Rhapsody (of Fire) - Power Of The Dragonflame
This is the grand finale of their four full-length album fantasy epic, and let me say that disc contain a massive firework of symphony, detail, bombast, melody and yes of course power.
The classic Rhapsody stuff is presented in a refreshing and inventive way, this is a harder and more aggressive sound and in my opinion the album confronts the listener with a more progressive and challenging direction than their other outputs. Make no mistake, I treasure them all even though Symphony Of Enchanted Lands together with this one has become my personal highlights.

The production is simply excellent and very tight, the guitars are crispy and the keyboard has been given a fantastic powerful sound. The bass is placed just a bit too much in the background but all in all this is a very forceful result.

Knightrider Of Doom is a typical Rhapsody track, pounding drums, fast guitars and a highly bombastic refrain, adding an extra something to the structure is the keyboard melodies creating quite a fuss just behind the other instruments.

Power Of The Dragonflame for some reason has 99% the same beginning as Dargor, Shadowlord Of The Black Mountain from their Dawn Of Victory release. Anyway this is an extremely vivid song, Fabio does a great job in sounding very raw in the verse part and later ultra melodic at the chorus passage.

An important Rhapsody trademark is their flirt with alternative sounds and instruments, trying to capture a medieval or at least epic mood. This is working out extremely well in The March Of The Swordmaster; the joyful driving rhythm is nicely mixed with harder elements making up a very vivid song.

When Demons Awake has a fantastic apocalyptic atmosphere created by dramatic keys and bombastic choirs, suddenly this airy tread gets hit by a very fast and aggressive axe attack.
I simply love this song, the match between keyboard and guitars sounds divine. The bass work coming from producer Sascha Paeth has an innovative style and the drums by Alex Holzwarth are packed with force and great skill.

Agony Is My Name is another fast song, the chorus becomes a bit stretched out but the rather short guitar solo has a special feel to it and things gets even better when the melodic keyboard solo sets in.

Lamento Eroico is the albums ballad with words in Italian, and I must say that there is something really mesmerizing about this bombastic symphony with operatic influences.

Steelgods Of The Last Apocalypse adds some great acoustic melodies and soft piano passages in a rather swift song. The song has a nice flow, the chorus could have been more intriguing and the song just hasn't the same amount of exciting features, even though the keyboard solo once again is truly magnificent.

The Pride Of The Tyrant is a brilliant track; the chorus is simply mind blowing, I shout out loud every time I hear the words We Will Fly To The Empire Of Steelgods. There's something magical about the way the chorus is working with the musical background.
The guitar work is splendid and highly technical and the very orchestral approach is a really outstanding feature.

The lyrics are pretty good and the ending of the saga is rather cool too. But then again Rhapsody is clearly most about the music; the band has been around many of these lyrics in same way before. Some lyrical aspects are relatable, I mean faith and the fight between good and evil is always-present themes, it just becomes a bit abstract and thereby overdone from time to time.

The grand finale is found in the 19-minute Gargoyles, Angels Of Darkness. It contains some great classical guitar work that slowly starts this epic song, the first part being a grooving piece with cool central bass lines, the second part is an instrumental passage with explosive guitar work from Luca and the final part involving great symphonies and a split sung/spoken lyric part. I really like this ending song. The ending being a bit stretched and weird, but overall a most fabulous composition.

All musicians deliver a fabulous job in this explosive epic drama. A special mention must go to Alex Staropoli whose keyboard and piano has a more central place than ever and I also find his work here the most spellbinding of them all. This is in fact one of the best key performances I can think of, both on the compositional and executive front.

When I first got hold of this album my rating was a 9/10, but I have come to the conclusion that since not all songs is that spectacular I think that 8,5/10 is a more fair deal. Anyway this is a stunning effort form a genius band.

This magnificent blend of many musical directions is put together in a highly imaginative way. There are lots of brilliant details to discover, so go ride that dragon!

Written by Tommy
Sunday, February 15, 2004
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Tommy: 8.5/10

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by Rhapsodier (Anonymous) - Sunday, August 3, 2003
9/10 is a fair rating, because Rhapsody is a very good band!

Comment by SrFloppy5 (Anonymous) - Sunday, December 21, 2003
Pure crap, contrasting to their other great releases. 3/10

Comment by paybol (Anonymous) - Saturday, January 24, 2004
Is the best cd of rahpsody, agressive and faboulous.

Comment by edgar (Anonymous) - Wednesday, February 11, 2004
bueno esta todo bien pero luka turilli

Comment by cesa (Anonymous) - Sunday, March 21, 2004
espero q tengan exito con el nuevo album soy un fiel seguidor del power metal saludos desde honduras

Review by Tommy

Released by
SPV - 2002

1. In Tenebris
2. Knightrider Of Doom
3. Power Of The Dragon Flame
4. The March Of The Swordmaster
5. When Demons Awake
6. Agony Is My Name
7. Lamento Eroico
8. Steelgods Of The Last Apocalypse
9. The Pride Of The Tyrant
10. Gargoyles, Angels Of Darkness

Symphonic Power Metal

Related links
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Other articles
Dawn of victory - (Tajs)

The Dark Secret (Preview) - (Steen)

Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret - (Steen)

Triumph or Agony - (Alanna)

A conversation with Luca Turilli - (Steen)

Legendary Tales - (Steen)

The Frozen Tears of Angels - (Steen)

From Chaos To Eternity - (Steen)

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