RHAPSODY – The Dark Secret (EP)


Release Date: June 28, 2004

User Review
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The first sample from the upcoming Rhapsody album is here, and everything is just as you’d expect. The band carries on with their movie-score-spaghetti-dungeons-and-dragons-knocked-out-of-the-European-football-championships-during-the-qualifying-rounds form of Metal, and it doesn’t sound bad at all.

Christopher “Saruman” Lee has been hired as narrator this time around, and that is definitely a wise move as the ridiculously accented Italian voice they formerly used was just that, ridiculously accented. Mr. Lee actually gets to noodle around quite a bit as he has a relatively prominent role in the production, because the band seems to go for a more orchestral approach than what has been the case lately.

After a spoken intro, the track starts off bombastically, with very well produced horns and choirs. So far so good. Singer Fabio Lione’s first entry is a tad on the “aggressive” side, a bit like his work on “When Demons Awake” from The Power of the Dragonflame. I’ve never been a big fan of this vocal style, but it works okay this time. Lione really shines, however, during the more melodic parts of this track — for example, during the bridge part at 2:35.

After the first verse we’re introduced to the chorus, and herein lays my biggest concern with the track – there is no chorus! The chorus melody is in no way acceptable as a full-on Rhapsody song, maybe a bridge or middle-8, but a chorus it isn’t. Since the chorus is very important in this style of music, chorus failure sort of lets the track down quite a bit (at least to me). The rest of the song is actually pretty good, with a very nice and speedy bridge, another narrative part, and a trademark Luca Turilli-does-J. S. Bach-chamber-music guitar solo.

So all in all, it’s a good song, but far from a Rhapsody classic. I’ve still got high hopes for the new album, though, as The Power of the Dragonflame was a very good effort and a big step forward from the disappointing Dawn of Victory. “Unholy Warcry” is pretty far from being unholy, and it’s not much of a war cry, but it’s definitely a decent tune!


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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