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.
Interviewed in New York City on May 29th, 2012 Interview by Kyle Moore (The Metal Magnus)
After seeing their fantastic live show in The Big Apple, I got the chance to sit down with RHAPSODY OF FIRE keyboardist & songwriter Alex Staropoli. We discussed their current album, difficulties with record labels, and the future of the band now that their Emerald Sword saga is complete. Happy viewing!
today is a great and very important day for our band. We are finally proud to present the new singer of LT’S RHAPSODY to the world, the person who, thanks to his unique vocal talent, will contribute to the artistic perspectives of the band in the years to come.
The secret is finally revealed: the new singer is Italian and his name is ALESSANDRO CONTI.
LT Rhapsody: ALESSANDRO CONTI
“Alessandro is the singer of our band since many months already but we wanted to present him in the way he deserves, and this means: through his voice!” says Luca Turilli, and adds: “We wanted to find a singer able to sing in different ways and offering different “colors”. Such ability is fundamental for me as in every RHAPSODY album I like to compose different styles of songs, passing from the most cinematic and epic impact of some songs to the operatic majesty of other ones, from celestial voices to more aggressive tones. Alessandro was just the best choice in this sense as, in between the multitude of all his vocal colors, he has a great high tone but also an operatic approach that makes the difference. He studied at the “Corale Lirica Rossini” of Modena as first tenor, the same school attended by the great and unforgettable Luciano Pavarotti”.
The first official statement of Alessandro as member of LT’S RHAPSODY:
“I am very enthusiastic to be the new voice of RHAPSODY and the person the band was searching for. ASCENDING TO INFINITY is just an amazing piece of art and maybe not even the word “epic” is enough to describe its emotional power… what is sure is that I am really proud to be part of it. Now I am looking forward to meeting all the existing and new RHAPSODY fans around the world. See you soon!”.
The new album is entitled ASCENDING TO INFINITY and will be released on JUNE 22 by NUCLEAR BLAST.
LINK TO THE EXCLUSIVE TRAILER AND TO LISTEN TO SOME EXCERPTS FROM THE UPCOMING RELEASE:
This May/June Australian prog-rock heavyweights VOYAGER will be heading to the US to tour as main support for iconic Italian symphonic power metal band RHAPSODY OF FIRE. Fresh on the heels of releasing their latest album The Meaning Of I and after winning over US crowds at the prestigious Prog Power Fest USA 2011, the band are pumped to hit US shores once more to spread the ‘V’ message far and wide. The comprehensive tour will run from coast to coast and everywhere else in between.
Tour dates are as follows:
25 – The Trocadero – Philadelphia, PA
26 – Soundstage – Baltimore,MD
27 – The Palladium – Worcester, MA
29 – Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
30 – Club Soda – Montreal, QC
31 – Imperial de Quebec – Quebec City, QC
1 – Mod Club – Toronto, CA
3 – Peabody`s – Cleveland, OH
4 – Altar Bar – Pittsburgh, PA
5 – Mojoes – Joliet, IL
6 – Station 4 – St. Paul, MN
8 – Gothic Theater – Englewood, NJ
10 – El Corazon – Seattle, WA
11 – Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
12 – Slim’s – San Francisco, CA
14 – House of Blues – San Diego, CA
15 – The Grove – Anaheim, CA
LUCA TURILLI’S RHAPSODY have unveiled the new cover artwork of the upcoming album Ascending To Infinity, due out on June 29th in Europe via Nuclear Blast (North American release date to be confirmed). The illustration was realized once again by Felipe Machado Franco, also known for his work for bands like BLIND GUARDIAN, RHAPSODY OF FIRE, RAGE and IRON SAVIOR.
An update from Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody reads as follows:
“Hi to everybody. We all know that many of you were waiting for the news about our new singer and it is true that his name was supposed to be revealed right today. But as the mix of the album already started and the result of his artistic performance on Ascending To Infinity is simply brilliant, then we decided to not present our singer by simply revealing his name. Instead, with the next news of Tuesday, March 27, we’ll present him in the best way possible, the one we know you surely prefer. This means that on that day you will have the possibility to discover him and his talent listening to some excerpts from our new album, exclusively from our new band’s website.”
With over 60 minutes of music, the tracklisting to Ascending To Infinity is as follows:
‘Ascending To Infinity’
‘Tormento E Passione’
‘Dark Fate Of Atlantis’
‘Clash Of The Titans’
‘Of Michael The Archangel And Lucifer’s Fall’
I. ‘Alma Mundi’
Ii. ‘Fatum Mortalis’
Iii.’ Ignis Divinus’
Italian composer & guitar shredder Luca Turilli reports that LT’s RHAPSODY’s new album will be entitled Ascending To Infinity and will be released this summer in North America by Nuclear Blast.
