Rhapsody - Symphony of enchanted lands ll/The dark secret 4/5

Reviewed: 11-5-04





Tracklist:

1. The dark secret
2. Unholy warcry
3. Never forgotten heroes
4. Elgard's green valleys
5. The magic of the wizards dream
6. Erian's mystical rhymes
7. The last angels call
8. Dragonland's rivers
9. Sacred power of raging winds
10. Guardiani del destino
11. Shadows of death
12. Nightfall on the grey mountains


I can't believe Rhapsody has already reached their 5th full-length CD. Actually, if you consider 'Rain of a thousand flames' a full-length as well (as I do, since it's over 30 minutes and all originals), this is their 6th, amazing! This is by far the best written/composed of all their CDs. The narration is so more appealing to me, it's like night and day. Probably because of the addition of Christopher Lee from the 'Lord of the rings' movies, as his deep voice really fits the powerful music. There's also a huge difference in the orchestration that's just awesome! Their brilliant usage of different instruments and creating interesting sounds is unbelievable, and the vocals are as great as on any of their other CDs. I also think the hooks are better on this one, as on some of their previous CDs I get lost and forget where I'm at on the CD (if that makes sense). So they've improved in many areas.

But...
I hear a huge production flaw that stops this from being one of the best CDs released this year, and by far the band's best. The guitars are not strong enough, and don't even come close to matching the powerful orchestration. It's almost as if the guitars are in the background, making this closer to an epic film score rather than a metal CD. It amazes me that so many aspects of a CD can be so right, yet one flaw (that ends up being a big one) brings the CD back down to the level of their previous CDs.

In the end it's still excellent, but would have absolutely been a masterpiece if it wasn't for the one complaint/flaw that I hear. Still a must for those who like the band at all, and my complaint certainly shouldn't ruin the overall enjoyment of the CD. So Rhapsody fans should quickly grab this, but don't expect the perfect Rhapsody CD quite yet.



CLINT




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