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Rhapsody | Rain of a Thousand Flames | review | metal | Lollipop


Rain of a Thousand Flames (LMP)
by Scott Hefflon

Rhapsody are so talented, it's almost frightening. (Singer Fabio Lione and guitarist Luca Turilli have popped up elsewhere and are widely respected.) Unfortunately, they're really, really hoaky (they make the goofballs of Helloween and their pumpkin-fixation seem tame, Yngwie seem pretty down-to-earth, and those now-tiresome 15-minute Iron Maiden epics [who've started to take on the characteristics of the other lumbering, repetitive Iron - Butterfly, that is - and I don't mean that in a good way] seem catchy and brief). Fates Warning fans may tolerate this kind of wank, but when ya open with a barnstormer like the title track (not to mention there are smokin' bands on Spinefarm like Sonata Arctica), it's hard to settle into the Lord of the Rings-esque symphonic doofiness of the rest of the record. And the over-wrought narration? Don't even get me started... I like some of this stuff (Gamma Ray does this quite well, despite their last record sounding like a Judas Priest tribute album), and Therion worships the darker end of this spectrum, but for all the mentions of darkness and deadly this'n'that, most of Rain of a Thousand Flames is pretty chipper and fluffy. Most'd consider this heavy metal power ballad stuff (but your lighter would run out of fluid before the song was over), but the songs aren't about girls (well, maidens, maybe, but not in the traditional Winger/White Lion way), and most people don't know shit anyway. Damn, and while I like Braveheart folky flutes, lutes, and whistles, I prefer the way The End's bands do it better. Less dopey, more dark and kinda freaky, but without flirting with Emperor or Cradle of Filth or anything. But that's apples and oranges, and this is certainly fruity, kids. This orchestrated cheese platter is a tide-me-over until Power of the Dragonflame is released in the States. This EP has reworked bits from Dario Argento's Phenomena (by Goblin) and Antonin Dvoráks' "Symphony of the New World."

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