Symphonic power metal heavyweights and legends, Rhapsody of Fire are back with their brand new album, The Eighth Mountain.
The band has seen a line-up change for this album with founding member and keyboard player Alex Staropoli being the only constant. He’s now joined by vocalist Giacomo, Roby De Micheli (guitars), Alessandro Sala (bass) and Manu Lottner (drums).
The lyrical content of The Eighth Mountain marks the beginning of a new story, developed by Roby De Micheli and Alex Staropoli under the title of the ‘Nephlins Empire Saga’ which is based on those fascinating fantasy elements (including the narration courtesy of prestigious British Dracula actor Christopher Lee on the final song ‘Tales Of A Hero’s Fate’) that Rhapsody Of Fire are renowned for, in this instance – roughly speaking – lost, corrupted souls.
“People will find out more details of the saga when they listen to the lyrics,” says Staropoli, not wanting to give away all the album’s secrets. Just this much: “It’s about which path in life you choose. The story may be fictitious but quite obviously relates to reality the way we experience it every day.”
The Eighth Mountain will be released on February 22nd 2019 via AFM Records.
Those hoping for an anthemic album might find themselves a little disappointed with The Eighth Mountain. That’s a shame though as it’s a great listen.
An album of power metal choruses, huge symphonies from The Bulgarian National Symphony Orchestra and a blistering tempo for most of its run time. We get that almost immediately with Seven Heroic Deeds. A hyperactive track built on a backbone of keyboards and guitar shredding. The vocals are solid but not what most will remember from this track.
What might surprise many is how much heavier The Eighth Mountain is when compared to earlier releases. As well as Seven Heroic Deeds; Master of Peace and Rain of Fury really deliver some meaty metal goodness.
Fear not though classic Rhapsody of Fire fans, there is more then enough symphonic moments to please fans of the band’s early sound. Look no further then White Wizard, an uplifting epic or the folky tune of Warrior Heart.
The latter part of the album has two of the longest tracks on the album. March Against the Tyrant is a ringing endorsement of where Rhapsody of Fire are heading while Tales of a Hero’s Fate is an ode to the classic. The former begins with pace before dropping away into a sombre and emotional vocal performance. While the latter is an absolute beast of an epic and even includes narration by Christopher Lee.
The concept that Rhapsody of Fire are trying to sell certainly comes across thanks to a strong vocal performance and by time we reach the end there is no denying we’ve been part of a journey. Is it the best Rhapsody of Fire album? Probably not but you shouldn’t be expecting it to be. Instead enjoy a top-notch album from a band proving there is plenty of life left in them yet.
Rhapsody of Fire – The Eighth Mountain Full Track Listing:
1. Abyss of Pain
2. Seven Heroic Deeds
3. Master of Peace
4. Rain of Fury
5. White Wizard
6. Warrior Heart
7. The Courage to Forgive
8. March Against the Tyrant
9. Clash of Times
10. The Legend Goes On
11. The Wind, the Rain and the Moon
12. Tales of a Hero’s Fate
Rhapsody Of Fire - The Eighth Mountain (AFM Records)
The Final Score - 7.5/10