Review: Rhapsody - Legendary Tales

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18 août 2005, 21h35m

This first review is on Rhapsody's debut album, Legendary Tales.

This album took a few listens to get accustomed to, but right from the start it compelled me to listen to it frequently. The classical influences, particularly the choirs in some tracks, undoubtedly enhance the album, but to the less experienced listener they may be a barrier. The album is centered on a story created by guitarist Luca Turilli. This first album comprises only a small part of a series, so I can't really discuss the story here.

The album opens majestically, with a choir based track, which flows nicely into the first 'real' track, which makes a good introduction into the album, and (for a first time listener) Rhapsody's musical style. It isn't one of my favourite tracks from this album, but it is still good.
The third track - Rage of the Winter - is spectacular. I listen to it frequently, and it is probably my favourite song on this album.
The excellent introduction, employing a choir, strings, then guitar and drums, is well judged, and brilliantly delivered. The vocals in the verse are excellent, as is the subtle use of an acoustic guitar.
As the song develops towards the solo, the drumming is used sparingly but effectively, allowing the other instruments to dominate. This is also the case in the first guitar solo, the end of which propels into another solo. After this, a choir, drums and guitar build up the tension further for the next one. This solo is brilliant, and probably the best word to describe it is 'soaring'. It brings images of lofty, snow-covered mountain peaks to my mind, which is quite cool, if a little weird. The drumming and bass playing compliment the soloing nicely, and it ends in a lightning fast tumbling run from Luca Turilli, which I really love. There is then a slight respite from the frantic guitar work, which leads well into the next solo, which in turn gives way to a soft instrumental section.
Fabio Lione's vocals, and the acoustic guitar of the next verse are refreshing and soothing after the solos.

I do not like track 4 - Forest of Unicorns. The verses are solid, with Fabio's vocals working nicely with little accompaniment, but the annoying drums, vocals, and harmonies in the chorus mean that I usually skip this track, and I suppose most other people would too.

I won't bore you by dissecting another song, but I shall make some general points about the album. There are some instances of bad lyrics. One example of this is in track 5 - Flames of Revenge - in which 'eyes', 'sky' and 'die' are rhymed, in a rather contrived, and unsatisfying manner. This doesn't happen often, however, and the lyrics are usually adequate.
Rhapsody are obviously very skilled classical musicians, which is shown in the instrumental track Virgin Skies, which is, sadly, only really an instrumental interlude due to its short length.
The choirs sometimes take a little getting used to - the choir in track 8 - echoes of tragedy - seems a bit crudely implemented at first, but after a few listens, you begin to appreciate the vocal harmonies that they employ, and can enjoy this entire song.
Also noteworthy is the impressive album art, the highlight of which is the cd cover depicting warrior on horseback dueling with a dragon. This artwork is repeated on the cd, which is a nice touch, and gives the album a feeling of importance.
Similarly, the story adds interest to the album. Although this is the first of a series it is not particularly eventful, but it is still another enjoyable dimension to the album. The fantasy theme is something that I’m sure will enhance this album for many listeners.
The production of this album is great, and I've heard that the producer has also worked with Angra.

In conclusion, whilst this album took a few listens for my unaccustomed ear to appreciate, it is certainly an essential purchase for open-minded, intelligent metal fans (who don't mind listening to music with harpsichords or taking the time to appreciate something a little different) and people who appreciate classical music. And people who like dragons.

Comments are definitely welcome. Regarding review length, whether there is too much focus on individual tracks, or anything else that could improve it.

Martin

Commentaires

  • Davie_UCF

    Great review! Took me a while to get into the first 2 Rhapsody albums.. my first album was Dawn of Victory! David

    4 sept. 2005, 15h32m
  • marxeonist

    It took me a while to get into Legendary Tales too. Thanks for taking the time to read the review and post a comment, I hope to review cds every now and then.

    6 sept. 2005, 20h36m
  • khayman

    Actually I got into the album quite fast, very good songs. Interesting thing is that I generally dislike this kind of music, but this band is very dear to me since quite a while. Great review. I like 'Forest of unicorns' too. :P

    14 sept. 2005, 19h46m
  • db0

    This was my first album of this band and it won me immediately. Funny thing is that although this first ablum excited me, the rest did not. On the contrary, even though I like them, they tend to bore me. I never skip Forest of Unicorns. I like it. As for the review, try to separate the paragraphs more. It makes for a better reading. Also, in my reviews I tend not to disect the songs, I just comment on the ones that drew my attention.

    21 sept. 2005, 6h40m
  • marxeonist

    I shall try to make the text less intimidating in the future, thanks. Forset of Unicorns has nice vocals, and solid verses, if I remember correctly, but I dislike the choruses. It's good to see that people like it, though. Dissecting the songs massively might not be such a good idea - I was aware of this when I was writing. I might try to make more focused general points, rather than just a single song. Thanks for reading, I'll check your reviews.

    12 oct. 2005, 14h43m
  • KHCloudStrife

    I love how you told thy tales for the album Legandary Tales. Very elegant =P My 1st CD was dawn of victory, sadly i lost the cd in an accident. *sigh* along with SOEL II BUT I SHALL BUY THEM ALL >.< BTW, you can't skip Land OF Immortals Or Truimph For my Magic Steel =D

    12 déc. 2005, 8h19m
  • Pozito

    Forest of Unicorns is, hands down, their best ballad.

    31 oct. 2006, 20h57m
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