RHAPSODY OF FIRE - The Eighth Mountain (Album)
RHAPSODY OF FIRE’s ‘The Eighth Mountain’ is released on 22nd February on AFM records and continues the huge symphony of metal that they have become known for. Mixed and Mastered by Sebastian ‘Seeb’ Levermann, (Orden Ogan) the haunting drama of the music will have your ears and brain dancing with fantasy images of mythical beasts and legends. It is a huge album.
‘The Eighth Mountain’ begins a new story developed by Roby De Micheli and Alex Starpoli under the title ‘Nephlins Empire Saga’ and features the Bulgarian National Symphony Orchestra and two choirs with more than 20 vocalists as well as a number of soloists playing medieval instruments ensuring the atmosphere of this album is captured perfectly.
Beginning with the eerie choral opening into track of ‘Abyss of Pain’ it hauls you into their latest album of musical genius, fast paced drumming and string arrangements. A choir ensures that when the vocals kick in the scene is firmly set for ‘Seven Heroic Deeds’. Each song is a story unfolding through the words and music, a symphony of metal and energy. Complete with intricate fast paced riffs and a big dose of keyboards.
‘Master of Peace’ continues in a very similar vein, the machine gun drumming, the clarity of the melodic vocal is a major plus across the whole album. The chorus grows ensuring the full-feel of the track. ‘Rain of Fury’ pushes this further with the orchestral arrangement racing along to match the pace of the rapid-fire drumming.
‘White Wizard’ slows things down with a gentle string and piano opening, as the strings increase, the guitars kick in as the Voli’s vocal which is lighter to start with continues the tale and a lyrically catchy chorus highlights this one as my track of the album. ‘Warrior Heart’ launches you back in time with a whistle underpinning the music to give it an ethereal feel. I love the softness of Giacomo Voli’s vocal, a slightly more varied track with a slower pace to the drumming painting the scene through the music, leading you down into a fantasy world.
‘The Courage To Forgive’ brings back the epicenes. Winding riffs, floods of orchestral layers and keeping the more moderate pace helps the drama of it all. ‘March Against The Tyrant’ changes tempo again as a beautiful acoustic guitar fills your ears together with flute and orchestral undertones. A light vocal this time, soft and captivating, a slogging bassline chugs along nicely picking up the pace of the song. The lightness is blasted away into another monumental sounding dose of multi-paced, energy laden hugeness!
‘Clash of Times’ has us back on the rapid-fire drumming and galloping feel to the track, ensconces my mind back to the realms of Dungeons and Dragons - ‘The Legend Goes On’ and the operatic drama of RHAPSODY OF FIRE certainly does. It’s more of the same and I’m beginning to find my interest waning until a series of lovely tones riffs creep through. ‘The Wind, The Rain And The Moon’ would fit in to a west end production. Stunning vocal, calm and clear, a drama to fall into. It is the most memorable on the album just for the range and tone of the vocal and the stunning riffs which really take a hold a third of the way through. ‘Tales Of A Hero’s Fate’ and we’re off at breakneck pace again, intricate nimble riffs, a vastness to the production and that consistent drumming. A snarling vocal brings another dimension into it adding to the intensity of sound.
Italian, melodic, symphonic metal delivered with enough drama to put Game of Thrones to shame.
Rhapsody Of Fire are:
Giacomo Voli – vocals
Alex Starpoli – Keyboards
Roby De Macheli – Guitars
Alessandro Sala – Bass
Manu Lottner - Drums.