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appears on Symphony of Enchanted Lands (1998)
If you’ve anything more than a passing interest in symphonic power metal - and who wouldn’t? – Italian genre veterans Rhapsody of Fire are a name you simply cannot have missed out on in the time since their founding. Well, at least one of their names, anyway. If this band had a family tree it would look like a couple of giant spiders stacked on top of each other.
A quick history lesson, then – the band was initially called Thundercross, when Luca Turilli, Alex Staropoli, and Daniele Carbonera formed it in 1993, and they were heavily influenced by bands like Helloween and Manowar (a change in sound that is very evident if you listen to it and their later material back to back). Then, after the release of their second demo the band changed their name to Rhapsody. Fast forward to 2006, five albums later and, thanks to a series of unrelated but damaging legal claims against the band, Rhapsody became Rhapsody of Fire. All making sense up to now, but then things start getting confusing in 2011, when founding member Luca Turilli left the band and formed his own in a sort of reverse ELO way (i.e. on good terms), calling it Luca Turili’s Rhapsody and intending it to be a continuation of Rhapsody of Fire, while Rhapsody of Fire themselves were still active and doing the same. So, now there are two Rhapsody’s running around; the one who became Rhapsody of Fire and the one that is a new, separate Rhapsody but is considered to be essentially half of the same band continuing on their own. With me so far?
2016 puts the lid on the confusion Tupperware but doesn’t push it all the way down, when two long term members of Rhapsody of Fire leave and join Luca Turili’s Rhapsody, who then perform a farewell tour under the name, you guessed it, Rhapsody, with all of the members of that Rhapsody having performed in up to three different Rhapsody’s. But that was a farewell tour for the band that used to be Luca Turili’s Rhapsody, so surely the confusion stops there? It would have, had Turili not gone on to found a fourth Rhapsody, Turili/Lione Rhapsody, featuring five blokes who have been in up to four different Rhapsody’s at this point in time. And breathe!
Now that the word Rhapsody has lost all meaning to you, it feels like a great time to introduce our pick for the week – Emerald Sword, by what we can safely call the original Rhapsody. If you like your power metal fantastical there really is no better band for it, with sword and sorcery themes up to their ears and guitar solos as long as an extended Lord of the Rings marathon it’s soaring, exciting stuff that you can still have a good stomp around to. Even if your brain has exploded from all the Rhapsody stuff.
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