Rhapsody of Fire // From Chaos to Eternity
Rating: 5.0/5.0 —From awesome to better!?
Label: Nuclear Blast [EU | US]
Websites: rhapsodyoffire.com | myspace.com/rhapsodyoffire | facebook.com/rhapsodyoffire
Release Dates: EU: 17.06.2011 | US: 07.12.2011

Rhapsody Of Fire - From Chaos To EternityRhapsody of Fire is like the kyrptonite of Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™. While they did have diminished recordings when they signed with Magic Circle Records (PRO-TIP: the “magic circle” in question is your anus… which will get fucked by Joey DeMaio), the last two years have been tremendously productive for these Italians. First, they came back with 2010’s The Frozen Tears of Angels which was an amazing success by all accounts and received a raving 5/5 review from me. Then they released The Cold Embrace of Fear which wasn’t exactly the greatest thing they ever did, but it was good and had some solid songs even if it contained far more voice acting than I’d’ve liked (“IT’S AN AVALANCHE!!”). And they managed to drop a guitarist and pick up another one (by the name of Tom Hess) on the way. But now this. From Chaos to Eternity.

To be honest, it’s sometimes hard to write these raving reviews when a record just nails it and From Chaos to Eternity just nails it. In a way I’m not sure that it’s really better than the last one (this is one of those situations when a 100 point scale instead of a 5 point one could’ve been useful), but instead it differentiates itself a bit from traditional Rhapsody of Fire sound, while actually even reinforcing the sound at the same time. This paradox may be hard to wrap your mind around, but they’ve done something here that I think is really fantastic: they’ve started blending in heavier music and different classical elements in order to create something that feels more progressive and aggressive, but while maintaining that over-the-top power metal style that they created and mastered.

Rhapsody of FireThe first thing that stands out that really differentiates this record from previous albums is the more extensive use of black metal-style screams on songs like “Aeons of Raging Darkness,” “Tornado,” and even on the huge epic “Heroes of Waterfall’s Kingdom.” This actually comes with some heavier parts as well, where the drums are blasty a  la Dragonforce or Falconer, but without losing what is so distinctly… Rhapsody. Also, the continuation of the movement into the more progressive at times is definitely noticeable. “Ghosts of Forgotten Worlds,” leans in that way at times during the versus, as well as the solos in “Aeons of Raging Darkness.” It should not go unmentioned that the solos on here are often doubles and feel very creative and unique within neo-classical genre. One of the things that keeps creeping through with this material is that Turilli is very aware that “classical” didn’t end with the baroque area, and the music at times is leaning towards periods beyond baroque and Viennese classical and that makes these tracks very interesting.

Of course From Chaos to Eternity still contains its anthemic songs; “I Belong to the Stars” and “Anima Perduta” and the title track all live up to this title. Though, arguably, everything Rhapsody churns out has a way of being anthemic. After just a couple listens, I found myself whistling along with the 20 minute epic final track, which thematically sums up the story of their whole catalogue up to this point. It’s pretty impressive if you can write a memorable, catchy 20 minute track. I mean, there are very few of those out there. But, just because these tracks are memorable and catchy doesn’t mean that Rhapsody isn’t being daring when it comes to song writing, because they really are. At times these tracks have sections that are more akin to ‘movements’ than verses and bridges, merging smoothly between bombastic choruses and flute and acoustic parts. While they’ve done so in the past, they do so more fludily and frequently on From Chaos to Eternity, to excellent effect.

And while I’m not as overcome with From Chaos to Eternity‘s awesome as I was with The Frozen Tears of Angels, I think that has more to do with the fact that the former was just released last year and that the expectations for that one were sky fucking high because of the derth of good material since Power of the Dragonflame. But don’t let that dampen your spirits even one bit about this album, pick it up and let it sink in. Enjoy the virtuosity of all of the instrumentation (particularly the guitar solos are just ridiculous, Turilli and Hess don’t fail to impress [and that rhymes], but there’s a fantastic bass run on “Tempesta di Fuoco” and I think that Guers probably doesn’t get enough attention due to being overshadowed by tremendous guitar players), and enjoy the final of these old fashioned radio epics, because these are apparently going away after this record. But if that’s the case, From Chaos to Eternity is one hell of a note to go out on.

  • Torewazaki

    Great! After some not-so-good releases from big names this year, good to see that Rhapsody did a great job. I hope Symphony X also delivers!

