Rhapsody of Fire - _The Frozen Tears of Angels_
(Nuclear Blast, 2010)
by: Kostas Sarampalis (
Well slap my ass and call me Judy. I never thought I would pay attention to another Rhapsody album. Though the debut was enjoyable, the sophomore was intricate and _Power of the Dragonflame_ was their pinnacle; everything else was just awful. Yet, Rhapsody (of Fire) anno 2010 manage the impossible. Stashing all their excess camembert in the basement, using their skill to write proper songs and limiting the narration and fiddly crap to the bare minimum, _The Frozen Tears of Angels_ is a damn enjoyable album.The obligatory intro actually draws you in, which is a surprise, and opener "Sea of Fate" kicks off with a thunderous (excuse the pun) guitar riff. Track after track of excellently performed power metal, where the guitars are powerful and form the basis of the songs is the main surprise with the album. Everything here is a massive improvement on the last two albums. With renewed focus on energetic delivery and passages that work well together and do not bore the listener, I must say that the album keeps you interested almost throughout.There is the predictable "Danza di Fuoco e Ghiaccio" that starts with a Christopher Lee narrative (which is kept to the absolute minimum in this album) and unfolds into Rhapsody's usual folk escapades, the ballad "Lost in Cold Dreams" (which is not half bad) and the album titled 'epic' final song, but the album's strength lies in the more straightforward heavy songs. "Reign of Terror" has Lione screaming to his heart content, "On the Way to Ainor" is Turilli's playground and Staropoli has a lot of fun in "Crystal Moonlight". Most likely the forgoing of a massive orchestra and the excess that a few hundred extra musicians bring allowed the band (or forced them) to write more as a collective and whatever orchestral parts were added (and there are a few) are to the point and effective.Rhapsody is not for everyone, and I am sure they have driven the more serious metal fan away the last six years (myself included). But _The Frozen Tears of Angels_ is more like a mix of the freshness of _Legendary Tales_ and the songwriting and skill of _Power of the Dragonflame_. If these albums were your cup of tea, most definitely the new album will go down very well. If you never cared for the genre, this will probably not change your mind.
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