The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony Review

artist: Rhapsody of Fire date: 10/28/2010 category: compact discs
Rhapsody of Fire: The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony
Released: Oct 15, 2010
Genre: Soundtrack, Power Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Number Of Tracks: 7
You are cordially invited to nerd out with power metal lords Rhapsody Of Fire with this new, rather unmusical tale.
 Sound: 6.5
 Lyrics: 7.5
 Overall Impression: 7
 Overall rating:
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reviews (2) 24 comments vote for this album:
overall: 6
The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony Reviewed by: UG Team, on october 28, 2010
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Somewhere in the realms of adolescent fantasy and media preamble, there is a round table of heavy metal. Sitting around it are all your favourite characters, there to represent all your favourite subgenres. It's a crude, childish image - one that appeals to Pantera fans and people who are really starting to get into Opeth' - but bear with me; doesn't it seem like power metal would need a booster seat? It's accepted, but not often talked about by the truest of the true. And while legends like Blind Guardian have more than earned their status, as a scene' for new music it seems to be in a sort of purgatory. Even the lol epic xD' market has started to ignore it since Dragonforce stepped back from the limelight! Nevertheless, you can count on Italy's Rhapsody Of Fire to be leading the faithful through thick and thin. It's only been a few months since their last full length (The Frozen Tears Of Angels') but they're back with another adventure. At 35 minutes, they could have gotten away with calling this a full length and charged another couple of quid for it, but then that would be despicable considering dialogue accounts for a lot of time. The voice acting is underpinned by orchestral music; suitably dramatic but not spectacular in its own right. Each track is labelled as an act' but everything is wrapped around the 15 minute musical centrepiece, The Ancient Fires Of Har-Kuun'. The strings, the choir and the rock band are only cast members in this story, which is all well and good if you're a follower of the band's fantasy indulgences but as a record, the EP's success is tightly limited. The full band put on a solid performance when they finally move to centre stage though. Rather than reaping the cheese a pretty easy trap to fall into when you're whipping out the harpsichord the booming production brings out the leading melody, which tends to be strong. They capture the essence of the style, however fleetingly, but it seems as if metal was shoe-horned in to somehow validate the release. // 6

Lyrics: For what it's worth, the voice acting is pretty classy. Much like the poor old harpsichord, the novelty (Christopher god-damn Lee!!!!!!!!!!) is played down, so even the cynical and clean-shaven among us can get into the story. In this instalment of the Dark Secret arc (which began in 2004, before their name change) our heroes are on a quest for Erian's Book, a sacred angelic text which contains all kinds of tasty secrets. There are twists along the way, some better executed than others, but The Cold Embrace Of Fear' is a bridge between longer chapters so don't expect an extended narrative. Rhapsody's story is well written, well narrated and good fun to follow so long as you're attentive, prepared to translate the rather pompous Latin passages and...into that kind of thing. // 7

Overall Impression: I guess this is one for the die-hards. It's not a good starting point for a multitude of reasons - the most obvious being that there's not much music for music's sake. The composition is, for the most part, like a score for a radio play, but it's been released as a record and as such it has to be evaluated that way. So, despite the best efforts of Luca Turilli and co, the verdict is: average. Don't bother with this unless you've worn out the full-lengths. // 5

- Duncan Geddes aka duncang (c) 2010

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overall: 8
The Cold Embrace Of Fear - A Dark Romantic Symphony Reviewed by: Metallica_AC/DC, on october 28, 2010
1 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: By the time The Frozen Tears of Angels got released, some people started complaining about slight little details such as the small quantity of narratives, while others were whining over the lack of a major musical theme from the introduction as a finishing repetitive touch used during the last compositions as a final frame in order to enfold the entire material within a solid consecutive cycle. Well, the new EP, called The Cold Embrace of Fear A Dark Romantic Symphony, has many of those in abundance. From another point of view, its intention is to just push the initial storyline a little bit further so I wouldn't complain, having in mind that Rhapsody of Fire seem to achieve their goal remarkably well in such a short term. The real songs are three, meaning not over 25 min. of music. // 7

Lyrics: Namely because of the plot dynamics, bound together with a highly qualitative composed structures, the first introductions and the 15-minutes long epos in the face of The Ancient Fires of Har-Kuun hint a lot on The Mystic Prophecy of the Demonknight from Triumph or Agony through their general completion and natural development. The progressive touch from the beginning shines out several times through the entire length of the composition as a fellow-companion walking side by side to the outstanding melodious bridges and choruses (featuring parts of the lyrics in Italian), along with an incredible level of perfectionism in the strictly concentrated choirs, orchestrations and maybe the most beautiful main theme written by the band and entwined into the final curtain calls. Neve Rosso Sangue is a gentle acoustic ballad, this time performed in its entirety in the band's own language as a distant tribute to Danza Di Fuoco E Ghiaccio from the actual album, but still a long way off from its cheerfully medieval spirit. Another thing worth mentioning is that the multilayered vocal lines used at the end of the track do a beautiful job before giving way to Erian's Lost Secrets the shortest song of them all. Yet short as it is, it mixes at one place music as if taken out from the best of Rhapsody (not speaking of repetitions) in less than just five minutes. A slight flavor of Eric Adams in Fabio's screams, a vague Manowar-inspired riffing basis, renewed portion of magnificent choruses crowned by the very same recognizable choral melody, fading under the powerful voice of sir Christopher Lee. // 8

Overall Impression: And there you have it, the perfect formula for a film score mini-masterpiece! Just in case somebody missed the big picture, I guess I'll stress on the inevitable truth once more Luca Turilli is a genius without an analogue, no matter if we're talking playing or general compositional approach. The fact that Fabio Lione doesn't have a vocal rival amongst human beings is even more than just obvious, so I'll spare you that one. // 9

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