Into The Legend – Rhapsody Of Fire (English Review)

Posted on December 23, 2015


RH_ITL-C_1500x1500Okay people, I’ve been absent for a while because of private issues and stuff like that, so I haven’t really had the passion to write about any album or artist lately. And it’s getting near Christmas now and I have made it a little tradition to review some Christmas-related music at that time of the year, but I actually don’t have anything this year for you so.. I’m sorry :/

But instead, AFM Records were really kind and send to me the upcoming Rhapsody Of Fire album “Into The Legend”, and some of you might now it already, but Rhapsody Of Fire is one of my all time favorite band so this is really huge for me.
So thank you Timo, Anna and the rest of you good people over at AFM Records! :)

Now that I have all the thanks and shit out of the way, let’s talk some Rhapsody Of Fucking Fire!
And this is also my first review in English so that all people, not just the Swedes, can get a picture (my impression to be exact) of this album so that it may help you decide to either buy the album when it comes out, or skip it :)

Two years ago when their last album Dark Wings Of Steel came out I was super hyped, it was the bands first since the departure of their founder and lead (together with Alex Staropoli) songwriter and guitarist, Luca Turilli.
I got to admit I was a bit worried when that split occured, but instead we got two different Rhapsody bands, one led by Alex Staropoli and the other by Luca Turilli, who could produce some quality music parallel to each other. This was every fans dream scenario if they were forced to split up the band in some way or another. But did it work out as well as we hoped?

Short answer, no. Remember this is only my oppinion and I know a lot of fans will disagree with me, but I personally can’t stand Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody because it has gotten so gray in its tone and their singer is just annoying to listen to.
Fabio Lione is the only one who really ever mastered Turilli’s music, so I said to myself that I would stick with the Staropoli-led Rhapsody.
But when Dark Wings Of Steel came out I was really disappointed that almost every track where mid tempo and they all sounded so depressing and boring. It hurts me to say and I still can’t get into this album, the only song that was good was A Tale Of Magic, so I could only hope that Into The Legend could come up to that level of quality.

And was I almost blown away when I first heard this upcoming album, because this was a total change in tone than on the previous Dark Wings. Into The Legend starts really up tempo and almost every track here is fast, epic and in many ways resembles the good old days when Rhapsody were at their best.
A Voice In The Cold Wind is truly an awesome track filled with that old folk/medieval elements featured on such old classic songs like The Village Of Dwarves, but with a much more stronger chorus! This could easily be one of the best on this new album, and in my oppinion really knocks the socks off Turilli’s new stuff ;)RH_ITL_P02____Luigi_Orr__

The band decided to go back with the use of real symphony orchestras and other real instruments such as flute, harps and shit like that, and it really works out great and sounds fantastic.
Especially in songs like A Voice In The Cold Wind.
Two other things the band left behind on this record that I think works in their favor is the growling-thingie Fabio Lione used on some tracks (it really sounds like crap and doesn’t fit the songs at all), and the over the top bombast and uses of huge choirs and stuff, featured on songs like Reign Of Terror and Angel Of Light. Into The Legend offers some speedy tracks like Valley Of The Shadows, Distant Skies and one of my favorites Rage Of Darkness, that relies on sharp guitar playing from Roberto De Micheli and symphony’s used smart and whom are synced very well with the guitar work, which results in some really big and epic songs that doesn’t need the over the top bombast to make it work. Instead, these are tracks that gives birth to it’s own bombast in a natural and genuine way and ends up feeling huge and epic, just Rhapsody Of Fire at their best!

And we also got a big 16 minute closer to this album in the form of The Kiss Of Life, and honestly this is the only track I didn’t really like. It wasn’t particulary bad but it just lacked the greatness that most of the other songs managed to pull out, but it’s by all means not a bad song.
We also got some slower pieces like the beautiful ballad Shining Star, the more bombastic and epic Winters Rain and the lesser (but not bad) Realms Of Light.
So I would say contra Dark Wings Of Steel, Into The Legend is much better balanced and offers more speed and overall much much better songs.
One of my personal favorite of the bands albums is The Frozen Tears Of Angels, and I would say that the feelings I get when I listen to this new album makes me think more of the Frozen Tears material mixed with some older stuff from Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II and The Power Of The Dragonflame, and that’s a big plus!
The album overall also has that cinematic feel the band always tries to aim for, and it works out really well.

Roberto De Micheli seems to have found his role in replacing Luca Turilli and is doing an excellent job on this entire album and are providing some awesome guitar solos here and there, and Fabio Lione sounds as good as ever.
Alex Staropoli has made some very nice arrangements and written the symphonic parts of the album really well, and that’s a very important thing that worked out great here but lost out on the previous album.
Their drummer Alex Holzwarth is doing what he does best and their new bass player Alessandro Sala does a good job too replacing Holzwarth’s brother Oliver, so overall there is nothing to complain about in the musical craft here.

My first listen to this album left me with the impression that it was pretty short, and it kinda is, but that works in its favor since the last album felt very long and protracted, and allthough I felt it wasn’t a masterpiece, it certainly gave me a good feeling that the band was heading in the right direction.
And they really are, Into The Legend is a HUGE step in the right direction and really kicks LT’s Rhapsody in the butt (no disrespect Luca), and I’m so happy that we finally got this album that can turn the band on the right track again.
Like I said, it’s no masterpiece, but it is a quite strong album that reflects back to many of Rhapsody Of Fires roots and characteristics, and it grows on me for every listen so it’s definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the band, or just like big epic Power Metal of the finest quality!

Oh and btw, the Limited Edition comes with an awesome statue of the Dragon featured on the albums fantastic cover art!ROF_dragonstatue


All pictures are used with permission from AFM Records

Special thanks to my good friend Lucas Geraigery for helping with English spell checks and grammar!

Posted in: Metal, Power Metal