Back in 1993 three Italian musicians, guitarist / keyboardist Luca Turilli, keyboardist Alex Staropoli and drummer Daniele Carbonera, formed a symphonic metal band named Thundercross, inspired musically by Manowar and Yngwie J. Malmsteen and lyrically by fantasy literature.
A change of name to Rhapsody came in 1994 and was followed by the recruitment of ex-Labyrinth vocalist Fabio Lione to complete the line-up responsible for the band’s debut album “Legendary Tales” in 1997. This record was the first in a series known as the “Emerald Sword Saga” which encompasses the first five albums in the band’s catalogue.
“Symphony Of Enchanted Lands”, the second of those albums, was released in 1998 and saw the first appearance of bassist Alessandro Lotta, who remained with the group until 2002. Carbonera was replaced by current drummer Alex Holzwarth in 2000.
The band’s music has been variously described as symphonic metal, power metal, progressive metal, neo-classical metal and Hollywood metal (due to the cinematic quality of the group’s material).
After encountering legal difficulties over the band name as a trademark in 2006 the band was re-branded as Rhapsody Of Fire.
Following three album releases under the new name Turilli and Staropoli decided to part ways in 2011 – with Staropoli continuing with Rhapsody Of Fire and Turilli started a new venture as Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody. Staropoli’s band are more metallic in sound, whereas Turilli’s have further developed the cinematic sound.
Joining Turilli in his new band are vocalist Alessandro Conti, bassist Patrice Guers, guitarist Dominique Leurquin and drummer Alex Landenburg.
“Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus” (which translates as “Prometheus, Symphony Of The Divine Fire”) is the second studio album from Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody, released in June 2015, three years after debut “Ascending To Infinity”.
Although bombastic, epic, huge, massive, broad, expansive etc. could be used to describe the sound of this band, but cinematic really is the keyword here. Sure, there are plenty of powerhouse drums, layers of guitars and brilliantly impressive guitar solos, and some great melodies too – but on top of that are banks of keyboards, orchestral, choral and even operatic parts, spoken word sections… I wouldn’t be surprised to find a kitchen sink in there somewhere(!)
The whole thing could quite conceivable be used for movie soundtracks and, like so much great classical music, the sounds presented here do paint a picture. In this case a picture of a truly epic movie!
“One Ring To Rule Them All” obviously references the “Lord Of The Rings” saga, “Yggdrasil” could soundtrack a Viking epic, “Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross)”, “King Solomon And The 72 Names Of God”, “Anahata”, etc. All perfect for various movies in your imagination.
The crowning achievement here, though, is the continuation of the more epic than epic “Of Michael The Archangel And Lucifer’s Fall”. The previous album had Part I, clocking in at just over sixteen minutes, and on this new record we find Part II which runs for just over eighteen minutes – and none of that time is wasted!
Turilli, as composer and lyricist, plus responsibility for some of the guitar parts, all keyboards, orchestral arrangements, production and engineering and cover art concept, clearly has a lot riding on this. No worries on that score – as with his compositions over the previous years the quality here is consistently very high.
Many will find the music here too over the top and faintly ridiculous – but for those of us who enjoy that kind of thing from time to time this is a great record!…
1. Nova Genesis (Ad Splendorem Angeli Triumphantis) / 2. Il Cigno Nero / 3. Rosenkreuz (The Rose And The Cross) / 4. Anahata / 5. Il Tempo Degli Dei / 6. One Ring To Rule Them All / 7. Notturno / 8. Prometheus / 9. King Solomon And The 72 Names Of God / 10. Yggdrasil / 11. Of Michael The Archangel And Lucifer’s Fall Part II : Codex Nemesis (I. Codex Nemesis Alpha Omega / II. Symphonia Ignis Divinus (The Quantum Gate Revealed) / III. The Astral Convergence / IV. The Divine Fire Of The Archangel / V. Of Psyche And Archetypes (System Overloaded) / 12. Thundersteel