Rhapsody Of Fire – “Dark Wings Of Steel” (AFM Records)
Holy crap, has Luca Turilli returned to the band? Well, you could be fooled into thinking that as new guitarist Roberto De Micheli was not only a schoolmate of Luca’s, but was actually brought in by him! And so the Rhapsody Of Fire saga continues, albeit in separate directions on “Dark Wings Of Steel” compared to the earlier film score metal pioneered by Turilli. This is much more of a mid tempo classic rock album, even progressive at times, rather than a power metal album although there are certainly fast tempo breaks and power rhythms throughout. Fabio Lione’s voice remains as ever perfect as it soars and plunges through the vocal spectrum whilst Alex Staropoli and the aforementioned De Micheli compete like classical maestros using sublime keyboard arrangements and virtuoso guitar work as their dueling weapons whilst the Holzwarth brothers back them in splendour on the rhythm. Add in majestic choirs and orchestras and it’s pretty much the Rhapsody Of Fire that people have always known on songs like ‘Rising From Tragic Flames’ and ‘Fly To Crystal Skies’ whilst the likes of the Italian sung ‘Custode Di Pace’ also show their panache for classical ballads. Marking 10 years of their album history, “Dark Wings Of Steel” brings a decade of Rhapsody Of Fire to a close whilst opening the door on several future paths of direction for this groundbreaking band!