With their outstanding debut LEGENDARY TALES (1997) they've achieved what only the fewest rock bands can claim: guitarist Luca Turilli, vocalist Fabio Lione and keyboarder Alex Staropli – the regular cast of Rhapsody Of Fire – created their own niche, a very own genre: ”Hollywood Metal” or ”Film Score Metal”, because their epic Power Metal in combination with elements of classicism and film music but also folkloric touches just couldn't be put into one of the existing categories.
In general the guitar play of Luca Turilli takes the virtuosic and harmonic late baroque style plus the subsequent neo-classicism as an example, whereas the keyboard parts of Alex Staropolis often undertake the function of basso continuo. Together with the fantasy lyrics an unique pizazz emerges that has no peer and that is being perfected by the Italiens as time goes by.
At the turn of the millenium the typical Heavy Metal agression occupied center stage on albums such as DAWN OF VICTORY (2000), RAIN OF A THOUSAND FLAMES (2001) or POWER OF THE DRAGONFLAME (2002), while from 2004 on – especially on releases à la SYMPHONY OF ENCHANTED LANDS II: THE DARK SECRET (2004) and TRIUMPH OR AGONY (2006) – epic elements came to the fore, which found its provisional peak in the orchestral THE FROZEN TEARS OF ANGELS (2010).
Despite having used the momentum of this previous production from 2010 to start working on FROM CHAOS TO ETERNITY without a break, a return to traditional and more rocking virtues sets in now, though the self-created musical stamping ground is not being abandoned for a single second: ”We cut back the bombast to a certain extent, let the guitars blast stronger again, put emphasis rather on basic rock”, Turilli states concerning this year's variant of their ”Film Score Metal” and the alignment of the new opus, which into the bargain finalizes the fantasy saga of the emerald sword that has been continued from the debut on for more than 15 years.
Once again Christopher Lee, doyen of dramatic arts, could be won over as the narrator, who introduces the lyrical concept in the theatric intro 'Ad Infinitum' and furthermore guides the listener through 'Heroes Of The Waterfalls´ Kingdom' which is 20 minutes long and the concluding centerpiece of the album at once, that pulls out all the stops of the symphonic-epic Hollywood Metal.
'Tempesta Di Fuoco' with its Italian lyrics and classical baroque speed rock attitude may be exactly what devotees of the sextette expect from their heroes, and also the hymnic title track with its typical sweeping Rhapsody-choirs embodies Film Score Metal at its best. However, already 'Ghosts Of Forgotten Worlds' turns out to be the first surprise because of its massive and progressive guitar play as well as Fabios Geoff-Tate-alike vocals – just as 'Aeons Of Raging Darkness' that undoubtably is one of the most agressive songs of Rhapsody's repertoire, due to its thrashing riffs and the astounding touch of Black Metal in Lione's voice.
On the other hand one can find traditional pieces such as the mini-opera 'Anima Perduta' (which is sung in romantic Italian language as well), the straight-lined mid-tempo rock track 'I Belong To The Stars' that is repeatedly bursting out in stunning orchestral choirs at the same time, or the rhythmic 'Tornado' that has a bridging function between the dramatic-epic and agressively rocking stylistic elements within the Italian's sound.
While the triumvirate Turilli/Lione/Staropoli was basically responsible for the recordings, the mixing was – in the tried and tested way and true to the motto ”never change a winning team” - passed on to Sascha Paeth and Michael ”Miro” Rodenberg to the Gate Studios in Wolfsburg. Even though FROM CHAOS TO ETERNITY might not be as orchestral as its predecessors: Rhapsody Of Fire are able to give their self-created genre ”Film Score Metal” subtle nuances and to create a record that – like all of its precursors – will be able to stand the proof of time with ”Summa cum Laude”.