Rating:
7.0
Rhapsody Of Fire - Dark Wings Of Steel
22 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, thenů

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.


Band profile: Rhapsody Of Fire
Album: Dark Wings Of Steel


 



Written on 27.11.2013 by
R Lewis
Hopefully you won't agree with me, diversity of opinions is what makes metal so beautiful and varied.

So... critics and advices absolutely welcome.
More reviews by R Lewis ››



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 12  
Users visited: 345  
Search this topic:  


Gothmog_Motsham - 27.11.2013 at 15:48  
It's like the album is more "metal" rather than "neoclassical" like it's always been, I quite enjoyed the album, but Turilli's absence left a void that cannot be unheard, I was really hoping the album would have more folksy instruments like it used to be on the first albums. Still worth the solid 7.0. Good review!
Darkside Momo - 27.11.2013 at 23:29  
Worst album, as in worst than the Magic Circle years?... And yet you find yourself comparing this album to Triumph Or Agony - by far their worst.
I'll have to check out by myself but I'm anxious.
R Lewis - 27.11.2013 at 23:49  
Written by Darkside Momo on 27.11.2013 at 23:29

Worst album, as in worst than the Magic Circle years?... And yet you find yourself comparing this album to Triumph Or Agony - by far their worst.
I'll have to check out by myself but I'm anxious.

Dark Wings Of Steel ≤ Triumph Or Agony < Everything else. At least as I see it.
Darkside Momo - 28.11.2013 at 02:20  
Written by R Lewis on 27.11.2013 at 23:49

Written by Darkside Momo on 27.11.2013 at 23:29

Worst album, as in worst than the Magic Circle years?... And yet you find yourself comparing this album to Triumph Or Agony - by far their worst.
I'll have to check out by myself but I'm anxious.

Dark Wings Of Steel ≤ Triumph Or Agony < Everything else. At least as I see it.

Oh shit... :/
Teravolt_Danny - 28.11.2013 at 03:20  
As myself and some other posters have pointed out in other threads, RoF put the technical guitar wankery on the back burner for for this album, which I think was a good thing. Don't get me wrong, I think their last two albums were good, but they were slowly edging away from symphonic power metal and moving toward a more proggy, progressive sound - which isn't bad, but it isn't what RoF are.

With that said, while I'm happy with what they were TRYING to do on this album, I think they missed the mark a bit. Despite the emphasis they put on songwriting and choruses, there isn't as much memorable material as I wish there were. There are some killer tracks, but a few tracks, such as "Tears of Pain," are very clear filler.

7/10 for me.

PS - Anyone notice that the first half of the chorus on "Angel of Light" is almost the exact same as the beginning of the chorus to "Sea of Fate?"
AngelofDeth - 28.11.2013 at 08:43  
Still need some more time to rate it myself but this pretty much sums up my thoughts so far...

Quote:
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.


Well composed review btw!
Empyror - 28.11.2013 at 17:52  
I agree with what was said and the score for this review. It seems everyone here agrees that alot of the cheese and catchiness we all used to love about Rhapsody is gone. Most of it went with Turilli to the other Rhapsody. I also agree with R Lewis that Triumph of Agony WAS there worst album until this was released. The second half of Triumph was still really great with songs like Il Canto del Vento, Bloody Red Dungeons and Son of Pain. This album is sort of the same way in that four of the best five songs on the album appear after track six, but aren't nearly as good as the previously mentioned songs.
LeChron James - 29.11.2013 at 07:51  
This is definitely on the same level as Triumph or Agony. Only a few good songs with all the rest being very forgettable.
theembryo - 01.12.2013 at 13:01  
Quote:
".... while the album flows at a well cadenced and grandiose rhythm that will cause loads of bad necks during live performances....."


Then perhaps I shall debut this release by seeking a record of just such a performance including a few tunes from it. Thanks for this review!
Daggon - 11.12.2013 at 23:12  
Their weakest release to date, I'm a HUGE fan of Rhapsody, but this album was one of the most boring and generic things I've listened this year...
I'm done with both bands called Rhapsody...
FelixLord - 16.12.2013 at 07:41  
I've been following for many years Rhapsody. The songs on this album seem different from the other albums, are quieter and have another melody which surprised me. This album reminds me of Luca Turilli's Rhapsody Band, the music is good, but not Rhapsody of Fire ...

7.5/10 rate is fair I think.
AngelofDeth - 01.03.2014 at 03:54  
Great review, agree with most all points made, though I would've been a little harsher on the score. The album isn't terrible, per se, but it is incredibly boring to the point where I was barely tolerable of one complete listen. And being this boring is almost worse than being messy, at least with some messy albums you can pluck out a few gems, unfortunately, there is none here.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Rhapsody Of Fire - Dark Wings Of Steel 9 17.09.2013 by mikeprado30
Reviews Rhapsody Of Fire - The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony 7 28.09.2010 by csiga
Albums Rhapsody Of Fire - The Dark Secret [EP] 6 25.12.2012 by mikeprado30
Albums Rhapsody Of Fire - Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret 6 17.01.2011 by powa_emanuel
Albums Rhapsody Of Fire - Live In Canada 2005 - The Dark Secret [Live] 6 11.02.2010 by Met@1lurg



Hits total: 4726 | This month: 207