Italian Power Metal veterans Rhapsody Of Fire have made a brilliant return to form with their 11th full length studio album Into The Legend. Fans of the band and the genre will not be disappointed thanks to what sounds like a fresh approach to songwriting and a more balanced blend of synths, metal guitars and the band’s signature symphonic elements. ROF’s previous album Dark Wings of Steel, while by no means a bad album, was met with a lukewarm reception by both fans and critics. After having split with co-founding member and songwriter Luca Turilli, the new line-up seemed to have a hard time finding their footing. Those past issues seem to be completely gone for Into The Legend and the band sounds tight, strong and polished. The album production matches the high standard of any of the finest previous ROF releases and individual performances are flawless. Longtime vocalist Fabio Lione is in fine form and guitarist Roby De Micheli seems to have no problem living up to the high technical standards set by Luca Turilli.
If there is any downside to this release it would be that the featured singles put out ahead of the full album were more typical by-the-numbers ROF songs. The real meat of the album can be found in their longer tracks like “A Voice In The Cold Wind, “Valley Of Shadows” and the almost 17 minute closing track, “The Kiss Of Life”. These longer song structures seem to give primary writer and original founding member Alex Staropoli room to spread his poetic wings of steel. In addition to the Rhapsody Of Fire that fans know and love, they have made two welcome changes in that there is no narration on this album and fans even get some Nightwish sounding female operatic vocals on “Valley Of Shadows”.
Between Rhapsody Of Fire and the big-breasted twin sister band, Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody, fans get 2 new “Rhapsody” albums every couple years. Into The Legend is a fine addition to the mighty legacy of Italian Power Metal.