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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much too over ambitious
Relapsody seem to be running out of ideas. Their songwriting has deteriorated into a pale imitation of its glorious former self. All too often the melodies used here are reminiscant of earlier, and superior material. At least that ghastly narrator of old has been replaced by the sinister Sauruman, and the piddly string quartet by a majestic orchestra. The epic choirs are...
Published on 26 Oct 2004 by Review Master

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry Luca, but this is dreadful
I've bought every album Rhapsody have done, as well as Luca Turilli's solo CDs, but I really think they've lost it on this one. This new album sounds like it's using a lot of their old ideas, but not so well as before.
Sadly, as a guitarist Turilli seems to be going backwards - his solos are getting very simplistic and repetitive - and Rhapsody the band has now...
Published on 18 Jan 2005 by ihsan


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much too over ambitious, 26 Oct 2004
This review is from: Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret (Audio CD)
Relapsody seem to be running out of ideas. Their songwriting has deteriorated into a pale imitation of its glorious former self. All too often the melodies used here are reminiscant of earlier, and superior material. At least that ghastly narrator of old has been replaced by the sinister Sauruman, and the piddly string quartet by a majestic orchestra. The epic choirs are truly astounding, and are the highlight of this album.
However, blending the soundtrack to Lord of the Rings alongside playful Medieval folk songs just doesn't work. The storyline has also become more important than the actual music itself, with too much emphasis placed on narrative passages. The tales of Dargor etc. should not outweigh the importance of delivering a solid piece of music. One example undertaken by Fabio is so cringeworthy it hardly bears thinking about -you would have thought the Italians would have learned correct English vocal phrasing by now!
On this album Fabio seems to be loosing his voice in places. It sounds strained and cracked next to the rich tones of the operatic backing singers. I also found most of the lead guitar solos were repetetive, and became tiresome after a few listens. Many of the drum patterns are too similar, and the same tempo is often employed throughout the album -just like the last one in fact!
Its not all bad, and there are some truly magnificent moments, yet the material is not consistant enough to warrant high praise. My advice would be to pick up an earlier album bearing the same name, which for me has yet to be surpassed. Better still, why not try the latest of Luca Turilli's solo work "Prophet of the last eclipse", a truly outstanding masterpiece.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Losing it?, 9 Dec 2007
This review is from: Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret (Audio CD)
Symphony of Enchanted Lands 2 is, at first, quite a disapointing departure from the previous releases by the Italian Power Metal band. There is a strong focus on a storyline leading to an album that is more like a film score than the energising metal that the band previously have produced. However the album is much bigger, with huge orchestras and a narration supplied by the legendary Christopher Lee and after several listens is quite captivating. There are some repeatative aspects to the album, such as the guitar solos which are vastly similar to previous albums, yet it is difficult to retain such a high calibre of song writing without falling back on some previously sucessful aspects. This album is the logical progression of the band as they claim the title of Epic Hollywood Metal.
If you are quite new to Rhapsody then this is probably not the album for you. Previous releases such as Symphony of Enchanted Lands (1) and Power of the Dragonflame capture the traditionally supurb sound of Rhapsody to a greater extent than this album. However, those who are seasoned Rhapsody listeners may be interested in this release which provides a slightly more relaxed and filmic experience that can be a refreshing change from older albums.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNBELIEVABLY perfect!!, 7 Oct 2004
This review is from: Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret (Audio CD)
This album takes my breath away
Still am i engrossed by its combination of metal and symphony, infact so engrossed i need to get off the computer and listen to it right now!
BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!
(joey de maio from ManowaR produced the cd so this makes it even better! and the legendary christopher lee completes the masterpiece!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rhapsody at their finest!!! Buy the dam CD!, 1 Oct 2004
This review is from: Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret (Audio CD)
This album is Rhapsody at their finest. The album sounds huge it has a complex and well thought out structure that guides the listener on. Rhapsody have created an album, no wait a story, that you can listen to over and over again. I own all the albums by Rhapsody and enjoy them all but this is the best album in my opinion to date.
