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It's massive, but was it worth it? - 81%

Kanwvlf, October 4th, 2004

Let me start by saying that, on this album, Christopher Lee's narration is spot on. His voice is absolutely perfect for the job, with his excellent thespian pronounciation, and English accent, he surpasses all expectations. Unfortunately, once you get quite a way through the album, you've had enough of him, because there is around (if not more than) fifteen minutes of narration here, which is overkill, despite explaining the story well.

Now, my main problem with this album is that it appears to be Luca Turilli's hedonism all coming out as one, huge mastubatory, yet epic, album. He, and every single person on this album, manage to combine the symphony orchestra, and the fifty piece choir very well. But was it all needed? I mean, it sounds absolutely amazing, when the choir members voices are building up, with the orchestra accompanying them. And, yes, it does sound spectacularly epic, too.

Also, the guitar (as always, with Rhapsody) is usually drowned out by everything going on around it. This means, you don't hear the riffs very well, just the guitar being faintly rocked on in the background. The solos are generally as clear as day, and as they should be. We shouldn't have to suffer (used very lightly) masses of symphony and orchestra, only to be able to hear a slight maelstrom of riffing behind it. The bass seems to be rather high up in the mix, giving the album a needed heaviness, to counter against all of the orchestra. Also, Fabio's voice sounds to be the highest in the mix, and therefore expectedly blasts out above everything else. This can get a little tedious, and annoying. But, it sounds excellent once the choir are accompanying him. The drums seem to be a non-entity, never really showing anything special, just accompanying the rhythm section.

The songs on this album are all well constructed, but none seem to stand out like the amazing Unholy Warcry. The rest just seem to have the ability to meld into one massive blast of epic, despite being broken up by narration, and little interludes. This is also a problem with the album, as it can get tedious, as the songs to tend to have a very familiar sound about them.

Of course, if you're a fan of Rhapsody, and Luca's work, you'll eat this up. If you're new to Rhapsody, you'll probably really enjoy it, too. But, if you've been listening to them for a while, or are fed up of the whole symphonic power metal movement, this most likely won't do anything to change your opinion, or give you a new look upon the genre.