Rhapsody of Fire - The Frozen Tears Of Angels
Symphonic Epic Metal
11 songs (59'42")
Release year: 2010
Rhapsody of Fire, SPV
Reviewed by Erik

How does one write a review of the newest album by Rhapsody of Fire? Over a decade ago they created virtually an entire genre of metal – that of true “symphonic” metal, or “Hollywood Metal”, as it has come to be termed. Eight full studio albums and a legal name change later, and here we are with The Frozen Tears Of Angels.

Over the years, the band has added layers of complexity, better narrations courtesy of Christopher Lee, and the seemingly unnoticed rise in Fabio Lione’s singing talent. Indeed, it is so easy to get lost in the orchestrations and atmosphere created that one can overlook the vocals that have carried the entire package with verve and gusto.

At first listen, one may be tempted to brush off TFToA as just another in a long line of over-the-top offerings from the Italian masters of epic-ness. However, what they’ve done if you dig a little deeper, is bring back some of the real magic missing from the last few albums. There is a great deal of fresh creativity and originality in the songwriting and arrangements, as well as a great deal of the pure speed they used to feature (Symphony Of Enchanted Lands, for example). Not only that, most of the overly bland narrations have been removed, and that is a great improvement.

That being said, FToA does not start out with the strength you would hope for. The weighty introductory narration by Mr. Lee and ensuing massive build of choirs is nothing new, although still effective, and Sea of Fate is not a particularly strong first number. However, it does fill its role as the typical speedy opener, and Luca Turilli shines with some scorching axework in the bridge. Is it just me, or is his skill improving as well?

Following this are two excellent tracks. Crystal Moonlight begins with a great riff and features some very unique vocal layering on the chorus, while Reign Of Terror starts off with an atmospheric build leading into a full-tilt choral piece. The Fabio/Luca duo here is just fantastic, with some growls and screams facing off against a monster and memorable chorus, with lightning-quick underlying riffs throughout.

Next is the trademark acoustic folk-tinged Danza Di Fuoco E Ghiaccio, sung in Italian of course. Raging Starfire is exactly what it sounds like, an all-out speedfest with more excellent guitar soloing and catchy chord progressions. After another slow ballad, In Cold Dreams, the album finishes out with two amazing tracks, possibly the best here.

On The Way To Ainor has all the great Rhapsody of Fire hallmarks, awesome neoclassical guitar shredding, huge choirs, Alex Staropoli’s film score-style orchestrations, operatic interludes, and powerful singing. And, of course, the album closes the only way it could – with the 11+ minute title track, featuring more of everything. Of note here are the unique minor 5th chords that are scattered within the verses, and the hook-filled melodies throughout.

A bonus track, Labyrinth Of Madness, is a guitar-based instrumental, and the “Orchestral Version” of Sea Of Fate is also included.

As before, it would be easy to skim through TFToA and miss the renewed energy and work that’s been put into this album. There are, of course, a few filler tracks that prevent this album from being as awesome as I believe Rhapsody of Fire is capable of of. A more effective opening track would have helped put the score up into the coveted 90s region. As it stands, this newest opus from Rhapsody of Fire is noticeably stronger than anything in recent years, and is a worthy addition to the The Dark Saga series.

Killing Songs :
Reign Of Terror, Raging Starfire, On The Way To Ainor, The Frozen Tears Of Angels
Erik quoted 87 / 100
Vrechek quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Rhapsody of Fire that we have reviewed:
Rhapsody of Fire - I'll Be Your Hero reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Rhapsody of Fire - Into The Legend reviewed by Joel and quoted 91 / 100
Rhapsody of Fire - Dark Wings of Steel reviewed by Joel and quoted 90 / 100
Rhapsody of Fire - From Chaos to Eternity reviewed by Kyle and quoted 80 / 100
Rhapsody of Fire - The Cold Embrace Of Fear reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
To see all 7 reviews click here
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