Published on June 14th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Rhapsody of Fire: Legendary Years (AFM)
Rhapsody of Fire, which now features exactly one original Rhapsody member (who isn’t named Luca or Fabio), has released a new collection of classic Rhapsody songs that have been newly recorded. The band is basically keyboardist Alex Staropoli and some guys, but they’re staking their claim to some of power metal’s most recognizable songs, rerecording literally everything from the guitars, keys and vocals to the choirs and classical instruments. Orden Ogan’s Seeb Levermann is on hand to mix and master the collection, which is titled Legendary Years.
Setting aside the history here, this is an ambitious undertaking, and one that Rhapsody of Fire actually manages to pull off. You wouldn’t think this classic Rhapsody material would work without Luca Turilli’s guitar work and Fabio Lione’s trademark vocals, but Staropoli and company do these songs justice. New vocalist Giacomo Voli in particular shines. He doesn’t try to mimic Lione’s approach, instead giving the songs his own character. The advances in technology since these songs were originally recorded also factor in, so Legendary Years sounds even grander and more polished than the originals.
So yes, these songs sound better than expected. This is clearly a talented band, and as Staropoli stated: “To re-record old historic tracks is not that common among bands because there is probably a lack of self-confidence or because, for some musicians and fans, what is part of the past should not be touched. We do not agree.” I think he’s missing some important context, namely that rerecording these songs without Luca or Fabio just seems wrong. It’s hard to look past that and enjoy the rerecordings on their own merits. And at the end of the day, anyone itching to hear “Emerald Sword,” “Holy Thunderforce,” “Dawn of Victory” or any other early Rhapsody song is going to reach for their old albums, not these new versions, no matter how well executed they are.
Summary: Sorry, but this doesn't seem right,