2010s aren’t easy years for Rhapsody Of Fire: almost every member systematically leaved the band. Meanwhile, the band’s founder Alex Staropoli renew the line-up and release the 13-th album The Eighth Mountain.
When we’re talking about a band with the word “Rhapsody” in its name, we need to clarify, which band exactly we’re talking about. In 2011 guitarist Luka Turilli leaves the band and creates his own project “Luka Turilli’s Rhapsody“. Four years later, in 2015 Oliver Holzwarth also leaves the band, and in 2016 Fabio Lione and Alex Holzwarth also quit. The band’s founder Alex Staropoli gathers new line-up and meanwhile all previous members go to the farewell tour under the name “Rhapsody“.
So, today Rhapsody Of Fire is: Giacomo Voli (vocals), Alex Staropoli (keyboards), Roby De Micheli (guitars), Alessandro Sala (bass) and Manu Lotter (drums). Also, with Luka and Fabio’s departure the “Algalord Chronicles” saga has ended, therefore The Eighth Mountain opens a new saga about Nephilim Empire. “It’s about which path you in life you choose, — says Alex Staropoli, — The story may be fictious but quite obviously relates to reality the way we experience it every day. People will find out more details of the saga when they listen to the lyrics”.
Musically The Eighth Mountain is incredibly magnificent symphonic metal with a lot of pathos, of course. Fast guitar riffs and solos are coupled here with awesome play of Bulgarian National Symphonic Orchestra. The choir of more than 20 vocalists adds incredible magnitude to the music, like it’s not an album, but soundtrack to some fantasy blockbuster movie. Well, it’s not surprising: “When I write for Rhapsody Of Fire, I often image movie landscapes, or natural scenarios,” says Staropoli.
Also it needs to mention that Roby De Micheli and Giacomo Voli did their work perfect. Roby’s guitar sounds heavy, there are fast riffs and almost shred solos. Though, when it comes to the ballads, acoustic guitar in his hands sounds quite tragic and tender, just as the song needs.
With Giacomo Voli things are more complicated: everyone understood that he changes not only a great vocalist, but also s frontman, and not every fan will accept such change in a good way. Whilst his voice can be heard in Legendary Years (2017), which includes some re-recorded songs from The Emerald Sword Saga, The Eighth Mountain was a real challenge for him. But Giacomo coped with this great: he has powerful voice with wide range, so even comparing him to the previous vocalist, it can’t be said that he bad in something.
And last but not least: in the end of an album we can hear deep, measured voice of late Sir Christopher Lee that tells Nephilim Empire’s story.
Well, despite the line-up change, Rhapsody Of Fire still stay true to themselves. So, if you like fast, magnificent and very pretentious symphonic metal (with some clichés, by the way), don’t miss this album!
The Eighth Mountain will be released on February, 22 via AFM Records.