NOVEMBER 19th 2013
RHAPSODY OF FIRE: DARK WINGS OF STEEL
Review by Anka

I am going to start by saying this band is a huge blast from the past for me, I think I was one of their first fans ever. My taste has changed since then but I think I still have a soft spot in my heart for this band and for some of its past and current members, and from time to time I still find myself listening to some of their older tunes. It was interesting to hear this new album and be able to react to it from both an old fan’s and an outsider’s perspective.

Well - from both standpoints, this is a solid effort. The band has obviously changed since its early dragon-slaying beginnings. From a forced name change and the lineup shifts, to various musical directions, Rhapsody of Fire still remains one of the most important bands of the symphonic metal genre and the magnitude of their new production proves it. Actually this year we’ve seen them spawn two releases: the live album “Live- From Chaos to Eternity” and the new one “Dark Wings of Steel”.

The fans of the genre will be delighted with this new album. It’s as “epic” as can be though maybe not at the fastest tempo some might expect. There is a clearly heavier direction and a less “power metal” one as the pace remains predominantly moderate, with a few exceptions. The symphonic part is huge and impressive though. This time there’s a real orchestra and choir adding to this whole grandiose concept and it’s a good fit without being cheesy. There’s beautifully flowing story-telling In between the ample orchestrations and the haunting guitars.  Emotional and sensitive parts contrast the dark, temperamental moments.

It is pretty clear the band has evolved, maybe towards a more mature, settled sound while it still maintains sonorities and formulas that reminisce the first albums.

Of course I have to mention Fabio Lione, who owns one of the most beautiful voices in metal nowadays, and who stands out in this entire soundscape (no matter which band he performs with): a tireless voice with good momentum, with goosebump-inducing vibrato and clarity.

Songs to remember: Silver Lake of Tears, Custode di Pace, Dark Wings of Steel

This is a new beginning for the band, after the departure of mainman Luca Turilli two years ago and their signing with AFM Records. What I heard is courageous and beautiful, this is a band still capable to write and perform quality music.  And with the impressive lineup of musicians they have put together, I would assume we’ll be hearing a lot of good stuff from them in the future.