With over 60 minutes of music, the track listing to Ascending To Infinity is as follows:
01 – QUANTUM X
02 – ASCENDING TO INFINITY
03 – DANTE’S INFERNO
04 – EXCALIBUR
05 – TORMENTO E PASSIONE
06 – DARK FATE OF ATLANTIS
07 – FANTASIA GOTICA
08 – CLASH OF THE TITANS
09 – OF MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL AND LUCIFER’S FALL
I. ALMA MUNDI
II. FATUM MORTALIS
III. IGNIS DIVINUS
Luca checks in with fans about the production that’s currently happening in Kempten, Germany at Sebastian Roeder’s Backyard Studios:
“Hi to everybody! The production is proceeding perfectly and my friend Sebastian and I are having a great time while working on the new album here in the cold Kempten, with the snow visiting us from time to time. Nice atmosphere indeed!
“As you know, in December Alex Holzwarth recorded all his drum parts. Right now we just ended the recording of the new singer and all the choirs. In some days, it will be time for Dominique [Leurquin, guitarist] and Patrice [Guers, bassist] to record their parts while I will soon go back to Italy. There, in my private home studio, I will record the rest of the rhythmic and lead guitar parts, the keyboard, and the piano and will finalize the last orchestral arrangements for the mix. All in all, the entire studio production of the new album Ascending To Infinity will last around four months, but this is normal considering the artistic ambition of the release, the rich presence of choirs and orchestra, the people involved, and the record company’s unique support.
“If you ask me which has been one the most exciting moments of the studio production, I can tell you that recording the new LT’s RHAPSODY singer has been really amazing. I will use the words of my friend Sebastian to define the skill of the new front man: fantastic and with an unlimited potential. If you want to know more, I can tell you that on our band’s website. Exclusive news about him will soon be released. Stay tuned!”
Check the official LUCA TURILLI’S RHAPSODY website at www.LTRHAPSODY.com on February 27th, 2012 for the exclusive presentation of their new, outstanding singer!
A video trailer of the upcoming new release by Luca Turilli’s RHAPSODY can be viewed on YouTube.
Next year, guitarist / composer Luca Turilli will debut his new band – which includes guitarist Dominique Leurquin, bassist Patrice Guers, and drummer Alex Holzwarth – as RHAPSODY. The new album will also feature a full choir and orchestra and present the RHAPSODY’s new lead singer.
LUCA TURILLI'S RHAPSODY: A NEW ADVENTURE BEGINS
More news to come on December 19th.
As previously announced this past August, Luca Turilli and keyboard player Alex Staropoli decided on an amicable split.
The band Rhapsody Of Fire has begun booking new concert dates for the upcoming world tour that will be announced later this year. The band has also just released the first photo of the new complete lineup.
Everyone in the band is extremely motivated and ready to take the stages around the world by storm. More news about the tour is coming soon.
Rhapsody Of Fire 2011
Previous news from late September 2011:
The band Rhapsody Of Fire proudly announces the name of the 2nd guitar player who will join them on stage: Italian guitar player Roberto De Micheli.
After weeks of considering whom among thousands of guitar players would be chosen to join the band on their upcoming world tour, Rhapsody Of Fire had finally selected the very best guitarist out of many great guitar players wanting to tour with them.
Alex Staropoli says: “With so many very good guitar players to chose from, it took time and great care to find the absolute best guitar player for us. In the end, we decided on Roberto De Micheli due to his complete mastery of the guitar, his unique abilities to amaze all those who hear and watch him play live, and his complete dedication as a musician. I have known Roberto De Micheli since the early 1990’s. The decision to finally chose him over all other guitarists in the world to play with us became very obvious and natural the more we considered all our options. After so many years, he is still highly devoted to his instrument. He remains passionate and enthusiastic about rehearsing and playing music many hours every day. He is also a perfect fit for Rhapsody Of Fire because he continues the band’s tradition of being a truly professional, polite and a positive person to work with. Roberto De Micheli and Tom Hess are already working together on their guitar parts for the upcoming Rhapsody Of Fire tour, that’s just very exciting! The huge anticipation of the band’s new lineup, sound and upcoming world tour has been something much greater and more exciting than we have ever experienced before from fans all over the world.”
RHAPSODY OF FIRE vocalist Fabio Lione is featured in a new audio interview with The Age Of Metal. He discusses the departure of founding guitarist Luca Turilli, working with legendary actor Christopher Lee, and his current status as the temporary live vocalist for KAMELOT. Check it out via the player below:
Back in August – after 15 years of friendship, hard work and passion, fully invested in the creation of symphonic music and an epic saga that will remain in the history of heavy metal – Rhapsody Of Fire’s Alex Staropoli (keyboards) and Luca Turilli (guitars) have agreed upon a friendly split. They have issued the following statement:
“Ten albums released and the end of the saga represent, musically and lyrically, an important artistic goal finally reached, underlined by the success of our last release From Chaos To Eternity, for which we want to thank our wonderful fans once again. Now it came the time when new artistic stimulations need to be found, in respect of both parts’ visions and perspectives and of our longtime friendship.”
