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Rhapsody | Symphony of Enchanted Lands II The Dark Secret | review | metal | Lollipop


Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret (SPV)
by Martin Popoff

Lordy is this thing classical! Italy's princesses of ballerina metal return to blow the budget, offering 72 minutes of symphonic priss rock (and, for once, symphonic means just that: A 60 piece orchestra was used, and used often and seamlessly) about dragons and castles, as the album cover cries loud to the heavens. Opening with thespian Christopher Lee prattling on about typical crapsody, the album eventually lifts off with the most politely-produced power metal I've ever heard. The speedy, keyboard-drenched double bass minuets of this most singular band barely pricking the ear to the fact that the suits have stopped sawing away with the longhairs taking over. And, in fact (see "Erian's Mystical Rhymes"), they do indeed stay, as the two solitudes build musical cathedrals to world peace. Er, imagined worlds actually. Fabio's vocals rule, and the background vocals hail the hall like Blind Guardian. And as soon as you're threatened with boredom, everybody breaks for a major classical and metal merger of some sort, or a soundtracky bit, or... flutes. Recorded in five separate studios over the course of two years, this certainly sounds like it, although one suspects modern technology has a lot to do with allowing such flagrant plushness. And that evenness to the frontline, no matter what the volume, and the resulting emotional evenness, cloys, much the way modern special effects in film (Rhapsody call this Film Score Metal, by the way) make the unimaginable possible, but then commonplace.


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