Rhapsody - The Dark Secret
Orchestral Movie Score Metal
5 songs (29:43)
Release year: 2004
Rhapsody, SPV
Reviewed by Jay
Major event

As a sneak preview of their upcoming mammoth of a poorly-titled album Symphony of Enchanted Lands Part 2 – The Dark Secret, Rhapsody have dropped this EP to us to give us a taste of what they’ve been up to for the past two years since the mighty Power of the Dragonflame. Rest assured, they have not been slacking off! This new material picks up right where that album left off and leaves me hungry waiting for their new album to smash all things later this year.

The EP starts off with "Unholy Warcry" and immediatley we are greeted by the booming bassy voice of Christopher Lee. I have to say, IT’S ABOUT TIME! Rhapsody always had the stupidest voice acting on their albums. They’ve fixed this problem for good now. This man is a trained singer and narrator, he easily complements this music in a way that is truly spectacular. It’s good to see that Luca and Alex addressed a problem with their past records in such a great way. Lee will be doing many narrations on the final album and it should be spectacular. The song itself is similar to Dawn of Victory era music. While most fans think that this is their weakest album, I cannot see why. The riff is epic and mighty with Holzwarth pounding the holy hell out of his drums and Lione using all of his vocal tricks to tell us about Dargor’s resurrection. "Thunder’s Mighty Roar shows the band taking a harsher approach to the music. The symphonic lines are very ominous and Lione’s delivery is quite aggressive and forceful. Once again, an epic choir and bombastic chorus meets us in the middle. This track is a perfect reminder of how amazing and how well this band is orchestrated. The mix and the arrangements that Luca and Alex have done really shine as some of their best ever.

"Guardians of Destiny" is the next track and it is sung in English as opposed to the Italian version which should appear on the full-length. Opening with a recorder intro. It’s a slower and very soft ballad with gentle delivery of Lione and some great operatic female backing vocals. A few violin parts help advance the music until a great epic and building chorus complete with male chorus rises to a spectacular climax. The beauty of the gentle music that has been created here is a nice juxtaposition against the massive chorus and highlights the skill surrounding the band. "Sacred Power of Raging Winds" opens with another Christopher Lee narration and kicks off a Rhapsody style epic ten-minute song. Riffing at a fantastic pace while orchestral lines swim around him, Luca introduces us to a fast-paced up-tempo track with plenty of soloing from him and Alex. A majority of the tracks on this EP have a dark feeling to them and I believe it’s an awesome motif that Rhapsody is wearing well. This could be compared to epic tracks they’ve done before but the level of composition is so much higher. Midway through we get a completely orchestrated part with another recorder solo. The music is baroque in style and evokes feelings of truly symphonic works. Rhapsody are the purveyors of modern classical music in addition to metal. They really have outdone themselves here and prove it with minute after minute of truly spectacular orchestral power metal.

The final track is an instrumental and worth a listen but it sounds more like something left over from Luca’s last solo album than a Rhapsody song. It has the dark feeling to it but overall it’s nothing too special. Make sure when you purchase this that you get the version with the DVD. On it we you get a documentary about the behind the scenes action of this album complete with interviews with Christopher Lee, Luca, Alex, and Joey DeMaio (Manowar) who is now their manager. A lot of insight into the recording of Lee’s vocals is given here. The video for "Unholy Warcry" complete with Christopher Lee is included. Also contained here is the Emerald Sword Saga video clip which is basically footage of a cloaked and hooded figure prancing around a cave and reading a book while clips from the previous five albums are played in the background. Super lame. The final track is a 5.1 mix of "Unholy Warcry" which kills. Each instrument and vocal line is perfectly matched to maximize the surround effect. If only I could have the entire album in 5.1! Hail Rhapsody and this new album will be gigantic!

Killing Songs :
Unholy Warcry, Thunder’s Mighty Roar, Guardians of Destiny, Sacred Power of Raging Winds
Jay quoted no quote
Other albums by Rhapsody that we have reviewed:
Rhapsody - Symphony Of Enchanted Lands reviewed by Erik and quoted 98 / 100
Rhapsody - Live In Canada 2005: The Dark Secret (CD/DVD) reviewed by Jeff and quoted no quote
Rhapsody - Symphony of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret reviewed by Jay and quoted 69 / 100
Rhapsody - Legendary Tales reviewed by Crims and quoted 85 / 100
Rhapsody - Power of the Dragonflame reviewed by Mike and quoted 96 / 100
To see all 9 reviews click here
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