1997 is the year in which one of the first power metal bands that I was introduced to started their career. I learned about RHAPSODY OF FIRE back in 2007 when my very good friend Gilberto was insisting I check them out. Going through numerous changes, RHAPSODY OF FIRE is still delivering beautiful tracks, ideal to fantasize about different mythological stories while the “play” button is on. Formed in Trieste, Italy, this band recently released their latest album Into the Legend on AFM Records, and there are some very good highlights that make this album a really good one. The complexity of each track is not doubtful, and the magic produced is certainly the one I love to feel when power metal is involved.
With a clear influence coming from many classical music artists (and many other genres strongly present in their music), all the band members Fabio Lione (vocals), Roby De Micheli (guitar), Alessandro Sala (bass), Alex Holzwarth (drums) and Alex Staropoli (exceptional keyboards) sure know how to synchronize their instruments. After three years since Dark Wings of Steel and their friendly split with Luca Turilli, ten unique and amazing tracks are here to rock your ears out and give you a good time for over an hour.
“In Principio” is precisely that instrumental track to get things started, and then, BOOM! “Distant Sky” is here to melt some faces with fast riffs and crazy solos. Vocalist Fabio Lione sure does know how to combine excellent notes to motivate our voices to follow him through this journey. Title track “Into the Legend” is also another one that resulted in a perfect song, with high opera vocals and a dramatization through its melody. It looks like the power metal gods are calling you to join them and march. “Winter’s Rain” sounds like it has an unusual intro, but soon it turns into headbanging material. It is a slow song in general, but the melodies sound as clear as uncontaminated water.
“A Voice In the Cold Wind” is this phenomenal melodic track, with folk roots that will make you jump around. “Valley of Shadows” is another really fast song that fits perfectly with the female opera vocals. The best thing so far about all these tracks is definitely that the album as a whole sounds like whichever story you want to imagine through every second you spend paying attention. “Shining Star” is the unforgettable slower track, but with such power to inspire you to be your best you. After those five minutes of relaxation, “Realms of Light” brings back the suspense with very firm drums and long notes in the chorus. The last couple of tracks are great to finish this record; first, we have “Rage of Darkness”, which is super fast, reminding us one more time what RHAPSODY OF FIRE is all about: high notes, essential keyboards, fast drums, among others.
The closing track “The Kiss of Light” is exactly what I love about almost every power metal band that I follow: long songs! This seventeen-minute masterpiece sure has something for you and it’s worth playing not only once, but as many times as you’d like to conclude this incredible release from the Italian power metal legends.
Generally speaking, this album has the potential to become a standout comeback for these guys, since the band decided to take their new music back to their roots with the help of improved technological tools and the output turned out to have a very good taste. I highly recommend you to pick Into the Legend up wherever you can, but do it now!. It is definitely worth your time. Hands down to RHAPSODY OF FIRE and all their crew for their excellent work, and hopefully I get to see them on tour more often if the hot lands of Texas are on the radar for future visits.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Distant Sky”, “Into the Legend”, “A Voice In the Cold Wind”, “Realms of Light”, “Rage of Darkness”