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Rhapsody of Fire: The Frozen Tears of Angels

Album Notes

Like politics and sports, music has its share of polarizing figures -- and no one knows that better than Luca Turilli. Critics of the Italian guitarist's solo output and his work with Rhapsody of Fire (formerly Rhapsody) insist that he epitomizes everything that is wrong with power metal and progressive metal, while his faithful devotees insist that he epitomizes everything that is great about power metal and progressive metal. Are there people who are on the fence where Turilli and Rhapsody of Fire are concerned? Sure, but as a rule, epic power metal/progressive metal albums like The Frozen Tears of Angels tend to inspire strong reactions -- either very positive or very negative -- and this 2010 release is about as epic as it gets. Full of big, overblown hooks and big, overblown melodies and thriving on "dungeons and dragons"-type lyrics, The Frozen Tears of Angels is an exercise in pure, unadulterated fantasy. Rhapsody of Fire even went so far as to hire the great British horror icon Christopher Lee (known for his work in everything from Mario Bava's kinky The Whip and the Body, aka La Frusta e Il Corpo, to Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy) to provide some spoken narration, and the band isn't the least bit ironic about it. Rhapsody of Fire take their fantasy seriously, which is a big part of this album's charm. The Frozen Tears of Angels doesn't apologize for its pompous excesses; it cherishes them, and while Rhapsody of Fire's critics will argue that the band's stubbornly pre-'90s approach to metal is anachronistic, the fact is that devoted fans like Turilli and his colleagues just the way they are. The Frozen Tears of Angels won't win over Turilli's detractors, but die-hard lovers of epic power metal and epic progressive metal will eat this album up. ~ Alex Henderson


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