RHAPSODY OF FIRE With VOYAGER – The Gramercy New York, NY May 29th, 2012

June 18th, 2012
by Kyle Moore (The Metal Magnus)

RHAPSODY OF FIRE

With VOYAGER

Words and pictures by Kyle Moore, the Metal Magnus

The Gramercy – New York, NY

May 29th, 2012

 

RHAPSODY OF FIRE is a band that mostly passed me by. I couldn’t handle the demon-wizard dragon battles. Just couldn’t. So for years, I ignored a band that completely owns a self-created genre – “film-score metal.” Sure, I’d heard a few songs and read about their recent troubles with record labels and former bandmates, but I was busy learning the back-catalogues of MOONSORROW at the time. Then the opportunity came to see them live and even interview them, so I figured I’d better start doing my homework before I set foot into NYC’s Gramercy theater.

Speaking of doing my homework, I did exactly zero about the other three bands on the bill. If I haven’t heard of a band appearing before a headliner, I like to know absolutely nothing about them; it enables me to be totally blown out of the water when the rare band comes along that is really, really good. This has only happened once before, and that honor goes to the afore-mentioned MOONSORROW. That band blew my mind to pieces, and they also upstaged their sister-band FINNTROLL. But back to the show at hand…

 

VOYAGER


The first two groups on the bill aren’t worth mentioning. I forgot their names the second they got off stage in the not-as-crowded-as-it-should-have-been Gramercy. But then came VOYAGER. This Australian five-piece came in with loads of attitude, gobs of confidence, and an eclectic sound that defies description. Vocalist Danny Estrin’s voice sounds more like something from England’s synthpop heyday from the 80’s. And that’s not a bad thing – no matter how odd it seems, VOYAGER manages to take normally-discordant elements and blend them successfully together. The highlight of the evening was a hilariously tongue-in-cheek medley of totally unrelated songs, including “Back in Black”, “Killing in the Name Of”, the theme from the Ghostbusters movie (no, I’m not kidding), and best of all, “America, Fuck Yeah!” from Trey Parker & Matt Stone’s masterpiece TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE. All in all, I absolutely loved their set and would jump at the chance to see them live again. This is a daring, innovative band that puts on an amazing live show that everybody should see.

 

 

RHAPSODY OF FIRE


For RHAPSODY OF FIRE, I felt that I would be asking for bewilderment if I didn’t do a lot of listening homework before seeing their live show. So for the last week, I’d been constantly spinning their latest album FROM CHAOS TO ETERNITY. The title track has been stuck deep into my head since I first heard it, and it shows no sign of leaving – and to my greatest joy, the title track was the first song they played to a giddy crowd. I became likewise giddy and pumped when newcomer guitarist Tom Hess let rip the first vicious riff. Vocalist Fabio Leone sounds even better live that he does on the records – there is clearly zero auto-tune used on this man and his incredible voice. I wonder if he trained to be an opera singer as a young man…

 

I was especially fond of Fabio’s stage banter. He told some great anecdotes about Sir Christopher Lee, the first Italian song they ever composed, and running into Andrea Bocelli while trying to find a car. You could really tell how deeply the band respects and cherishes their fans, as each band member really went out of their way to give fans in the pit a special evening. Fabio even had a little conversation with somebody in the front row, and the others were constantly hi-fiving fans or posing outlandishly for pictures.

RHAPSODY OF FIRE’S set heavily focused on older material, which I found somewhat disappointing given the strength of their most recent two albums. They have a more progressive, thrashier sound that I find enormously appealing, and it makes the “demon dragon wizard” pill much easier to swallow. The new album was only featured at the beginning of their set, and at the very end, as fans were treated to fragments of the “Emerald Sword saga” conclusion at the end of the second (yes, second) encore.

Overall, RHAPSODY OF FIRE put on a fantastic show. Their energy, passion, and technical aptitude make for a great concert-going experience. And after a while, those demon-wizard-dragon battles become kinda cool.

 

Setlist

Dark Mystic Vision

Ad Infinitum

From Chaos To Eternity

Triumph or Agony

The Village of the Dwarves

Unholy Warcry

Lamento Eroico

Land of Immortals

Drum/bass solo

The March of the Swordmaster

Dawn of Victory

The Magic of the Wizards’ Dream

Holy Thunderforce

 

Encore 1

 

Reign of Terror

Knightrider of Doom

 

Encore 2

 

Epicus Furor

Emerald Sword

Erian’s Lost Secrets

Ancient’s Glory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



More pics of VOYAGER below….


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