Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Rhapsody of Fire - Into The Legend (2016)

Looking back at the latest album from Rhapsody of Fire, "Dark Wings of Steel", the first album without Luca Turilli, it feels like I was one of few that actually enjoyed the album. Could be that I did not care that Luca was no longer in the band, or the fact that it was a bit different from the normal sound the band produces (a sound that has always made me feel indifferent). Anyway, it was a decent album that I hoped that the band would build upon on this, their new album entitled "Into The Legend".

The things that keeps me from loving the band are still here. The weird pronunciations, the over the top theatrical approach, and songs that have a low memorability factor. It is pretty obvious that the band has a niche of fans, and I am clearly not among them. Yet somehow, there is something with this band that makes me come back to them again and again. After all, I do not hate the music they make, I just don't love it.

There are still several things to appreciate in "Into The Legend". The band's performance is impressive, attacking the listener with fast solos and beautiful arrangements, and the production is clear and sharp, just what you would expect from a band of this caliber. Also, let us not forget that cool looking cover.

The overall song quality is fairly good, but just like in the last album, I am missing memorable songs. The entire album is certainly fine when you listen to it in its entirety, but the chance of remembering anything besides the chorus of the title track is slim to none, especially if you have a lot of experience with the band before, because there are a lot of songs in their discography that are similar to these ones.

But I still have to chose some favourites, so here it goes. "Valley of Shadows" is a good one, with good intensity and some nice, Italian singing mixed in it. Now that I think of it, Rhapsody of Fire is often at its best when they involve the Italian language into their music, go figure. Anyway, "Distant Sky" and "Into The Legend" are another couple of decent tracks, but "Realms of Light" is really impressive, lots of anger and epicness in it that makes it a clear stand out (just needs a more memorable chorus to be a masterpiece). The album ends with two completely different songs, the classic power metal tune "Rage of Darkness", and a 16 minute epic known as "The Kiss of Life". The latter one is a little boring because there is not much going on in it, but it has its interesting parts that makes it a worthy listen at least once. However, it is far from the epic finisher I believe the band tried to achieve.

I really did not expect "Into The Legend" to be an overwhelming experience, and I was right. It is Rhapsody of Fire to the core, and it should not come as a surprise that the Italians has made what they know and love. "Into The Legend" does have its share of interesting moments and enjoyable songs, but my view of the band is still the same, even if this is the best album I have heard from them. I am not sure if I will ever fully embrace the band and its sound, but I will sure keep listening to them and enjoy the little things that does make me smile. After all, there is still some fine craftsmanship inside this album.

Songs worthy of recognition: Realms of Light, Valley of Shadows, Rage of Darkness

Rating: 7,5/10 Shining Stars

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