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King of the Nordic Twilight
Released: 1999, Limb Music
This seems to be a recurring trend in my reviews. I seem to always get my hands on a CD that is months old just in time to get it reviewed. Well here I am again and this month it is "King of the Nordic Twilight" by Luca Turilli that has been spinning in my CD player. As you may or may not know Luca is the founder and guitar player in progressive power metal heavyweights Rhapsody. Turilli hails from Italy and has put together an impressive band. The lineup on this release consists of Olaf Hayer : Vocals; Turilli : Guitar; Sascha Paeth (Heavens Gate): Bass; Robert Hunecke-Rizzo: Drums; Miro (Kamelot's Fourth Legacy) : Keyboards. and guest female vocals by Rannveig Sif Sigurdardottir. The CD is produced by Sascha Paeth and Miro who have also produced both Rhapsody CD's and the Fourth Legacy by Kamelot.
This CD is a concept disc and contains the first in a 3 part story. I won’t get into detail as you have to listen to the CD but as always it is the battle between good and evil. If you are a fan of Symphonic power metal than this is one CD that you should own. The CD kicks off with "To Magic Horizons" and segues into "Black Dragon" which is one of the better tunes on the CD. It is a swirling medley of pounding double bass kicks, soaring vocals, harpsichord and ripping guitars. This is one awesome tune. "The Legend of Steel" is up next and begins with an interesting intro on the harpsichord. The song itself is the perfect melting pot of symphony and power. Again Olaf provides great vocals. The masterpiece of the CD is the epic track "The Ancient Forest of Elves." This is one godly tune. It drags you in and just keeps you interested with the most infectious chorus that I have heard in a long time. This song features flute, trumpet, violin and a choir and it does nothing but make the song that much more powerful. "Where Heroes Lie" is up next and it carries on in the symphonic vein. There are lots of epic keyboards to go with the powerful vocals of Olaf Hayer. I wonder where this guy came from? I would love to hear what he is like in any of the other projects that he is involved with. His voice so effortlessly rises into the higher notes yet he has such a great deepness to his vocals that they are not the least bit irritating as some vocalists are with their high pitched wails. The two ballads on the CD, if you can call them ballads are great atmospheric pieces. The first is "Princess Aurora’ which is sang entirely by Rannveig Sif Sigurdardottir and contains mostly piano and orchestration and some drums during the chorus. A very interesting song which adds to the epic atmosphere of the whole release. "Warrior’s Pride" is more of a traditional ballad but the addition of harpsichord, heavy orchestration and a choir make this one of the standout tracks on the CD. It just adds so much emotion to the story that even if you are not a fan of ballads this song will not be skipped when you listen to this disc. The centerpiece of "King of the Nordic Twilight" is the title track. This song is 11 minutes of symphonic metal mastery. It starts slowly then kicks in with a full choir singing in Latin which always adds a medieval feel to any song. Numerous time changes, double bass drumming, great vocals, both Olaf and the choir’s, great guitars, orchestration and arrangements, make this song almost godly.
Luca Turilli succeeds in creating a CD that seamlessly combines the world of metal and the worldof classical music. The Production by Miro and Sascha Paeth is top notch and is effortless in its combination of so many non metallic elements. If this kind of music appeals to you then "King of the Nordic Twilight" is a disc you should not pass up.
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