Saturday, May 31, 2014

Album Recommendation: Rhapsody Live In Canada 2005 (The Dark Secret)

Band: Rhapsody
Album: Rhapsody Live In Canada 2005 (The Dark Secret)

    If there is any band who can release an electrifying live album that captures the concert experience, Rhapsody is the band who can do it. 
    Their epic sounding Symphonic Power Metal style is unmistakable and puts them at the top of Power Metal genre. Their first live album, recorded in Montreal, Canada during their 2005 Demons, Dragons and Warriors World Tour, is a great representation of the band’s cinematic metal musical style. This live release on CD and DVD, captures Rhapsody at the height of their career. Around this time the band had just released Symphony of Enchanted Lands 2: The Dark Secret, an album that marked a shift from the Emerald Sword Saga.
    For their set list, the band equally divides songs from the most recent album and classic Emerald Sword Saga epics like “Wisdom of Kings,” “Dawn of Victory” and “March of the Sword Master.” The opening track, “The Dark Secret,” features a recorded monologue done by the famous actor Christopher Lee, who also narrated some parts on Rhapsody’s Symphony of Enchanted Lands 2. After the monologue finishes, Rhapsody breaks right into the song, “Unholy Warcry.” The way that this album was recorded clearly captures the band’s high level of musicianship. Most live albums I find sound too rough and fail to clearly capture the instruments. Definitely not the case with this album. You can hear every note Luca Turilli plays, even the ones that he sweeps through really fast like Yngwie on steroids. 
    “Wisdom of the Kings” from the album, Symphony of Enchanted Lands, simply sounds great live. I was impressed by how Rhapsody was able to incorporate the older songs in with the new. Compared to some bands whose set lists are easily predictable, Rhapsody throws in some surprises. An example that comes to mind is the song, “ (The)Village of Dwarves.” This song continues the uplifting concert vibe with its catchy riffs, fluid classical instrumental arrangements and descriptive fantasy based lyrics narrated by lead singer Fabio Lione.
    You would think about halfway through the show Rhapsody would mellow out after all the exciting energy they poured into the first four songs. Well, that is just not the case. “Erian’s Mystical Rhymes” is a long epic piece of music that dives into the creative Rhapsody folklore with great passion. Just another example of this band’s great songwriting abilities. Once the song finishes Fabio quickly asks the crowd how they are doing and then screams out the title of the next song, “Dawn of Victory.” The triumphant trumpet introduction builds into a grand guitar and keyboard assault. I feel as though I am right their in the front row raising my fist!
    Song seven on this live album, “Lamento Eroico,” demonstrates Fabio’s dynamic vocal range, and the song is also a departure from the band’s fast paced epic themed style of songwriting. I never was really a huge fan of this song, but the live version is really captivating. The soft arrangement slowly crescendos to an epic earth shaking operatic chorus that is very emotionally moving. Returning to the Dark Secret Saga, Rhapsody offers the crowd, "Nightfall on the Grey Mountains." The slow thunderous composition creates this uplifting and huge cinematic sounding landscape.
    For their finale the band graciously plays two classic Emerald Sword Saga songs that draw a roaring crowd response when Fabio announces them. “The March of the Swordmaster” and “Emerald Sword” were definitely the best choices in my opinion to finish this epic concert. Especially the song, “Emerald Sword,” which is one of the band’s most triumphant virtuosic sounding songs. The violin and guitar exchange is spectacular and their are few bands who can make classical sounding arrangements sound heavy.
    Although I was the only one around when the CD finished, I started clapping for the band. This live CD really captures some of the hardest working metal musicians who truly take pride in their work. Rhapsody Live In Canada 2005 (The Dark Secret), is an album I highly recommend for any fan of Symphonic Power Metal. Also, I think those who are not exactly into this style of music might be impressed by the band’s live energy and incredible musicianship. Why go to the boring old movies anymore, when one can simply buy this Rhapsody album and be taken into a fantastic world of live Symphonic Power Metal?

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