Rhapsody of Fire – Live – From Chaos to Eternity


Review by Claire Frays

AFM Records

And so we enter the world of men, dragons, elves and trolls. Italy’s finest symphonic, film-score, power metal warriors, Rhapsody of Fire are back with a vengeance with this furiously epic live album release. Available as a 2CD Digipack and Gatefold 3-Vinyl, the album was recorded on Rhapsody’s 2012 European tour, the first tour with the bands revamped line-up following the Staropoli-Turilli friendly split in 2011. The new line-up brings in Roberto Di Micheli (Guitars) and Oliver Holzwarth (Bass) alongside the incredible voice of Fabio Lione, drumming powerhouse Alex Holzwarth, guitar wizard Tom Hess, and the composing talents of Alex Staropoli (Keyboards).

This is not the first live album that Rhapsody has released. 2006’s Live In Canada 2005 – The Dark Secret and 2007’s DVD Visions from the Enchanted Lands are both impressive releases showcasing the band at their absolute best. Live – From Chaos to Eternity further captures the impressive back catalogue of Rhapsody compositions containing no less than 24 tracks. This provides the perfect mix of fan-favourite tracks, featuring songs from the 1997 debut album Legendary Tales right through to 2011’s From Chaos to Eternity.

Our Rhapsody journey commences with cries of “Rhapsody, Rhapsody” ringing from ecstatic crowds. Set to the majestic opening interludes of ‘Dark Mystic Vision’ and the Sir Christopher Lee narrated ‘Ad Infinitum’, the band launches into the grandiose ‘From Chaos to Eternity’ – surely the definition of epic. The bands defining power-metal anthems are all in there too; ‘Unholy Warcry’, ‘Land Of Immortals’, ‘Dawn of Victory’, ‘Holy Thunderforce’, ‘Knightrider Of Doom’ and of course, the mighty ‘Emerald Sword’.  Whilst more recent tracks from 2010’s The Frozen Tears Of Angels, 2010’s The Cold Embrace Of Fear and 2011’s From Chaos To Eternity sound equally as impressive and dramatic. Ballad ‘The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream’ is one of the highlights of the entire album, showcasing the incredible vocal talents of Fabio Lione. The studio version contains an exquisite guest appearance from none other than Sir Christopher Lee singing opera with his classical trained bass vocals. Live however, Lione performs both vocal roles, turning on the opera voice for a spectacular crescendo finale on the final chorus – simply magical.

The quality of the album is excellent, extremely polished, reflecting the talents of Rhapsody’s virtuoso musicians in the live arena. However, unlike the completeness of Live in Canada recorded solely in Montreal, the atmosphere and coherence of this record feels somewhat compromised. This is due to tracks being recorded across at least two different locations (Paris and Milan), and possibly other stops on the tour too. Presumably these are the best takes of songs and they do represent the varied set list across different dates of the European Tour. Consequently, the listener perhaps isn’t taken on the full live concert journey that Rhapsody of Fire does deliver due to the various snippets from different shows being pieced together. This is not to the say that the album is bad by any means, it isn’t, it sounds amazing and the musicianship is tight but, it definitely feels more of a “Best Of Rhapsody” Live showcase, than a complete entity, start to finish, in its own right.

Live – From Chaos to Eternity is definitely a must have for avid Rhapsody of Fire lovers, power metal fanatics and those seeking a thrilling introduction to the band. And with that being said, one can only hope that someday Rhapsody of Fire will bring their live show for a highly sought after UK Tour.

8 out of 10

Track listing:

Rhapsody Of Fire - Live From Chaos To Eternity

CD 1:

  1. Dark Mystic Vision
  2. Ad Infinitum
  3. From Chaos To Eternity
  4. Triumph Or Agony
  5. I Belong To The Stars
  6. The Dark Secret
  7. Unholy Warcry
  8. Lost In Cold Dreams
  9. Land Of Immortals
  10. Aeons Of Raging Darkness
  11. Dark Reign Of Fire
  12. Drum Solo

CD 2:

  1. The March Of The Swordmaster
  2. Dawn Of Victory
  3. Toccata On Bass
  4. The Village Of Dwarves
  5. The Magic Of The Wizard’s Dream
  6. Holy Thunderforce
  7. Reign Of Terror
  8. Knightrider Of Doom
  9. Epicus Furor
  10. Emerald Sword
  11. Erian’s Lost Secrets
  12. The Splendour Of Angels’ Glory (A Final Revelation)