RHAPSODY OF FIRE - Triumph Or Agony

Rhapsody Of Fire - Triumph Or Agony

11 songs
62:39 minutes
***** *****
Steamhammer / SPV


I'm often rather fed up when I have to listen to too traditional metal albums. Even if the latest Blind Guardian record (A Twist Of Myth) received generally good reviews, the album was just too typical for me and everything has been heard before too many times. But as you know, there is no rule without an exception, and concerning power metal, it used to be called Rhapsody. Due to legal problems with an American band sharing the same name, Rhapsody Of Fire was chosen as a new name. As the band logo didn't nearly change at all, fans will have no problems to recognize the album.

The new album Triumph Or Agony again shows what metal should be about and doesn't disappoint in any way. All members are professional musicians or music teachers. It doesn't make sense losing further words about their guitar wizard Luca Turilli who gets incredible sounds out of his instrument. I'm also impressed about the solid double bass drums played by Alex Holzwarth who does the same job for German progressive metal band Sieges Even.

Compared to their last CD, Rhapsody Of Fire have drained the speed level a bit without losing anything of their well known energy. Nearly all the songs on the album are orchestrated and contain lots of choired parts which make them incredibly bombastic. The change of pace happens more often than on former releases and especially the use of traditional elements brings a lot of variation. The title song contains Viking elements while Old Age Of Wonders is a calmer medieval minstrel song. Bloody Red Dungeons and the following Son Of Pain are two rather dramatic songs inspired by Italian theatre from the Renaissance. The sixteen minute running The Mystic Prophecy Of The Demon Knight is a song which contains nearly everything. I like especially its Celtic influences. The album ends with Dark Reign Of Fire, sounding as taken from the Moulin Rouge musical. The album's most commercial track is the symphonic but melodic Silent Dream which will be published as a video clip.

It's difficult to say if Rhapsody Of Fire have improved as their former albums have also been milestones of symphonic power metal. The most important fact is that Triumph Or Agony is again an excellent and flawless work that every true metal fan should get.

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