and Proud. To be honest, this version is a lot better than Lord of the Thunder. The riff is catchier, the solo is better, and the lyrics feel a lot more impactful. It’s truly only held back by its production, if this version had made it to Legendary Tales I guarantee it would rival even the likes of Emerald Sword.

Regarding the vocals of Cristiano Adacher, it’s very interesting to think about the direction Rhapsody could’ve gone had they stuck with him. His job is a lot less operatic than Fabio Lione’s, and while he can certainly hit notes, it lacks the same impact. He has very little vibrato which hurts the performance, and the majestic feel that Turilli has always aimed for.

Overall, while not the shiniest thing in the world, it’s a must listen for any diehard fans of Rhapsody or power metal in general, as I’m sure someone will get enjoyment out of it. I can’t say I like it as much as Symphony of Enchanted Lands, for such would be blasphemy, but it shows a lot of promise and potential for an act that would eventually become a powerhouse of the genre.

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.