Sunday, 5 February 2012

Rhapsody of Fire

Rhapsody of Fire (formerly known as Rhapsody and, originally, as Thundercross) is an Italian symphonic power metal band led by Alex Staropoli. Since forming in 1993, the band has released nine studio albums, one live album, two EPs, and a live DVD. Rhapsody of Fire is known for its conceptual lyrics that constitute a fantasy story throughout all of their albums.

Current band members:

Alex Staropoli – Keyboards (1993–present)
Fabio Lione – Vocals (1995–present)
Alex Holzwarth – Drums (2000–present)
Tom Hess – Guitar (2011–present)
Oliver Holzwarth – Bass (2011-present)
Roberto De Micheli - Guitar (2011-present)


Legendary Tales

Legendary Tales is, according to the band's official web page, the first album by Rhapsody, released in 1997. It marks the beginning of the Emerald Sword Saga.

(The Emerald Sword Saga is a high fantasy story spread over 5 albums by the Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. It includes many of the common themes of the genre, including a clearly defined good-versus-evil plot and the inclusion of various fantasy monsters. The hero of the story is the Ice Warrior, who sets out on a quest to find the legendary Emerald Sword, with which he can defeat the Dark Lord Akron. Each new chapter of the story is described in the booklet accompanying that CD. The narrator is the ancient wizard Aresius, who "has seen it all".

The story is told in five CDs: Legendary Tales, Symphony of Enchanted Lands, Dawn of Victory, Rain of a Thousand Flames and Power of the Dragonflame.)

Symphony of Enchanted Lands

Symphony of Enchanted Lands is the second album released by Rhapsody in 1998 and also the second album of the Emerald Sword Saga.

Dawn of Victory

Dawn of Victory is the third album studio released by Rhapsody in 2000. Like the previous albums, it centers on the story of Algalord and the "Emerald Sword Saga". It has been produced and engineered by Sascha Paeth and Miro. It is also the first album to feature current drummer Alex Holzwarth.

Rain of a Thousand Flames

Rain of a Thousand Flames is the fourth studio album released by Rhapsody in 2001. It tells a part of the Emerald Sword Saga, but it is a parallel episode that is not essential to the story, taking place shortly after Dawn of Victory. While the Warrior of Ice is away, Akron uses the newly acquired Emerald Sword to ravage the land. The album was released at a reduced price and is considered a stop gap between the band's main releases.

Power of the Dragonflame

Power of the Dragonflame is the fifth album studio released by Rhapsody in 2002 and is the last chapter in the Emerald Sword Saga.

Symphony of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark Secret

Symphony of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark Secret is the sixth studio album released by Rhapsody in 2004. Many have been confused by its title, as it's not a sequel to "Symphony of Enchanted Lands" but is the first chapter of a new saga, "The Dark Secret Saga". Although not a sequel, the new saga is set in the same world as "Symphony of Enchanted Lands", and thus it often alludes to occurrences from the "Symphony of Enchanted Lands". It is a concept album dealing with a the resurgence of the Seven Black Books of the Demon king Nekron.

(The Dark Secret Saga is a fantasy story written by the Italian band Rhapsody of Fire. The story is a sequel to The Emerald Sword Saga and it takes place a few years after the events of The Emerald Sword Saga. All parts of the story have been released, split in five CDs:
Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret
Triumph or Agony
The Frozen Tears of Angels
The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony
From Chaos To Eternity)

Christopher Lee provides the spoken narration throughout this album. He is also a guest singer in the single version of the song "The Magic of the Wizard's Dream".

Triumph or Agony

Triumph or Agony is the seventh album studio released by Rhapsody of Fire in Europe on 25 September 2006. It is the first album that the band released after their name change.

Triumph or Agony features a live 70 piece orchestra and choir and was again self-produced by guitarist/songwriter Luca Turilli and keyboardist/songwriter Alex Staropoli with assistance from co-producer Sascha Paeth. The album also features an array of guest narrators and character actors, including several recruits from the London theatre scene, the late Susannah York of the Superman film series and a return appearance by renowned actor Christopher Lee, as the all-knowing ‘Wizard King’. The song "Il Canto del Vento", is the first song in the band's history that is not composed by Turilli or Staropoli, instead it was composed by Fabio Lione.

