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on 30 April 2010
Aah! Rhapsody of fire. If ever there was a power release to be strongly looking forward to this surely has to be it, I have been aware of their supreme talent since being introduced to the dramatic "Power of the dragonflame" album by a good old friend a few years ago. Needless to say I was and still am very impressed by the experiance! Rhapsody of fire has always played a far more technically elevated, mature and superior songwriting arrangement then their contemporaries. "The frozen tears of angels" is as good example as any to demonstrate these subtleties. But i kid you not the new album content wise is simply mind-blowing in every sense of the word, and really does mark a gallant and significant comeback achievement which not only leaves it's predecessor firmly in the shade but also rates very well for a contender for their best album as well! Even discounting the always impressive and fantasy familiar Rhapsody cover art.

From the first real track opener 'Sea of fate' the familiar high speed guitar wielding, makes an instant appearance and the grand and epic soundscapes come complete with Fabio leone's great and well suited vocals, whilst slightly veering off to a slightly commercial direction, the song overall instantly delights, is highly memorable and is a great track! 'Reign of terror' is a fantastic seven minute journey from into eerie church sounds and choir chanting to the contrasting hyper speed soloing from Luca Turilli, incredibly watertight songwriting and musicianship make this track alongside the title song some of the best highlights of the album. There is even enough time to squeeze in a short accoustic passage in also. 'Raging starfire' is another superb one which encompasses dramatic and ancient fantasies into the musical soundscapes whilst maintaining a rapid but not a overly supersonic pace. Lost in cold dreams is a slower and digestible sitting, coming as close as it can probably can get to a power metal ballad. The final track is a the last and ambitious 11+ minute display, starting of with ancient sounds and folk talk, (Which may well not have sounded out of place on a the Lord of the rings soundtrack) that is, until the two and a half minute mark is reached, where the music then decends into some incredible guitar flows, riffs and choruses, to ultimately finish up quite nicely on a satisfying finale.

Ultimately what we have here is a truly sublime five star symphonic power metal masterpiece, that should rightly sit right up there with "blind guardian's - Nightfall in middle earth and Hammerfall's - Glory to the brave" I would like to say an automatic metal album of the year, but it is maybe a little too early for such a suggestion yet. Of course to power metal fans i wholeheartedly recommend this album on high merits, to newcomers this could well be a great and unmissable opportunity to catch up with one of the finest power metal bands in the world today on top form, In any case the Digibook edition features extensive liner notes and contains an extra studio track 'The labyrinth of madness' which is rather excellent. So I would probably recommend that edition over the standard jewel case given the small price difference. I would though be very surprised if anyone did not feel even slightly impressed with this opus, "The frozen tears of angels" is a really cracking achievement and further raises the stakes in the power metal genre, it's going to be an interesting year judging by this one!....
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on 9 May 2010
Alas my poor Rhapsody. I absolutely LOVED their first 5 albums (Lengedary tales - Dragonflame) and they really got me into symphonic metal and power metal in a big way. However, after numerous legal troubles and two lackluster albums, I'd written the Italian masters of cheese off for good... HOW WRONG WAS I??? Frozen Tears of Angels is easily the best thing to come from the boys since Power of the Dragonflame and sees them back on the top of their game, firing all cylinders with bombast, cheese, epicness, and the kind of sweep-picked guitar solos that can level small countries.

The Dark Secret and Symphony 2 really gave me the impression that Luca and the boys had run out of ideas and the tank was running on empty. The funny thing about Frozen is that Rhapsody aren't doing anything new with this one, it just soundss like they've found their soul again. its still huge guitar riffs, magestic ochestral arrangements, big choruses, great solos and Fabio's wonderful operatic singing, but they sound really rejuvinated and re-energised, and most importantly, the band sound like their actually enjoying themselves again. No more stale melodies or rehashed riffs this time. The band are pushing themselves to excellence, esp Mr. Turilli who once again reminds us why he is one of the worlds premier guitar players. Great riffs and solo's are thrown around with reckless abandon and just about every song features an amazing extended instrumental breaks where Luca shreds molten lava from his fretboard! Take the wicked opener Sea of Fate - galloping double-bass drums, soaring arpegiated riffing, great vocal melodies from Fabio, then a wicked solo break, then a key solo, then a bass tapping solo, then more guitar - it just freaking ROCKS! there's not much more to say then that; its Rhapsody but good again!

Other highlights include the cracking Raging Starfire, the fast and furious Reign of Terror(which features near-black metal style screeching from Fabio), the mid-paced and almost groovy title track and the bizzare foray into spanish flamenco that is Danza Di Fuoco E Ghiaccio. The best has to be On the Way to Ainor, which is more epic then Luca Turilli's 1980s mullet! All in all, it seems like they channeled all the frustration and anger from their legal issues into this album, and what an album it is. I'm sorry boys, i'll never lose faith in you again.

