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Rhapsody Of Fire - Glory For Salvation review


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Band: Rhapsody Of Fire
Album: Glory For Salvation
Release date: November 2021

01. Son Of Vengeance
02. The Kingdom Of Ice
03. Glory For Salvation
04. Eternal Snow
05. Terial The Hawk
06. Maid Of The Secret Sand
07. Abyss Of Pain II
08. Infinitae Gloriae
09. Magic Signs
10. I'll Be Your Hero
11. Chains Of Destiny
12. Un'Ode Per L'Eroe
13. La Esencia De Un Rey

Just to clear things up before we start, this is Rhapsody Of Fire, the one that still has Alex Staropoli. Not any of the other six. Recently, some of those offshoots have shone more brightly than the progenitor star, but Staropoli's latest lineup is clawing its way back up the ramparts to the glory that once was.

The way I see it, Rhapsody Of Theseus is on the up. We’re not talking Symphony Of Enchanted Lands or Dawn Of Victory, but we are talking The Frozen Tears Of Angels or From Chaos To Eternity, which were the last triumphs of the original Rhapsody lineup prior to its agreed-upon splintering. Since the nadir of a few years back, Rhapsody Of Fire has been inching towards those inaugural pillars; I'm not sure whether I would call Glory For Salvation better than The Eighth Mountain, but they're rather close, and both are certainly leagues ahead of Dark Wings Of Steel, Into The Legend, and the unnecessary deviation that was Legendary Years.

Some of the biggest complaints leveled against Rhapsody Of Fire in the last decade include a general lack of inventive guitar work in the wake of Luca Turilli's departure and apparent attempts to rehash a generic "Rhapsody sound." I find these criticisms generally justified, even if Glory For Salvation is beginning to move the band away from "post-split" to "new tomorrow." Roberto de Micheli;s position is unenviable as a talent filling in for a genius, and though his work on "The Kingdom Of Ice" and "Maid Of The Secret Sand" hints at the type of confidence and intricacy that fans demand of Rhapsody Of Fire - the absence of which caused those first couple of albums to plummet in esteem - I still hear a big gulf between what's happening now and what the band could be doing with the skills at its disposal. As for the songwriting, while I hesitate to say that there has been a marked improvement - perhaps not enough to lasso lapsed fans still longing for the days of the dragonflame - the production seems to be heading in the right direction, and the invigorating clarity of songs like "Terial The Hawk" and "Abyss Of Pain II" is enough to make Glory For Salvation very listenable, if not as sublime as the days of old. Staropoli's iteration has faltered, but he is still casting about for fresh ideas in that experimental manner characteristic of Rhapsody and its inflammable successor.

One way you can still identify the true spark of Rhapsody Of Fire is the depth of the arrangements; Staropoli finds himself responsible for a much greater share of the composing than in the band's heyday, but he has not forsaken the role when it comes to those vast choirs and orchestrations. The melodies are still wanting compared to classic material, but I love hearing those choirs, and it seems as though the songs are often led by vocals, with guitars and keys usually relegated to support roles; this is a sensible choice while the band's instrumentalists continue to tinker away at finding their own sounds, especially given how energetic and charismatic a frontman Giacomo Voli is. The drums are on the loud side, which I feel comfortable in attributing to mixing engineer Sebastian Levermann; Levermann likes to use a free hand with the rhythm section in Orden Ogan, and I can hear his preferred wall of sound coming through quite strongly. It's a bit of a different feeling for Rhapsody Of Fire's production, but this is Levermann's third time working with them on a studio album, so they must enjoy it - and with the vocals leading the charge to a greater exclusion of the instrumentalists than I am used to, I think it works. The choruses are big, the choirs are bright and layered, and Voli's vocals are dazzling.

A lot of power metal bands have taken the stage since Rhapsody made its legendary debut, and it would seem that the best years of this project remain behind us, but it's still true that no one is really doing the exact same thing, at least not as well. Even if Glory For Salvation isn't as glorious as those golden years, its vigor and brightness make me confident that at the very least we won't again face something as dull as Dark Wings Of Steel - and we may get another masterwork yet.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Written on 12.12.2021 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 5   Visited by: 104 users
13.12.2021 - 17:47
Rating: 7
Enemy of Reality

Fair review and fair rating. It's not classic seminal Rhapsody but i think it's a pretty solid album. The only complaint i have is by comparison: just listen to Symphony of Enchanted Lands arrangements and come back to this album. This feels sometimes hollow if you know what i mean. Very stripped to the bones. But still retains the charm of a Rhapsody album. Magic Signs is one of the best songs i've heard all year. Fantastic singer!
Looks like rain
13.12.2021 - 21:22

Its solid indeed, but they are capable for more... or isnt this that Rhapsody??
14.12.2021 - 15:56
Heaven Knight
"Terial The Hawk" was the song that touches me most since the break up of good ol' Rhapsody (out from everything produced by their offspring up today). Gonna give this album a try soon.
My rest seems now calm and deep
Finally I got my dead man sleep

14.12.2021 - 17:57
Rating: 7
I’ve never taken an interest in Rhapsody Of Fire apart from the album where they were fortunate enough to get Sir Christopher Lee to narrate and take part as a guest vocalist on the promo version of “Magic Of The Wizard’s Dream” (still one of my favorite things ever to happen). 

I enjoyed this album! Some have called it a snore fest or an uninspired run-of-the-mill power metal effort, but even though I rarely like power metal, I don’t get that feeling with Glory For Salvation at all. It’s not an album that breaks new ground or perfects any formula, but it is definitely not uninspired or effortless in any department. The number of key and tempo-changes in songs that all work very well is sufficient evidence for me that the band cared about what they were creating. There’s no need at all to jump between keys like this if one sets out to make a lazy album. 

Kingdom Of Ice is probably my favorite track here. It’s a wonderful power metal anthem with really strong writing. The vocal melodies in the chorus are instantly memorable without feeling tired or overly familiar, and the simplistic drumming and slower tempo in the verse are also a pleasant touch. 

Also, this album was my first time hearing Giacomo Voli's vocals in any band and he's so good!

Excellent review @SSUS, and I think your optimism regarding the band’s future is not at all unwarranted considering the quality of Glory For Salvation. I might even have given the album a strong 7 (closing in on an 8 if it wasn't for the cheesy and terrible "I'll Be Your Hero") in the songwriting department  
I am not nor have I ever been a musician or a member of a one-man band, especially a band that has a name that starts with "D".
14.12.2021 - 19:22
Metal Spartan

I'd say The Eighth Mountain was just slightly better than this new album...which means it's still solid. That said, Glory For Salvation is definitely NOT leagues ahead of Into the Legend, and I personally don't see how anyone can say that. I thought Into the Legend was, for the most part, on par with their old albums and a great swansong for Fabio with this version of Rhapsody.

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