Rhapsody Of Fire - 'Live - From Chaos To Eternity'

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Rhapsody Of Fire - 'Live - From Chaos To Eternity'

A gargantuan 20+ track double CD set which captures the band at their bombastic best.

It may be hard to believe now when symphonic metal bands are ten a penny, but back in the dark days of the mid 90s when the grunge firestorm had pretty much lain waste to everything that stood in its path, bombast and excess seemed forever lost. Fortunately, a small group of survivors came through the wilderness years and slowly but surely reintroduced such 'strange' concepts as musicianship and melody to an audience that had grown up in the shadow of Nirvana and Soundgarden.

One of the biggest success stories from that era was undoubtedly Italian symphonic metal pioneers Rhapsody, their brand of cinematically inclined speed metal laced with some of the most grandiose excesses seen since classical composer's reigned supreme...what's more, it seemed to be an instant hit with those looking for metal to rise phoenix-like from the ashes once again. Granted, they were a bit like Marmite – you either loved 'em or did your level best to ignore 'em – but the far reaching influence they've had on the generations that have followed in their footsteps cannot be understated.

Forced to adopt the Rhapsody Of Fire moniker because of legalities, the original songwriting partnership – guitarist Luca Turilli and keyboard player Alex Staropoli – finally called time on nearly two decades of shared musical visions last year; each opting to push forward as masters of their own destinies. Rhapsody Of Fire is the Alex Staropoli version of the band, the one fronted by the Fabio Lione, and the one that has perhaps adopted the more overblown excesses of the original Rhapsody.

Recorded on their recent European jaunt 'Live – From Chaos To Eternity' is a gargantuan 20 plus track double CD set which captures the band at their bombastic best. According to Staropoli this is as authentic as it gets, his own words proclaiming there to be 'no single parts re-recorded in the studio'. Taking him at his word then, Rhapsody Of Fire prove to be every bit as formidable as the original Rhapsody were on their 'Live In Canada...' set back in 2005 – epic, overblown and all consuming. Space precludes me from going into too much detail on individual tracks or performances but, as ever with this band, it's as much about the performance and spectacle as a whole as it is about anything else.

If like me you're a Rhapsody (Of Fire) fan you'll lap this up, if not I doubt you'll be convinced to recant...you'll certainly have to admire the gusto with which they deliver though!

Dave Cockett

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