For the people reading who have not heard of Rhapsody their sound has been described as Film score metal. Indeed Rhapsody albums are based on a fantasy story written by Luca Turilli. The previous four albums (Emerald Sword Saga (Algalord Chronicles)) showed a steady development into what their sound is today.
Their sound consists mainly of guitars (quite a few differnt types but mostly heavy electric!), some fast drumming (double bass rules!) and orchestra and it works extremely well before you throw in some sound effects, solos and some classic power metal style singing (sounds a little like WASP and Stratovarious) as well as some great commentary by Christopher Lee.
The commentary by Christopher Lee adds to the beginning of what promises to be an amazing new adventure. I can not wait for the next album of this story of war, warriors, evil, magic and dragons....
SO! what are you waiting for! buy the dam thing!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry Luca, but this is dreadful, 18 Jan 2005
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ihsan (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret (Audio CD)
I've bought every album Rhapsody have done, as well as Luca Turilli's solo CDs, but I really think they've lost it on this one. This new album sounds like it's using a lot of their old ideas, but not so well as before.
Sadly, as a guitarist Turilli seems to be going backwards - his solos are getting very simplistic and repetitive - and Rhapsody the band has now entered a strange situation where a keyboard player (Alex Staropoli) is playing far better solos than his guitar couterpart! In fact, Staropoli's work is one of the few enjoyable things for me on this CD.
The other impressive thing is the sound of the voice choir - apparently directed by Manowar's legendary Joey DeMaio - it sounds fantastic! The studio production as a whole sounds very good.
Rhapsody and Turilli's past has seen several great songs on previous albums, and I've always given them a chance because I've believed that if they could just sort out a few problems they would be a great band:-
LYRICS - very poor English, mispronounced and sung badly by Fabio Lione, so the songs as an unfortunate result just lose credibility and impact.
MEANING/POINT/PURPOSE - the story Turilli weaves is just getting more complex but aimless - what is it all for? The songs just don't hold any story together.
Sadly the music has become boring... Not even Joey DeMaio and Christopher Lee could it...
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too epic for its own good!, 14 Dec 2004
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This review is from: Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret (Audio CD)
Having bought everything by Rhapsody and Luca Turilli, I was having big hopes for this album - after the truncated and unfinished 'Dark Secret' this was obviously the continuation/elaboration of that earlier, shorter work. This album is very good, but not great, given the awesome, envigorating stuff Rhapsody have produced in the past. It seems that they are trying too hard to do what Joey deMaio calls 'putting a movie on a CD' (without the pictures), with the result that for me the whole thing is very stop/start, and disjointed. With Rhapsody you expect (and get) lots of: narration, instrumental interludes, hard/light, slow/fast contrasts but it was usually set within a certain predictable, but highly pleasing, framework: epic operatic intro, instrumental bits in the middle, winding up to a 10-15 minute climax (usually the title track). This album for me just goes too far in trying to be a new 'art form' - as Wagner's 'Ring' created 'musikdrama' I think Rhapsody are seeking a new dimension of metal/theatrics with this. The anoying thing is, it's almost completely brilliant, which is why I maybe find it somewhat unsatisfying; the narration is beautiful (for once!), the musicianship first class as always. Production, of course, is impeccable. It just doesn't hang together as a metal album very well. I'll always prefer 'Rain of a Thousand Flames', 'Dawn of Victory' and Turilli's 'Nordic Twilight' as the greatest, most inspiring work these wonderful musicians have turned out thus far. I just hope their next foray into movies comes complete with pictures! For the record, Bathory has managed a 'story album' (complete with narrative, sound effects etc) on 'Blood and Ice', and Bal-Sagoth have thus far made an awesome career out of similar concepts. So perhaps 'Enchanted Lands Vol. 3' may prove to be the next frontier in epic symphonic metal...?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny stuff, but not if you are sober., 18 Jun 2007
This review is from: Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret (Audio CD)
Don't get me wrong I love prog, but this is just ridiculously over the top. I mean this is music that would excel an acid trip to the limit. On the other hand, this music (although well written) is over the top. This is definitely a band who have watched Lord of the Rings TOO many times. If this band was sober when they wrote this album, then they are just messed up in the head. It is a laugh though.
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