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A Masterpiece difficult to be repeated by anyone - 98%

arkbath, April 16th, 2005

The first time I heard this album was in a friend’s rehearsal room. I was attracted by the cover artwork (I know that is a little bit awful, but it has something on it that attracts everyone) and listened because I was just too curious about how would it sound like. I got impressed immediately because of the originality and the complexity of the compositions throughout the album. Then I bought it and listened to it more carefully. I recognize it stayed in my stereo for quite a long time but then I listened to it occasionally. It passed a long time before I listened to the album again. I picked it up for writing this review and I remembered how great this release is. But let’s talk about the music…

When we talk about Rhapsody we can’t talk of one song in particular, because the meaning of their music is the album as a whole. Yes, there are great songs and others with nothing special, but the turnover that Rhapsody gave to metal music is much important. Just listen to the hundreds of new bands trying to sound as symphonic and powerful as Rhapsody. Some have managed great achievements, but no one will sound like Rhapsody. The highlight of this album is the fusion between classical music and power metal. There is no metal music followed by classical atmospheres, it is metal music composed with classical patterns and rules. Turilli and Staropoli are trying to immerse us in their fantasy world and they had great success. The best way to get someone interested is music haha. And the best part is that it there’s a strange link between the music and the story. I don’t know if the story fits the music or the music fits the story. Talking about some of the tracks: Epicus Furor is the best Rhapsody intro and so is Emerald Sword as an opening track; the main chorus are simply great and have impressing choir parts, and the guitar and violin solos gives this song a special taste that makes you enjoy it every time you hear it. Wisdom of the Kings follows with more violins and choirs. The closing track, Symphony of Enchanted Lands, is too long from my point of view but deserves a special mention because it flows from spoken parts, piano breakdowns, dramatic church-like singing to the classical metal with folkish riffs between amazing and before unheard arrangements in metal history. In fact, it resumes what Rhapsody is. Other songs to be heard and that complete this album and make it the best from the entire Rhapsody career are Eternal Glory, epic and powerful, with one of the most speedy and hard drum patterns I’ve ever heard; and of course, The Dark Tower of Abyss, which includes a unique baroque-metal fusion; this one must be one of the best remembered songs from Rhapsody.

If you’re disappointed with the lack of originality that has possessed this band within their following (accept it, Dawn of Victory still was good, but with for the last two albums everybody knew how they were going to sound like), go back for a while and remember the glorious times of Symphony of Enchanted Lands; and if you haven’t heard this band, this is the best and the ONLY way to get into their music. Enjoy it.