Due to the latest legal agreements, Staropoli will go on with Rhapsody Of Fire having, between the others, Fabio Lione as singer, Tom Hess as guitar player and Alex Holzwarth as drummer.
Under the same agreements and the original band name’s common ownership, Turilli will release his future works with a new RHAPSODY band, including the faithful band members Dominique Leurquin, Patrice Guers and Alex Holzwarth.
Staropoli: “While wishing the best to Luca and his new band, I want to tell you that Fabio and myself feel motivated and stronger than ever and that Rhapsody Of Fire are already planning a great worldwide tour. More information regarding the new bass player and the new second guitar player will follow. Stay tuned!”
Trieste, Italy September 1, 2011 – The band Rhapsody Of Fire is proud to announce the name of a new band member who will join forces with Fabio Lione, Alex Staropoli, Tom Hess and Alex Holzwarth. German bass player Oliver Holzwarth (brother of Rhapsody Of Fire drummer Alex Holzwarth) has joined the band as an official and permanent member of Rhapsody Of Fire, and will be involved in both live performances and studio recordings.
Oliver is an excellent bass player who has toured with Blind Guardian, Tarja Turunen and Sieges Even and has recorded several studio albums with Blind Guardian.
Alex Staropoli says: “It’s a true privilege and honor to have the two Holzwarth brothers playing together in Rhapsody Of Fire. I am sure it will be fantastic to have the best rhythmic section on this planet, a unique and true force of nature, on our side. I am really looking forward to hearing them shaking the stages around the world on our upcoming world tour.”
After 15 years of friendship, hard work and big passion, fully invested in the creation of symphonic music and an epic saga that will remain in the history of heavy metal, keyboardist Alex Staropoli and guitarist Luca Turilli of Italian symphonic metal masters RHAPSODY OF FIRE have decided to go their separate ways.
“10 albums released and the end of the saga represent, musically and lyrically, an important artistic goal finally reached, underlined by the success of our last release, ‘From Chaos To Eternity’, for which we want to thank our wonderful fans once again. Now it came the time when new artistic stimulations need to be found, in respect of both parts’ visions and perspectives and of our longtime friendship,” Staropoli and Turilli said in a joint statement.
Due to legal reasons, Staropoli will continue under the RHAPSODY OF FIRE name with a band lineup that will also include Fabio Lione on vocals, Tom Hess on guitar and Alex Holzwarth on drums. Turilli, on the other hand, will make his future efforts available under the RHAPSODY moniker (RHAPSODY’s original name), in which he will be joined by musicians Dominique Leurquin, Patrice Guers and Alex Holzwarth.
Commented Alex: “While wishing the best to Luca and his new band, I want to tell you that Fabio and myself feel motivated and stronger than ever and that RHAPSODY OF FIRE are already planning a great worldwide tour. More information regarding the new bass player and the new second guitar player will follow. Stay tuned!”
RHAPSODY OF FIRE’s latest album, “From Chaos To Eternity”, was released in North America on July 12 via Nuclear Blast Records. Described by the band as “the natural evolution” from last year’s “The Frozen Tears Of Angels”, the CD marks RHAPSODY OF FIRE’s final release based on the fantasy saga started in 1997 with the group’s debut album, “Legendary Tales”.
“From Chaos To Eternity” was released in Europe in a standard jewelcase edition of 24 pages, and in an exclusive limited edition of 48 pages, full of great and unique surprises, as well as two bonus tracks, for a total of 65 minutes of RHAPSODY OF FIRE’s legendary music.
Let Me Hear You Scream Sweden Rockkkk.Well the annual roadtrip to Swedenrock by the Finnish Metal Rules.com team is already into it’s 11th year! The 2011 line up presented a wide range of metal and hard rock in the line-up. Over 70 metal and rock bands offered one hell of an experience for the attendees. Sweden Rock has been successful during the past ten years as the festival has always been sold out. This year wasn’t any exception as the fest was sold out despite the lousy economic situation worldwide and the ticket price had risen a little bit. ver these 11 years of coverage, it has become quite logical for us to give an in depth article of several bands performing at Sweden Rock to all the readers out there. The weather once again showed positive and negative aspects like in 2010. It either rained or was windy with a little sunshine. But we were there for bands, not for having some beach party crap. Unfortunately, we are not able to cover every bloody band, but hopefully you will have a pleasant reading experience… Enjoy or die!!!