Rhapsody Of Fire - Dark Wings Of Steel review
|Band:||Rhapsody Of Fire|
|Album:||Dark Wings Of Steel|
|Release date:||November 2013|
01. Vis Divina
02. Rising From Tragic Flames
03. Angel Of Light
04. Tears Of Pain
05. Fly To Crystal Skies
06. My Sacrifice
07. Silver Lake Of Tears
08. Custode Di Pace
09. A Tale Of Magic
10. Dark Wings Of Steel
11. Sad Mystic Moon
12. A Candle To Light [extended version] [Digipak & Vinyl bonus]
13. Voler Vers Toi [French version] [Japanese bonus]
Fault-finders rarely have a hard time in finding critics to move against Rhapsody Of Fire, but it would be audacious to say that the band avoided exploring new musical directions. From 1997's Legendary Tales on, they never released an album like the previous one, always progressing, always searching for new paths to follow, arriving at their verge of experimentation with 2011's controversial From Chaos To Eternity, then…
Then Turilli left to push his research for emotional cinematic metal further in order to compose without the boundaries of the medieval leitmotifs and to develop at best all his creativity, something that remaining in Rhapsody Of Fire couldn't have allowed him. How would the members who remained in the "original" Rhapsody react to this loss? Would Staropoli, now main composer, venture in his friend's own field and dare challenge him in innovation, or would he take a step back, focusing on the consecration of the trademark Rhapsody Of Fire style?
With Dark Wings Of Steel the answer becomes crystal clear: Rhapsody Of Fire, maybe for the first time in their career, chose the safe way. It is as if The Frozen Tears Of Angels and From Chaos To Eternity, the band's more adventurous albums, had never existed as this release starts where The Dark Secret and Triumph Or Agony left off. Inheriting the faster tracks from the former, and the mid-tempo anthems (that here play a preponderant role) from the latter, Dark Wings Of Steel simply sounds like the more coherent third album of the Dark Secret Saga.
With Turilli and Leurquin's departure, and Tom Hess' hit and run, for the first time in ten years the band found itself with only one guitarist, Turilli's long-time friend Roberto De Micheli. His touch, so drastically different from the band's traditional one, is valorized at best and turns out to be one of the album's strong points. While Turilli's playing was arranged to flow with the orchestrations, to follow and merge into the compositions, De Micheli's heavy and distinctive riffing stands as a fixed point, around which the songs are built. Personal tastes will enthrone the one or the other guitarist, but what is for certain is that De Micheli is, at least until now, immensely less influential than Turilli when it comes to song writing.
Left alone with the composing duties, Staropoli didn't create an up-tempo, cheesy album (haters, rejoice!), but imagined and wrote Dark Wings Of Steel, as both the album's title and cover art show, as the heavier and darker Rhapsody Of Fire album to date. Power metal fun-rides a la "Unholy Warcry" and medieval classic tunes are few and do not live up to the band's standards, while the album flows at a well cadenced and grandiose rhythm that will cause loads of bad necks during live performances.
Almost inevitably, what's missing in Dark Wings Of Steel is inspiration, ideas, genius. Turilli's touch of magic is gone, and the void is probably unbridgeable, the result being an overall predictable album. Things Rhapsody Of Fire fans were not used to.
Dark Wings Of Steel is an album that will almost certainly silence most of the traditional hate versus Rhapsody Of Fire, but it's with heavy heart that I have to say that, though being a more than decent effort, it's the worst the band ever released.
Written on 27.11.2013 by
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.
So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
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