Rhapsody Of Fire – The Eighth Mountain

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Rhapsody Of Fire – The Eighth Mountain
Label: AFM
Released: 2019
Reviewed: March 2019
Reviewed by:  Manos X
Rating: 4/5

Rhapsody of Fire is back with their 12th album titled THE EIGHTH MOUNTAIN Almost 2 years after LEGENDARY YEARS, the re-recording of many songs from their back catalog featuring new singer at the time Giacomo Voli and with their line up unchanged we’re served with their latest offering.

Rhapsody of Fire was and still is an ambitious band. They continuous efforts of combining power metal  with opera, classical music and folk even though they weren’t the first created a wave of bands (mostly Italian) that tried to sound similar but with perhaps a few exception most of them failed.

Rhapsody of Fire is a band that actually had it all. Kick ass guitars and blazing neoclassical solos, frantic drums, masterful keyboards and distinct vocals from the charismatic Fabio Leone. Everything about this band is amplified to the max.
The vocals soar, the guitars shred and often battling keyboards into a display of skill, the compositions are pompous with tons of choirs/strings, album covers always look like epic paintings and of course each album has a certain story that it follows to the letter.

So if you think that after 26 years and 12 albums their recipe is going to change you must be delusional. All of the above trademarks are here with the only exception of Giacomo Voli’s vocals that sound more modern (or mainstream if you prefer) and his delivery is far less operatic than its predecessor but at the same time the heroic element that was always apparent has been toned down.

THE EIGHT MOUNTAIN falls no shorter regarding showmanship when compared to their past offerings and at the same time the band is sounding pompous as ever.
There are some great tune like “Clash of Times” that sounds like it came straight from the first 2 albums, the powerful “Master of Peace” that bursts some killer guitar work. Production is clear and strong leaving Rhapsody’s music to breathe while showcasing the always impressive multilayered sound. Even though that there were times I felt lead guitars sounded way to harsh for my taste.

My biggest objection with Rhapsody’s sound is actually their way of handling their compositions. Their riffs always sounded generic to me with rarely capturing my attention while the constant battery of ultra fast drumming was taking away the element of surprise since the band always was laying its cards on the table straight from the 1stsong. And that is true for their new album as well with the exception of the amazing “Tales Of A Hero’s Fate” closing the album which is an impressive display of all for mentioned qualities of Rhapsody of Fire mixed with a healthy dosage of rhythm variety. Here everything seems to fall into place creating a song that could easily be the soundtrack of long lost, epic, medieval movie.

In conclusion the THE EIGHT MOUNTAIN stands as a worthy continuation of the band’s past but at the same time doesn’t dare to take a bold step forward. And for such an amazing and ambitious array of musicians I expect more.


Tracklisting:

1. Abyss Of Pain
2. Seven Heroic Deeds
3. Master Of Peace
4. Rain Of Fury
5. White Wizard
6. Warrior Heart
7. The Courage To Forgive
8. March Against The Tyrant
9. Clash Of Times
10. The Legend Goes On
11. The Wind, The Rain And The Moon
12. Tales Of A Hero’s Fate

Line up:

Alex Staropoli
Keyboards, Piano, Orchestrations, Vocals (choirs)
Toby De Micheli-Guitar
Alessandro Sala-Bass
Manuel Lotter-Drums
Giacomo Voli-Vocals

www.rhapsodyoffire.com