Showing posts with label rhapsody of fire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rhapsody of fire. Show all posts

Sunday, November 24, 2013

video review: 'dark wings of steel' by rhapsody of fire

Ugh, I really wish this had been better. Eh, even in genres you like, you get duds.

Next up will be Danielle Bradbery, then probably take on some Hopsin. Stay tuned!

album review: 'dark wings of steel' by rhapsody of fire

Let's talk about fantasy and heavy metal. These two genres within art have often had a pretty stable link that's persisted for decades: both were unfairly branded 'outsider' or 'low art' genres for a long time by the mainstream, both had been persecuted by alarmists trying to link them to allegations of Satanism or paganism, and both occasionally toed the line between the 'epic' and the 'epically ridiculous'. It's also the connection of how I jumped into heavy metal in my teens, pretty much bypassing nu metal and the rest of angry white boy music to settle in with power and symphonic metal acts like Blind Guardian and Nightwish. And really, fantastical subject matter is often a great fit for power and symphonic metal: they're looking to tell epic tales on the fringes of imagination, with grand scope and power, often calling to mind titanic battles and feats of heroism - and what better way to tell such stories than with grand, multi-part arrangements and blistering guitar riffs? 

But with the mainstream success of material like The Lord Of The Rings and Game Of Thrones, I began wondering whether it wouldn't be long before the heavy metal genres I liked began to reap the rewards of that link. Of course I was being realistic about this - there's always a certain pulpy cheesiness to some metal acts that would prevent most people from taking them seriously, but some could stand to do well, and metal has occasionally been successful during the numerous fantasy booms throughout the past few decades. 

Yet even with that, Rhapsody of Fire would probably not reap many rewards of that association, because of the metal acts I've covered, they're one of the tough ones to get into in the middle. Started in 1997, the band steadily pumped out album after album throughout the late 90s and 2000s that all tied together to the same ongoing fantasy story, confined to two five-album sagas, with a pretty dense mythology by the end. That 'end', incidentally, occurred in 2011, where the band decided to amicably split into two distinctive bands, one with the same title and the other called Luca Turilli's Rhapsody of Fire (if only to additionally confuse things), with the eponymous name coming from the guitarist and primary songwriter. They released an album titled Ascending Into Infinity in 2012 that was pretty solid, but today we're going to be looking at the original Rhapsody of Fire, who have decided to dispense with the ongoing mythos and try something new, with all the lyrics written by lead singer Fabio Lione, along with a new guitarist and bassist. If anything, it feels like I'm approaching an entirely new incarnation of Rhapsody of Fire... which could be a good thing for new fans. And really, a fresh start might just be what this band needs, so I checked out Dark Wings of Steel. How did it go?