Ready to wage bloody battle against the drudgery of everyday life once more, Italian power metallers and emerald sword aficionados Rhapsody of Fire return with all dragons blazing on their latest album Glory For Salvation (AFM Records). Driven by escapism and pure fantasy, there’s simply no room or requirement for conventional subjects like relationships, politics or social commentary in this hour or so of questing and wizard worship.
Last man standing from the original line-up, keyboard player Alex Staropoli continues to lead the songwriting charge with able support from guitarist Roberto De Micheli as the band lead with ‘Son of Vengeance’, a rousing opener bearing all the hallmarks of classic Rhapsody. ‘The Kingdom of Ice’ follows, a sprightly track with dramatic tendencies and a classic sounding chorus while the assertive title track features heavy choral backing and a typically adept solo from De Micheli but, due in no small part to their own high standards, falls just short of delivering a true knockout punch.
The deeply accented narration of ‘Eternal Snow’ segues into the medieval adventure of ‘Terial the Hawk’, the upbeat and heroic flight of fantasy backed by Uillean pipes, Celtic harp, violin, cello and baroque recorders. Powered by the rhythm section of bassist Alessandro Sala and drummer Paolo Marchesich ‘Maid of the Secret Sand’ surges and soars while the dark drama of the ten minute ‘Abyss of Pain II’ allows vocalist Giacomo Voli to show his more aggressive side. ‘Infinitae Gloriae’ features some subtle orchestration and a traditionally uplifting Rhapsody chorus while ‘Magic Signs’ is an epic power ballad with occasional melodic nods to Manowar.
‘I’ll Be Your Hero’ possesses a more lightweight and contemporary Eurometal sound while pulse-pounding and fist-pumpingly addictive closer ‘Chains of Destiny’ could happily level the mightiest of castles. Despite their different titles, the two bonus tracks ‘Un’ode per l’eroe’ (An Ode For the Hero) and ‘La esencia de un rey’ (The Royal Essence of a King) are Italian and Spanish versions of ‘Magic Signs’ and round out the album in some style.
From its ancient cathedrals, labyrinths and wailing winds to its secret sand and mystic rain, Glory for Salvation is another unapologetic escape into a fantasy world of heroism, magic quests and glorious victory.
Buy the album here: https://www.rhapsodyoffire.com/