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Rhapsody – Symphony of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark Secret

Label: SPV USA
Format: CD
Released: 2004
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Rhapsody once again tackles another grand project written just as if they were on the set for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.   When the boys began in 1997 they offered the Metal world something different, like it or not, call some it too over blown many will, but damn do these Italians have plenty of talent.   Along with Blind Guardian, they masterfully create all the sounds that us metalheads have been hearing for years in our heads if there was a Heavy Metal band to write music for Fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons movies.


Legendary actor Christopher Lee opens the album with a classic narration setting the stage for the grand epic to be told.   “Unholy Warcry” follows with trademark Rhapsody galloping guitars and grandiose orchestrations to carry the tune to battle.   “Never Forgotten Heros” has some female vocals with a triumphant chorus followed by the folk instrumental “Elgard’s Geen Valleys”.   The track sets the tone for the ballad “The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream” which clearly reflects the Italian singers from Rhapsody’s homeland.

Throughout it is not your average heavy metal listening experience, it is metal, but very symphonic.  As they call it Film Score Metal.  Listen to the orchestral accompaniment behind the 10 minute epic “Erina’s Mystical Rhymes”.   It’s a solid piece using the orchestra to fill out things instead of over powering by too much instrumentation.   Bach and Beethoven would be proud.  Many peeks and valleys are achieved throughout your listening experience and has a very European quality.    

Adjust your taste buds for this stuff because it will be an adjustment for most, but once you get it, like with Blind Guardian, it becomes much easier to appreciate and you will spoil yourself to inferior sounds, to an extent. 

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