The Metal Crypt on Facebook  The Metal Crypt's YouTube Channel
Review: Rhapsody of Fire - Symphony of Enchanted Lands
Rhapsody of Fire
Symphony of Enchanted Lands

Label: Limb Music Products
Year released: 1998
Duration: 55:46
Tracks: 10
Genre: Symphonic Metal


Review online: September 2, 2004
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
How do you rate this release?

Rated 3.83/5 (76.6%) (53 Votes)

This was only the second full album from Rhapsody, but even by then they had managed to produce a litter of demos and advance singles. Rhapsody has an annoying habit of releasing EPs that are just the best 2 or 3 tracks that will be on the next CD, so that when you get the new album, you have already heard the good stuff.

"Legendary Tales" was an agreeable disc of fantasy Power Metal with some memorable songs and so-so performances. "Symphony" is the album where Rhapsody started getting all epic and overblown, and where they really started in with the symphonic stuff. As a result this is a bigger sounding album with a lot more scope, but it ends up being not quite as much fun. The major problem here is that just having a keyboard does not make a band into classical composers, and so the 'orchestral' parts sound like movie-soundtrack stuff stacked on top of the songs, not really integral at all. In other words: the songwriting is not up to the ambitious nature of the album. "Emerald Sword" is a very cool song, as is "Wisdom Of The Kings" – even if they do sound a lot alike. The title track likewise conjures up some good stuff, despite being too long.

But the vast majority of "SOEL" is just rather dull. Much of it is very slow, and there are long quiet sections and some incredibly boring narrative bits. After the initial burst of energy the album slows down to a plod, and only here and there do we get any real excitement. Another gripe I have is that, as usual, there is not nearly enough metal here. The guitars are mixed too low, and the keys are given too much of the music. Also: I just don't care for Fabio. That's just me personally, I just don't find his voice powerful or compelling, certainly not for such an epic sound.

Now Rhapsody have a big following, and I'm sure my lukewarm response to them will do nothing to dampen the fanboys. But I guess I have to go on record as one of the curmudgeons who just can't get very excited about this band. I like the idea of Rhapsody: fantasy lyrics, symphonic epic metal songs, multi-album storylines, super-cool cover art. All the pieces are here, but I have yet to hear an album by these guys that really lives up to what they want to be.

Special Award For Super-Geek Album Presentation:

I have to mention this, as the special edition of this album was perhaps the nerdiest thing ever. You got a box containing:

A 40-page full-color book
6 Postcards ("Wish you were here? So do we!")
6 Stickers (For your locker, or Trapper Keeper)
2 Temporary Tattoos ("I'm so metal! Check it out!")
Metal Emerald Sword Pendant ("I found the Eeeeeemrald Sword!")
Your very own Dragon Badge! ("I'm agent Dargor with the Pale Gamer Nerd Police")

I stand in awe of the geekitude. Words fail me.

More about Rhapsody of Fire...
Review: Dark Wings of Steel (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Dark Wings of Steel (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Dawn Of Victory (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Dawn Of Victory (reviewed by Pascal Côté)
Review: From Chaos to Eternity (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: From Chaos to Eternity (reviewed by Larry Griffin)
Review: Glory for Salvation (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: I'll Be Your Hero (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Into the Legend (reviewed by Bruno Medeiros)
Review: Into the Legend (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Legendary Tales (reviewed by Christopher Foley)
Review: Legendary Tales (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Live in Canada 2005 - The Dark Secret (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Eighth Mountain (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Eighth Mountain (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: The Frozen Tears of Angels (reviewed by Hermer Arroyo)
Review: Triumph or Agony (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Click below for more reviews
Latest 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Various Books/Zines 

The Metal Crypt - Crushing Posers Since 1999
Copyright  © 1999-2024, Michel Renaud / The Metal Crypt.  All Rights Reserved.