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  • Nyarlathotep

    I’m not really a fan of power metal, but I can already tell there are going to be a bunch of butthurt fans because they incorporated harsh vox in this album.

  • Ciaran

    ^ Let their butts hurt then. If harsh vox is enough to turn a fan off of an album then I would question their intelligence, let alone taste.

    • Nyarlathotep

      Agreed. In fact, more or less ever band I listen to uses exclusively harsh vox.

  • Björn

    “… Turilli is very aware that “classical” didn’t end with the baroque area…” :)

    This album is more… more of everything.
    RoF has pretty much turned into the Opeth of Power Metal with this album IMO.

  • Krauzer

    Great Review.. So true by the way, that a band like Rhapsody, that had the stigma of being more of the same has been changing so much lately.. yet remaining true to their original sound.. very hard to do!

  • Hyper from Italy

    Dear AMG,

    fantastic review. RoF is one of my prides for being Italian. Looking forward to burning this record out as It was with the former. Actually I do hope this will make me cry as it happened to me while listening to the epic final tunes of “Power of the Dragonflame”.

    Hail from Italy

  • dheim

    i NEVER liked power metal (not even a bit), but i’ll give it a spin. i’ve just listened to Rhapsody’s first album at the time, and i found it hilarious at best… maybe they’ve changed (i hope so!) in the last 15 years or such… i trust you on this one! ;)

    • Rhapsody is still hilarious. Just ’cause there’s a bit of screaming doesn’t mean they’ve gone evil and abandoned cheese.

  • ZacP

    Really great review! I’ve never listened to any Luca Turilli music before. I burned out on Yngwie about five years ago, and just have always associated the two in my mind. But I figured after the last two 5/5 reviews he’s gotten on this site that I must be missing out on something, and so I was! I can’t speak for any of his previous material, but this album balances out the power metal cheese with enough other elements that I can actually take it seriously. Favorite track: Aeons of Raging Darkness

  • Hellmaster

    Great review man, I’ve only heard some of the songs on this album and the black metal screams really impressed me. The guitars are amazing and tornado is totally epic. But you got me excited even more. I can’t wait to get this album. HAIL RHAPSODY!!!

  • Steve

    I hope the person reviewing this wasn’t the same person who gave At The Edge of Yime a 2.5, cause they’d quickly lose all credibility as to knowing what good power metal is.

    • Björn

      The same person later included At the Edge of Time on his Top 10ish of 2010…

  • johan

    Anyone else find it funny that Tom Hess used to be in Holyhell, another band on Magic Circle, he probably got tired of also being screwed by DeMaio and left so he could actually play on albums instead of being held back by the label and the shitty band that is Holyhell.

  • Polantaris

    I believe RoF isn’t ending as a band, but just the whole tale that they started at the beginning of their band with Legendary Tales is. They didn’t make it very clear unfortunately, but I doubt they would get a new member for one album. I’m looking forward to learning about what they are going to do next if I’m right.

  • zolos

    Good record! The harsh vocals and their combination with power metal music (eg Aeons Of Raging Darkness) sound a lot like Bal-Sagoth to my ears. Bal-sagoth lyrical themes also dealt with a vast mythology and the booklets were packed with stories, background info and written like dialogues between the main story characters. I see a connection :)

    • Ahhh! Good call. I totally didn’t even think of Bal-sagoth, but you’re right on.

  • Anonymous

    I disagree with the fact that the last 2 albums are “amazing and awesome” I’ve been a fan since 2005 when i first heard of them and although I appreciate and like some of the new elements they are introducing to their style this is not the band I fell in Love with and period.  Perhaps it’s because they haven’t mastered the heavier music with growling vocals yet but why set your trademark in the back seat? I’m a classical music fan and heavy metal fan as well and it seems that with certain songs they’re just another band trying to make Rhapsody music instead of Rhapsody trying to make music. Maybe they should keep on trying until they finally get there. I don’t mind progressive, or a more aggressive sound because i like that side, but i dislike the placement of their essence. In the back seat. Anyways i’m just a pin in a hay stack of fans, who cares what i think let alone what my thoughts are. Enjoy the album.

  • George Kirk

    Just checked this out on your recommendation – awesome. Will definitely be following your site going forward.

  • From Chaos to Eternity‘s and The Frozen Tears of Angels are my so far favorites from Rhapsody of Fire. I love their new direction and the sound they have achieved. I’m blown away!