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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Symphony Of Enchanted Lands
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£19.16+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 5 November 2017
Ludicrously over the top, pompously bombastic, cheesy as hell. With Power Metal these things can either be used as insults, or as compliments depending on what you like to listen to.

There are few bands more OTT, more pompous or more cheesy than Italy’s Rhapsody (Who were later re-named Rhapsody Of Fire due to legal issues, and later still split into two bands, Rhapsody Of Fire and Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody with different members in different sides continuing things on separately). Pompus, cheesy and OTT sure, but that’s exactly what’s so great about them. The band are the very spirit of over-dramatic, flowery, sword and sorcery themed Symphonic Power Metal. Just take a look at the dragon on the front cover. Hey people told you dragons and stuff were ridiculous back in the ’90s but nowadays everyone’s calling their newborn kid Khallesi and you can buy Game Of Thrones t-shirts in Asda. (That’s Wallmart for my non-British readers).

Singer Fabio Lione (currently in Angra) has an absolutely stunning voice, with such ridiculous power, range and control. The perfect man for the job of delivering the cheesy OTT story, over this cheesy OTT music. He has the perfect skill for delivering the immense drama the band have to offer. Lead guitarist Luca Turilli’s insane virtuoso mastery of his instrument is beyond impressive. The shred level is off the charts. The combination of both those things is bound to have been a huge influence on modern bands like Firewind and Dragonforce.

This 1998 effort is the second entry in their series of concept albums set in a Lord Of The Rings style fantasy world, continuing the story of their The Emerald Sword Saga. The music is a mixture of Hollywood soundtrack style orchestration and glorious rampaging melodic European-style Power Metal. There’s speedy numbers, mid-paced stuff and lavish string & wind driven atmospheric passages, all working next to each other in perfect harmony. Sometimes they just go ahead and blend it all together too. The fast songs will have flutes and acoustic guitars as intros or outros or middle-eights, the slow songs will have orchestral moments or narration at the end, the mid-paced stompers will speed up later on. It all works so well together.

After a minute of dramatic classical music and chanting in the intro ‘Epicus Furor,’ the band kick off the album with a bang, on possibly the finest track on the whole album and one of the finest of their early career… the absolutely storming ‘Emerald Sword,’ with one of the catchiest choruses you’ll ever hear (it sticks in my head for days at a time). The album is crowned by an epic 13-minute title track which encompasses pretty much all the many styles this album has to offer in one single place. Everything in between, the ballads, the fast ones and the orchestral stuff is all up to a very high standard. Highlights include ‘Wisdom Of The Kings,’ ‘Riding The Wings Of Eternity’ and ‘Beyond The Gates Of Infinity.’

Overall; Symphony Of Enchanted Lands is a ridiculously bold and spectacular album brimming with effort, with enthusiasm and drama. The musicianship is immense, the songs are memorable and as long as you don’t mind that its cheesy as hell, I highly recommend you check it out.
One person found this helpful
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on 5 April 2018
as expected
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on 17 September 2006
what can i say, wow, this is awesome. Combining power metal and ochestral music like never before, Rhapsody have created a truly epic, thrilling sound. there's no real good way to describe it, you just need to hear this album. kind of like the lord of the rings soundtrack if you added a 6 piece metal band and some Bruce Dickenson esque vocals. There's some great fast tracks like 'emerald sword' and 'wisdom of the kings' that have these old skool galloping verses and break into epic mutli layer choruses that really get your blood pumping before breaking into some full blown symphony stuff. there's also some celtic jig stuff and the fantastic title track, with 14 minutes of prog medieval metal greatness. we're deep in nerd territory. songs about magic swords, dragons and dark lords. while i don't mind being a nerd alot of the 'cool metal goth emo post-metalcore poser' people won't like this

all the better i say. metal isn't ment to be about getting dumped by your girlfriend.

as you can tell, i love this band

but there's a few things which hold it back from being a classic. for one, i think that they got the balance a bit wrong and its a tad too high on orchestra and a tad short on metal. also, the overblown american narrator gets really annoying. But Rhapsody are great and this cd is a good way to introduce yourself to their sound.
4 people found this helpful
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on 13 January 2002
I took a chance on this album after hearing a sample track, I had heard all the criticisms and to be truthful they couldn't have been listening to the music. The Metal on offer here is above all contempory Symphonic bands, People talk about the Fantasy subject (which is here) but the lyrics are not at the forefront of the music, and they are never to the detrement of it; the orchestral arrangements are worthy of any great composer, and I hope that guitarist Luca Turilli accomplishes his dream of film soundtracks. If you only buy one Rhapsody album, then buy this one.
3 people found this helpful
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on 7 August 2002
Rhapsody are a rather low-key band. But this is one of their greatest accomplishments. The band melds serene classical music and opera-like vocals with melodic and often fast paced metal. "Emerald Sword" is a brilliant example. The song begins with dramatic, booming drums and a strong chorus in its prelude, "Epicus Furor" and breaks into a storm of lightning metal guitar from the band's prodigy guitarist, Luca Turilli. This is mixed and followed by various Musical instruments finally breaking into a titanic rush of double-kickdrum drumming and Ukranian choirs followed by the Powerful voice of the band's singer Fabio Lione. The album has countless good songs, including "Wisdom of the Kings", "Eternal Glory", "Dark Tower of the Abyss" and the brilliant, ten minute long "Symphony of Enchanted Lands". The album holds many strengths, the band themselves boast incredible talent, The songs are well structured and individually unique and some of the added instrumental parts give songs incredible strength and feeling. The only letdown of the album is the large proportion of "cheesiness" it holds. It's concept is an imaginary fantasy world called Algalord, centred on a "Mighty Warrior" who's duty it is to save the land... in addition there are ridiculous narrations between some of the songs which make you cringe as an over-dramatic American voice tells the story. Overall it is definitely worth buying, in some cases a "must-have" but it appeals only to certain types of Metallers.
6 people found this helpful
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on 15 May 2001
Describing itself as 'Epic Hollywood Symphonic Metal', Rhapsody is the ultimate album for people who couldn't give a f*** about being cool and trendy. Yes, some parts of it are embarrassing (eg most of the spoken word passages) but the arranging, time and effort which has been put into this album is incredible. The first track, Epicus Furor, sets the tone perfectly, with a full on orchestra and choir raising the tension until the listener is hit by the epic speed anthem Emerald Sword. The other epic tracks are definetely Wisdom of the King (with it's fantastic guitar/violin trade off), the bombastic Eternal Glory, the prog-metal of Beyond the Gate of Infinity and the 10 minute title track. While the only gripe may be that the speed riff tends to sound the same, the actual arranging by guitarist Luca Turilli is unbelievable, and the technical ablitity of the band is superb. If you're not a pretentious student who only listens to Indie and dance music, or a rap metal fan who only likes it because it's fashionable, then Rhapsody is most certainly for you.
13 people found this helpful
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on 14 May 2001
Italy's heirs to the METAL KINGS throne have done it again. Far superior to their first album in terms of complexity, This is an album no metal fan should be without. This album has everything except the kitchen sink, bombastic metal anthems with elements of hollywood soundtracks & classical music. BUY BUY BUY BUY
3 people found this helpful
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on 7 July 2014
not up to par but still a good listen on a long journey
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