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Rhapsody
Dawn of Victory
December 2000
Released: 2000, SPV/Limb Music
Rating: 4.7/5
Reviewer: Joe

The undisputed "Kings of Italian Hobbit Metal" have returned with Dawn of Victory, the third installment in their saga of the Emerald Sword. This time, the Warrior of Ice is leading an army of fighters against the armies of Dargor, Prince of the Darklands and servant of the evil Akron. Overall, a much more violent and bloody chapter in the story. And for this, fans of Rhapsody should be thankful...



According to guitarist Luca Turilli, the band likes to write music which adequately reflects the moods set by the lyrics, therefore the majority of the songs on Dawn of Victory are faster and heavier with fewer "mellow breakdowns" than the songs on their previous two albums, Legendary Tales and Symphony of Enchanted Lands. While I enjoyed Rhapsody’s earlier CD’s very much, I took an immense liking to this new release right away. Without compromising their heavily orchestrated sound, they’ve managed to write some incredible double-bass laden Power Metal tunes like "Triumph For My Magic Steel", the Yngwie-esque "Dargor, Shadowlord of the Black Mountain", "Holy Thunderforce", "The Last Winged Unicorn", and the title track. Amazing stuff, to say the least.



Featuring the same line-up as Symphony of Enchanted Lands (with the exception of drummer Danielle Carbonera, who has been replaced by Alex Holzwarth), the band has turned in yet another astounding performance, made all the more impressive by the extra double-bass drumming , the increased prominence of the guitar in the mix, and abundance of solos. (Being a huge fan of great guitar plying and double-bass drumming, I cannot emphasize this enough...) The layout of the booklet is much better this time as the one for Symphony... . That one was a single-sheet styled insert, that when flipped out, extended to approximately four feet in length! (Despite all the exceptional artwork that was inside, a four foot long CD booklet just isn’t practical, IMO.) The pictures of the band are really cool this time as well... They all look like they stepped straight out of the pages of Tolkien GQ, hehehe...



Anyway, if you liked Rhapsody’s previous works, then Dawn of Victory is an absolute MUST HAVE!!! Yes, it’s full of classical and folk music elements... Yes, it has huge sounding choral arrangements... Yes, it contains lyrics about warriors, wizards, and demons... But don’t let that deter you, GET IT NOW!!!
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Next review: » Rhapsody - Dawn of Victory
Previous review: » Revolver - Turbulence

Rhapsody
Dawn of Victory
December 2000
Released: n/a, Limb Music
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Rick

"At the court of King Chaos, only blood can write its own tragedy.." Dawn of Victory. The Kings of Symphonic Metal are at it again with the third CD which continues on with the story that they started on Legendary Tales and continued on Symphony of Enchanted Lands. Luca Turilli and his merry band of Italian minstrels have created another CD that combines the best of the world of powermetal with excellent classical compositions to create a disc that stands right up there with their first 2 releases. If anything this disc is more straight forward, driving metal. All the classical elements are still there but the tunes themselves are much more guitar oriented than on past releases. The reason being, that Rhapsody had a second guitarist along on their last tour with Stratovarius and loved the heavy guitar sound. When the time came to produce the disc the band paid much more attention to the guitar sound. This was not done at the expense of the overall epic sound that the band had been cultivating. According to keyboardist Alex Strapoli, "We didn’t neglect the cinematic side of our music. We are still huge fans of Hollywood film scores, such as those by Danny Elfman and Jerry Goldsmith. You can hear that we have a weakness for them throughout the album." Turilli and Strapoli are joined on Dawn of Victory by Fabio Leone on vocals, Alessandro Lotta: bass and new drummer Alex Holzworth.



Now what would a Rhapsody CD be without a Classical intro complete with a choir? Well we won’t have to find out on Dawn of Victory as the disc opens with "Lux Triumphans" and carries on into the title track. This is a straight ahead power track in the vein of "Land Of Immortals" from Legendary Tales. Holzworth wastes no time proving that he is very capable behind the drum kit. Next up is one of my favourite tracks on the disc, "Triumph For My Magic Steel". I don’t know what it is about the harpsichord but to me it just adds so much to Rhapsody’s sound. This song also features some great violin work by Maggie Ardorf. One of the best tracks on this release. "The Village of Dwarves" is a very folkish sounding track complete with violin (again) and piccolo. "The Bloody Rage of the Titans" is an epic ballad with contains some tasteful keyboards by Strapoli. The centerpiece of the disc is the first single "Holy Thunderforce" This song would be right at home on the soundtrack of the upcoming movie "Dungeons and Dragons". An epic symphonic metal romp across the medieval battlefield with Fabio Leone leading the way on "The Last Winged Unicorn"! Great track. The CD closes out with the epic track. "The Mighty Ride of the Firelord". How else would a Rhapsody CD close?



Again Rhapsody have gone with the production team of Sasha Paeth and Miro and again the production is outstanding. And true to the bands word, this CD is a bit more aggressive than their previous work. There is much more guitar and Holzworth beats his bass drums to bits. The artwork is equally more aggressive than their other CDs. The cover art is by Marc Klinnert who has done work in the past for Axel Rudi Pell among others. The cover depicts a warrior in the midst of battle, wielding his sword and battle axe, striking down his enemy. Great piece of art. Rhapsody have stayed true to their symphonic metal creed and have created and another great disc of Classical Orchestral Metal.
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Next review: » Rhapsody - Eternal Glory
Previous review: » Revolver - Turbulence





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