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More aggressive, but still has Rhapsody on it. - 89%

PowerDaso, June 9th, 2010

Rhapsody basically disappeared from metal during four years, leaving the fans with a huge hunger of their traditional epic symphonies, along with the eagerness of listening to any news. The reason for their absence, well, none other but Joey DeMaio's quirky nature. Anyways, it was known that Rhapsody already had composed the music for a new album and was only in need of recording it and mixing it for the album. As soon as the album was announced, there was a huge outrage among Rhapsody's listeners, having big expectations on it, and they come up with this, "The Frozen Tears of Angels".

Starting off, this album is much more aggressive than their two previous efforts from The Dark Secret saga. There is a bigger spotlight on the guitar in here, having it with a higher volume than before and with Turilli playing some nice, churning riffs, keeping the atmosphere of the album being heavier and somehow even chaotic. Considering the fact that it's Rhapsody, I must not avoid mentioning the symphonies and heavy choirs in here. Actually, all the fanfares and strings in here do not play a big role, as they did in previous albums, but are just in there backing up the guitars or whatever is on the lead in the moment. The choirs, well, they do perform a pretty important task, considering some of the most important songs in here would not make any sense or would not be any fun without them, just like in the case of "Reign of Terror", one of the audience favorites.

Other elements also take a big role in this new, aggressive sound. Lione's vocals, for example, are still as good as before, but he does not goes up to high when singing, while he even surprises with new stuff, like the growls he did in "Reign of Terror". The drums, being played a bit faster than usual is just perfect for the mood. Bass lines are much more technical than before, this being proved by the various interludes the bass gets along the album, as well as a few solos that keep impressive every time I listen to them. Keyboards are actually as important as all the symphonic stuff in here is, so that would be... not much. But this adds certain darkness and coldness to the sound overall.

Solos on the album are quite a topic to talk about. Turilli has, in my opinion, never been much of a showoff; he just played some short solos that actually were quite technical but not extremelly memorable like, say, an Angra solo. But, as this is pretty much a new Rhapsody, this changed a lot. Turilli (yeah, again) is the spotlight on the album. During the solos, you will here some extremelly awesome sweep picking (in every single solo, probably). His scale changing between pentatonic and the normal scale is almost unnoticeable, as he knows how to do it properly (with the only exception of "Sea of Fate", but that was intentional). Now, on the Staropolli side, I must say I am almost disappointed. He only plays a few solos, and vaguely doing the song's main melody, a bit of bending and some, but really just a few, of fast playing. At times he repeats what Turilli played. I thought I would never say this, but actually the bass solos are my favorite thing in this album (considering it is Rhapsody and their bass was almost unaudible before). Patrice Guers does an excellent performance in here, showing himself off for the first time with some tapping and fast shredding on the bass. I must say he really impressed me.

Overall, I must say this is a pretty solid album by Rhapsody. A style change implied, they didn't failed at doing it, and still sound the way they used to sound (a bit). If you are expecting something good from this, you won't be disappointed, unless you wanted something filled with exaggerated symphonies, then I wouldn't recommend you this at all. If you are looking for that Rhapsody that didn't existed, with great riffs and permanent aggressivity, this is definitelly for you.

Highlights: "Sea of Fate", "Reign of Terror", "The Frozen Tears of Angels", "Raging Starfire", "On The Way to Ainor".