Rain of a Thousand Flames
The fourth album by Italian symphonic rock sensation Rhapsody (of Fire), Rain of a Thousand Flames was released as a side line plot to a much richer story described throughout their albums. Their first three records tell tales of fantastic creatures and heroic deeds and leaves the audience asmay as the devious and barbaric Akron pillages lands while the Lord of Ice is away. Rain of a Thousand Flames takes us to the other side of the coin and follows Akron through his destructive rampage. Without continuing the Emerald Sword Saga, the album adds to the story and provides another dimension to this exciting and fantastical adventure.
With an operatic fanfare of symphony and voice, the album rips the silence and makes room for frantic quick paced guitars. Pounding drums crash forward in smashing bars which offer a grandiose and epic cliff face of sound. As vocals enter to tell the story of the album, Rain of A Thousand Flames as a track devastates the tranquility and creates an immense orb of compositional noise. Immediately the skills of each musician are left in no doubt as the quick time and athletic riffs dominate the time score.
Synthesised orchestra brings in a new layer to ward off any notion of formulaic similarity, keyboards and drum combine to create a moving epistatic tangent. Deadly Omen marks a soundtrack to the oncoming opera that exists within the thirteen minutes of Queen of the Dark Horizons. The track, based on the score by 70s Italian group Goblin and soundtrack to the film Phenomena, tells a story of evil powers gathering and acting out dark commands. The symphonic flurry evolves into power metal to bring the music back into the realms of rock n roll. Lashing guitar solos and riffs join forces with enchanting compositions involving a whole host of complimentary instruments.
The epic symphony that captivates so many imaginary chapters moves between heavy metal, ballad, and musical theatre. It's a stunning prelude to the final four tracks on the album, collectively known as Rhymes of a Tragic Poem – The Gothic Saga. Tears of a Dying Angel begins and introduces more choral chants and story-telling. A giant song that strikes a love of fantasy into the hearts of listeners, it paves the way for something once more a little different. Based on a traditional Irish called Cooley's Reel, Elnor's Magic Valley knits a busy and enchanted landscape of hills, lush fields, and encroaching doom.
A powerful rock symphony follows with The Poem's Evil Page. Mentioning poisoned verses with malicious intent, the pace then quickens to a thrashing metal-fest enriched by wailing guitars. As Elnor prepares for the approaching evil, its lands prepare to be soaked in blood. As it began with ballad like beginnings, so it fades away. The shorter song out of the album yet with still as much bite and drama, just leaves the final track to complete the saga. Based on The New World Symphony by Antonín Dvořák, The Wizard's Last Rhymes spell the end of the tragical tale of dark victories. Perhaps a last glimmer of hope is left in the final words of the album. Can't wait for the next one, good job it's been out for years.
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