Released: 2002, Limb Music
Reviewer: Night of the Realm
It’s finally here. Three years after the release of his first solo work, KING OF THE NORDIC TWILIGHT (which I prefer even to Rhapsody’s amazing catalog), PROPHET OF THE LAST ECLIPSE, the second solo album by Rhapsody’s mastermind Luca Turilli has arrived. Fans of Rhapsody as well as Luca’s solo debut, KING OF THE NORDIC TWILIGHT will know exactly what to expect from this album. The lineup stays the same with Luca on guitars; Olaf Hayer: vocals; Miro: Keys; Sascha Paeth: Bass; Robert Hunecke-Rizzo: Drums. Again, as on KotNT, Sascha and Miro handle production duties.
The result? Luca calls his latest work “Symphonic Cosmic Metal,” a description that is right on target. PROPHET OF THE LAST ECLIPSE is a concept album set in the future, and Luca has incorporated a number of spacey/futuristic synths and effects on this album to create a sound that could easily fit as the soundtrack to a computer game or sci-fi movie.
“War Of The Universe” starts the album off following a typical Rhapsody-style intro. The song is full of sweeping power, and it sets the theme for the rest of the album to come. “Rider Of The Astral Fire” carries along in the same vein before winding down into the first atmospheric movement of the album, “Zaephyr Skies’ Theme.” Amanda Somerville provides the vocals on this track; her voice is soft and delicate. I could continue to detail each song one by one, but my words cannot describe in detail the sheer force and epic nature of this album. Luca put everything in his repertoire into this album. Every note on the album fits seamlessly together; soaring leads, bombastic choirs, operatic female vocals, and thundering double-bass kicks jump out and hook the listener at every turn.
The closing three tracks on this album eclipse (no pun intended) even the excellent first half of the album. “Demonheart” is a slightly more beefed-up version of the track that appeared on the EP teaser by the same name. I find the drums and solos on “Demonheart” to be exceptional. This is one of the best tracks that Luca Turilli has ever written. The choirs on the chorus simultaneously send chills up my spine and almost bring tears to my eyes. You must hear this song to believe its sheer power!
“New Century’s Tarantella” deviates from the futuristic theme of the album in favour of a folk-metal song combining the Italian tarantella (with accordion), Peruvian wood flutes, and Luca’s unique metal style. The concept behind this song is brilliant, and its inclusion on the album becomes clear when one reads the lyrics and associated storyline. Closing the album is the title track, an epic nearly twelve minutes in length. This epic musically sums up nearly all of PROPHET OF THE LAST ECLIPSE.
In addition to the excellent musicianship on the album, Olaf Hayer’s vocals make the album truly special. Olaf’s voice is perfectly suited for this type of metal; he has a great vocal range and can sing with power throughout it. Truly, he is one of the best vocalists in the power metal genre today. In addition, Rannveig Sif Sigurdardottir, who exclusively performed the female vocals on KING OF THE NORDIC TWILIGHT, returns to perform backing vocals and a solo on the album’s title track. My only complaint is that Rannveig does not have more parts on this album; her voice is very rich and beautiful.
The version I have is the limited edition book, which comes in a beautiful hardbound book-styled case, and in addition to the lyrics, contains liner notes of Luca’s comments regarding each song. The album also has two bonus tracks, “Dark Comet’s Reign,” and the EP version of “Demonheart” with Andre Matos (Angra) on vocals. While his performance does not compare to Olaf’s, it is still an interesting track.
Luca Turilli delivers another excellent album with PROPHET OF THE LAST ECLIPSE. I cannot fairly compare this album with Rhapsody’s catalog, nor even with Luca’s first solo album, but as far as my personal preferences go, both Luca Turilli solo albums are superior to Rhapsody’s entire catalog. This album is going to strike into my top 5 for the year for sure. Power metal fans should not miss this one!