If you've never been a Rhapsody fan then nothing on this album will change that. However, if you've been a fan of their older stuff and always thought they could dobetter then The Dark Secret you should check this out. There's nothing quite like Rhapsody of Fire, and the best thing about Frozen Tears of Angels is undoubtedly the sound of a band who've been having a rough time getting back on the horse and rocking to their best. It might not beat Symphony of Enchanted Lands or Dawn of Victory, but Frozen Tears is a fantastic album and one very much worthy of the bands legacy. So, strap on your chainmail, ring out your mullet and let all your d&d fantasys come true!

Along with Blind Guardian's latest and Orden Ogan's brilliant Easton Hope, this is one of the better power metal albums of the year
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on 18 January 2015
There is a slight sense of wanting to concentrate on more straight up metal on this album I prefer it when they have fun and utlised folk music, Choirs and alsorts of cheesey story telling; which they still do but to a lesser extent on this album. There is definatly a focus on more straight up guitar and power metal on this album this is oki it makes the album have a sort of a new sound but it made me feel a bit left out in the cold as the album before this was the most dramatic almost pantomime, theatre like album it is quite a stark album in comparison. Still worth owning if only for the story, however it is not just the story that makes it worth owning. The guitar work is sublime ( perhaps that is why they wanted to Showcase Luca Turilli somemore which is fair enough. Good album but need just a smidgeon more of fun in it
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on 1 November 2010
I quite like their stuff; it's a bit Disney but quite a good old romp and at least they are listenable and not completely over the top like Dragonforce.
However - take a listen to tracks 2, 6 and 8.
While I appreciate that bands will always tend to sound somewhat the same whatever they do, they have basically used the same riff on these tracks and just played with the arrangement a little bit. I have heard this sort of thing before when a band gets hold of a riff and it appears throughout an album but come on guys, this is so obvious!
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on 4 March 2013
The actual Digi Book casing itself is beautiful (and much better quality than the easily-worn-down Digipak) and the album is a memorable addition to Rhapsody of Fire's discography. One of my only qualms is that Rhapsody of Fire's production quality appears to have gone downhill since their move to Nuclear Blast.
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on 25 August 2010
Rhapsody of Fire went off the rails with Symphony of Enchanted Lands II and Triumph and Agony; two albums that can only be described as film soundtracks minus the film. The overambitious symphonic buffoonery had none of the drive and pace that was evident in their pinnacle and it seemed doubtful that the band would ever return to the formula that made Power of the Dragonflame such a phenomenal album.

The Frozen Tears of Angels is a compelling return to form for the Italian power metal masters and sees the welcome re-emergence of the high speed guitar based nonsense which has been missing from their previous two efforts. The decision to exclude the full orchestra from this album is a shrewd move resulting in the focus on Luca Turilli's expert fretburning. And while The Frozen Tears of Angels is reminiscent of the band's earlier and frankly better efforts, it has enough variety within it to make any Rhapsody of Fire fan sit up and say `wow'.

The thing is, if you listen to any of the early albums, each song could be entirely interchangeable with any other song from any other album; the formulaic structures and sweeping guitar solos became a standard. Yet here the same feeling surrounds the album, but everything seems new and developed. Not one guitar solo seems recycled, the choruses seem fresh, and the overall power of the album is stunning.

The album opens with the obligatory orchestral introduction supported by the regal narration of Sir Christopher Lee; a man I like to think is immortal. Even this seems new and imaginative with a multi harmonised choir like an apocalyptic church gospel. Following this is the fantastic Sea of Fate which just drives on like a cavalry charge. Incidentally this track has been released along with a video which, some may be disappointed to hear, does not include the `5 man epic battle scene company' which made each other release seem so hilarious; a sign that the band wants to at last be taken seriously, with good reason.

Reign of Terror is perhaps the greatest example of the band's development. It has a swift pace, a fantastically original chorus featuring Fabio Lione's souring voice flanked by a rapturous choir. They even manage to slot in a throat grating scream here and there. And thus the album transpires, forceful power metal tracks line up and blow you away, elegantly divided by Danza Di Fuoco E Ghiaccio; a song somewhat like The Village of Dwarves but with more of a traditional baroque meets Spanish classical feel. The album finishes with the 11 minute title track which is pure Rhapsody of Fire through and through.

After more than four years of legal tribulations it is clear that this band have gotten a fresh drive behind them. They are still involved in a fairly tongue in cheek genre but this is proof that they mean business. Check out the guitar solo in Lost in Cold Dreams and you will see what I mean. This is a brilliant power metal album.
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on 4 September 2010
I'll keep it short, this CD is up there with Rain of a 1000 flames and Dragonflame. Rhapsody have not moved away from their classic formula and this CD will not disappoint!
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on 4 September 2015
The effort these guys put in shows and we get to enjoy it for the price of an album. Top stuff.
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