The cover art is done by artist Jeff Easley, famous for his work on the Dungeons & Dragons line of products.

The Frozen Tears of Angels

The Frozen Tears of Angels is the eighth album studio by the Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. It was released on April 30, 2010 via Nuclear Blast. It is the first album to be released after a long hiatus, caused by a legal dispute with the band's previous label, Magic Circle Music. The concept album is the third chapter of The Dark Secret Saga, which began with Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret, but is more speed and guitar-oriented compared to its two predecessors.

There is a growing fear of war on the horizon for the enchanted lands. The Disciples of the Black Order are gathering their army to unleash their long lost Black Messiah, Nekron, from his prison, to unleash pure evil and chaos upon the world. The wizards of the White Dragon's Order feel it. The White Dragons Order is in possession of the last of the seven black books of Nekron, which they had taken from the dark lands after defeating Nekron and banishing him from the known world. Iras Algor, the first wizard of the White Dragons Order, and Etherus had been studying the seventh book for endless days and nights, trying to decipher the hidden messages within. They finally made a discovery within the writings; The holy white book written by the warrior-angel, Erian, 5000 years ago, what many believed was only a legend, actually existed and that it contained the answers to fully understanding the terrible prophecies of Nekron's seventh black book. However, the book had been taken by the lords of the dark lands when they defeated the army of the Nordic Plains, 3000 years before in the age of the Red Moon. They knew it this book needed to be found and retrieved, for it was the only way to stop Nekron from destroying the world.

The White Dragon's Order Summoned three individuals for this challenge; Khaas, Dargor, and the Elvish King, Tarish. With the wizard Iras leading them, the 4 of them together were to set out out to find Erians Book and return it to the White Dragon's Order. After a long journey, they reach the village of "Ainor". It was there the wizard Iras along with the Master Wizard, Erlien, studied many ancient documents and scripts from men and elves who had occupied the Nordic Plains, centuries before. After further study, a terrible discovery was revealed....

The rest of the story is continued on The Cold Embrace of Fear – A Dark Romantic Symphony which is the third  EP of Rhapsody of Fire and it was released on 15 October 2010.

The band states that:

“This album is dedicated to all the positive and respectful people living on our planet with great respect for themselves, for our brothers and sisters in need of help, for Mother Nature and the supreme gift of life. It is intended to be a testament of pure love for the angels of the cosmic horizons, pure entities, gentle but severe eyes of the primordial Essence filtered to us by the sacred words of the Ancients. Divine rhymes, carved in pure light and echoing eternally in the soul of the living despite the rise and the fall of their civilizations.
Our music is a declaration of raging and passionate love for all you beloved angels… with you until the end of time and to a new beginning… with you forever!”

From Chaos to Eternity

From Chaos to Eternity is the ninth full-length studio album by the Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. It was released in June 17, 2011 via Nuclear Blast. This album is the first to feature the guitar playing of Tom Hess who became a full time official member of the band in 2011. It is also the last album to feature long-time guitarist Luca Turilli and bassist Patrice Guers, who left the band on good terms in August 2011, and Christopher Lee as narrator.

It is the last album to be based on a fantasy saga, a concept originating from the band's 1997 debut, Legendary Tales. It is also supposed to be the last one to be based in a fantasy universe only.

"From Chaos To Eternity" was listed in the top 100 album charts in many countries around the world.

The band states that:

It is the end of an era. This historical release will end the Rhapsody sagas once and for all after 15 years of fantasy-oriented lyrics. For the last time, we’ll hear Sir Christopher Lee narrating in one of our albums the last dramatic events of a legendary tale started in 1997 and told through two different sages and ten full-length albums. We are surely very sad but we also know that for this same reason, the upcoming release will remain in the history of the band for its artistic importance and unique epic!”

Here you can listen some of Rhapsody of Fire's songs and let yourself free in the magic of the wizard's dream:

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