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Unmemorably disappointing. - 30%

kalashi, December 17th, 2004

Having listened to this album many times in an attempt to find some redeeming feature, I admit defeat. Firstly, I must admit to not having listened to Symphony of Enchanted Lands I, so when I compare it will be with The Power of the Dragonflame (a far superior effort, in my mind). I had high expectations of this, so the fall was even greater (the only reason it gets 30 points is because I was afraid I might be being a bit harsh. Although I'm sure I'm not).
The orchestral and spoken parts turn this album into a boring, featureless nothing. Especially the first four minutes of crap from Christopher Lee, which I advocate scratching off the CD with a nail before you play it.
In some of the songs (Unholy Warcry, Sacred Power of Raging Winds) there is some hint of the catchiness of "Knightrider of Doom" and "March of the Swordsmaster", but this is always hidden behind a layer of symphonic rubbish and choirs. Blind Guardian can do it. Rhapsody fail here.
Also, whenever there is an unbroken passage of almost catchy music, it's interrupted by various tossers crapping on about the storyline. I'm not against storyline-themed albums, generally they are quite good, but the monstrous storyline has taken over the music in this, and destroyed most of what musical value was here. Instead of having 30 second bits of storyline (ala Blind Guardian) they seem to go for hours (actually about 2-3 minutes).
As I have said, mostly the instruments are hidden behind the rubbish; they're hardly worth mentioning. I don't think I've managed to find the guitar yet, the bass is non-existent; they could've removed them and just used the keyboard and drum and I don't think anyone would notice the difference.
Overall, the impression that I got from this album was that Rhapsody are trying to make themselves the next Mozarts, rather than trying to create a piece of enjoyable music. The album isn't unlistenable awful, there's just nothing of interest in it. Ultimately, the only thing worth buying this album for is the cover art; if you're looking for good, catchy power metal (or "symphonic" metal), look elsewhere.