When Luca Turilli split from Rhapsody of Fire, it upset many fans. I say “split” because that’s exactly what he did; he basically split the band into two components. Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody supposedly runs parallel with the other Rhapsody of Fire albums. “Ascending to Infinity” was an excellent album and set high standards for the next actual Rhapsody of Fire album. I know many fans will argue that the band won’t be the same without Luca Turilli’s guitar work and song writing, so I’m here to tell you that you’re all wrong. Rhapsody of Fire is without a doubt still standing strong and they are still epic as ever. Roberto De Micheli is a fantastic guitarist and a great addition to the band. With “Dark Wings of Steel” they not only change up their sound a little bit, they also breathe new life into their music. This album is a little heavier and more focused on keyboards, but it’s still Rhapsody of Fire and it’s still fantastic. The past few albums have been so-so, but “Dark Wings of Steel” completely changes that.
“Vis Divina” and “Rising from Tragic Flames” open the album up and show the new direction the band is taking. The guitar work is more about crunchy riffs than neo-classical passages. The solo is a perfect way to show off Roberto De Micheli’s guitar skills. “Angel of Light” is one of the best Rhapsody of Fire songs in recent memory. The opening keyboard and guitar riff are great and Fabio Leone shows the world that he is still the premiere power metal vocalists by delivering buttery smooth lines. The chorus is truly out of this world. The choir and soaring melody is absolutely perfect. “Tears of Pain” opens with yet another great riff before transcending into something heavier and more head banging than anything they’ve ever done before. “Fly to Crystal Skies” has one hell of an atmosphere created by the keyboard. Alex Staropoli has outdone himself in terms of overall mood. Everything about this track is great, including the dream inducing bridge. “My Sacrifice” slows things down a bit and it’s also the longest track on the album. Some of the best guitar solos on “Dark Wings of Steel” are found in this song. “Silver Lake of Tears” is my personal favorite on the album solely because it has one of the best choruses the band has ever written. There is so much emotion and energy running through this track that it’s hard to ignore. “Custode di Pace” slows the album down and really isn’t that interesting. It does have a soaring chorus and a mind-blowing performance from Fabio Leone; however it lacks a little something. “A Tale of Magic” brings the speed back up and delivers another perfectly tailored song. It has one of the catchiest riffs in the Rhapsody of Fire catalog. “Dark Wings of Steel” is another personal favorite of mine. The whole thing just sounds epic and full of life. “Sad Mystic Moon” is the album closer and it couldn’t have ended better. Everything from the album comes together to make one hell of a farewell track.
So there you have it, Rhapsody of Fire is back in full force and it doesn’t look like they’re slowing down anytime soon. Sure the album might have a more stripped down sound, but it’s still them and it’s still amazing power metal. What they have crafted isn’t just the best and most cohesive Rhapsody of Fire album to come out in years; it’s also a new beginning. Roberto De Micheli is one hell of a guitar player and this album proves that he is a master of the art. “Dark Wings of Steel” is an absolute triumph and it proves that Rhapsody of Fire is still the leader of power metal. Do not pass up on listening to this work of art.
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