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Review: Rhapsody of Fire - Dark Wings of Steel
Rhapsody of Fire
Dark Wings of Steel

Label: AFM Records
Year released: 2013
Duration: 59:27
Tracks: 11
Genre: Power Metal


Review online: March 28, 2014
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers' Rating
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Rated 3.39/5 (67.83%) (23 Votes)

Dark Wings of Steel is the 10th full-length from long-running Italian Symphonic/Power Metal legends Rhapsody of Fire and the first studio album since founding guitarist Luca Turilli left to front his own version of the band (Luca Turilli's Rhapsody). If you've heard any of the previous nine albums from this band, you've heard Dark Wings of Steel. Everything we've come to expect is here; Fabio Lione's operatic vocal work, symphonic keyboard melodies courtesy of Alex Staropoli, the fine rhythym section of Alex and Oliver Holzwarth and new guitarist Roberto De Micheli lighting up the fret board. Everything sounds absolutely perfect with nary a note out of place. There's double-kick speedsters with catchy choruses ("Silver Lake of Tears," the best song by far), slow, moody numbers ("My Sacrifice") and the obligatory symphonic intro ("Vis Divina"). On the one hand, if you are a fan of this band, you will be in your glory. Rhapsody of Fire deviate not one iota from their tried and true formula of majestic melodies and fantasy-based storytelling. On the other, after ten albums, it sounds very formulaic and, other than "Silver Lake of Tears," there's nothing much that will make you think "oh, that's from Dark Wings of Steel." I can't fault a band for doing the things that made them successful, and doing it well, and I certainly don't expect every band to completely change their sound with every album. But a band either needs to play the same thing and write some amazing songs, which these aren't, or stagnate, which Rhapsody of Fire is pretty close to on Dark Wings of Steel.

Bottom line; Dark Wings of Steel is a good album by a good band. I just can't come up with any compelling reasons to rush out and grab it. If you've never heard Rhapsody of Fire before, you'll want to grab Symphony of Enchanted Lands (when they were known simply as Rhapsody). If you have, Dark Wings of Steel offers nothing you haven't already heard.

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