Rhapsody of Fire - From Chaos to Eternity
Nuclear Blast
Symphonic Power Metal
9 songs (57:34)
Release year: 2011
Rhapsody of Fire, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Kyle
Major event

Rhapsody of Fire’s third release (and second full-length) since the band’s return last year is here, and with it comes the close of the “Dark Secret Saga” that began with Symphony of Enchanted Lands II. It’s wonderful that the band has faithfully stuck with this series of fantasy-fueled conceptual albums, as I’m sure that all six people who actually gave a damn about it are offering nothing short of their eternal gratitude to the band formerly known as simply Rhapsody.

Now, I may sound every bit as cynical as my inherently snarky British co-reviewers here on the site, but rest assured that I am actually a big fantasy fan. After all, to some extent you sorta have to be in order to like this kind of music. But get real: Anyone wanting a thrilling fantasy epic is not going to turn to a RoF album. The band goes so far as to outline their albums’ stories in the lyric books and even hire the brilliant Christopher Lee for narrating duties, but with such a thin platform to unfold a supposedly epic fantasy saga, no one is going to care… especially when From Chaos to Eternity features a unicorn on its cover (seriously, is the band intentionally supplying power metal haters with ammunition?). Power metal concept albums are a great, erm, concept, but I simply don't have the dedication or interest to follow a cliche'd fantasy story for four albums straight. Someone get me a Steven Erikson novel!

All qualms regarding the band’s lyrical content aside, this is once again another solid post-hiatus album from Rhapsody, but it feels neither as strong as The Frozen Tears of Angels nor as ambitious as the Cold Embrace of Fear EP. That it’s not very ambitious is a bit odd considering that this is supposed to be the last of a quartet of full-lengths for the Italian sympho-power metal wonders – if anything, From Chaos to Eternity is something of an experiment for the band. It’s arguably darker and heavier than any path RoF has previously journeyed, which rids a bit of the cheese factor out of several songs (though the band never comes close to nixing it altogether); however, it also paves the way for some incredible performances from Luca Turilli. As usual he proves himself as a phenomenal soloist, but the hooks and riffs crafted here are truly special. They’re masterfully written and tightly performed, and played at such a speed that gives me a mental image of a long sheet of guitar tablature barreling down a perilously thin and long tunnel, one wrong note away from smashing into a wall and completely falling apart. Tight production really helps this feel, and I'm almost certain that new rhythm guitarist Tom Hess played a hand in these performances as well.

As I mentioned, many songs present are surprisingly dark by Rhapsody’s standards (the more sinister portions of Ghosts of Forgotten Worlds somehow remind me of the latest Sigh album), the band going so far as to incorporate blackened vocals in multiple tracks, namelyAeons of Raging Darkness. Yet at its core, From Chaos to Eternity is undeniably a Rhapsody album. Tornado in particular is anchored by a classically Rhapsody-an chorus that will be in your head for days. And all the same… something isn’t right here. As much as I don’t care about the band’s fantasy “Sagas”, I must admit that RoF’s albums have always had an epic feel to match them. Not here. While album closer Heroes of the Waterfalls’ Kingdom is operatic in an awesomely over-the-top way, the record as a whole feels standalone in Rhapsody’s catalog.

Other than the lack of significance this album holds in Rhapsody of Fire’s discography, however, I have no complaints aside from a couple of mediocre songs. Anima Perduta and I Belong to the Stars are rather uninteresting tracks, and while they’re not exactly bad, they do chop up the album’s pace, which is otherwise blistering. All in all, there are six songs here worth listening to once one disregards those two songs and the standard intro track. This fact may not warrant a full purchase for casual fans, but between terrific performances, the interestingly dark turns the album takes, and the epic, 19-minute closing track, From Chaos to Eternity is definitely worth a listen for those interested in hearing what Rhapsody of Fire has cooked up this time. And now that the band has shed this Dark Secret Saga nonsense, I’m all the more intrigued to hear what they have in store for us next time they venture into the power metal spotlight.

Killing Songs :
Tornado, Heroes of the Waterfalls' Kingdom
Kyle quoted 80 / 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 - The Cold Embrace Of Fear reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
Rhapsody of Fire - The Frozen Tears Of Angels reviewed by Erik and quoted 87 / 100
To see all 7 reviews click here
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