Rhapsody of Fire

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Rhapsody of Fire
Rhapsody Buenos Aires 2010.JPG
Rhapsody of Fire in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2010
Background information
Also known as
  • Thundercross (1993–1995)
  • Rhapsody (1995–2006)
Origin Trieste, Italy
Genres
Years active1993–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website www.rhapsodyoffire.com
Members
Past members

Rhapsody of Fire (formerly known as Rhapsody) is an Italian symphonic power metal band formed by Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli, widely seen as a pioneer of the symphonic power metal subgenre. [1] [2] [3]

Luca Turilli Italian musician

Luca Turilli is an Italian musician and songwriter. He is one of the founders of the symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. He also worked on a trilogy of solo albums as Luca Turilli, and released one album under the name of Luca Turilli's Dreamquest, a project he worked on alongside Dominique Leurquin. In 2008, Luca began an online guitar course titled Luca Turilli's Neoclassical Revelation. The course takes its name from his neoclassical playing style.

Alex Staropoli Italian musician

Alessandro "Alex" Staropoli is a keyboard player, composer, leader and co-founder of the Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. He does the orchestral arrangements in all the band's songs. Following the split with Turilli, Staropoli is Rhapsody of Fire's only remaining founding member.

Contents

Since forming in 1993 as Thundercross, the band has released eleven studio albums, two live albums, two EPs, and a Live DVD. Rhapsody of Fire is known for its conceptual lyrics that constitute a fantasy story throughout all of their albums from 1997 to 2011. After using the moniker of Rhapsody for nearly ten years, the band changed their name to Rhapsody of Fire in 2006 due to trademark issues. [4]

Extended play musical recording longer than a single, but shorter than a full album

An extended play record, often referred to as an EP, is a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single, but is usually unqualified as an album or LP. EPs generally contain a minimum of four tracks and maximum of six tracks, and are considered "less expensive and time-consuming" for an artist to produce than an album. An EP originally referred to specific types of vinyl records other than 78 rpm standard play (SP) and LP, but it is now applied to mid-length CDs and downloads as well.

Concept album album with a theme

A concept album is an album in which its tracks hold a larger purpose or meaning collectively than they do individually. This is typically achieved through a single central narrative or theme, which can be instrumental, compositional, or lyrical. Sometimes the term is applied to albums considered to be of "uniform excellence" rather than an LP with an explicit musical or lyrical motif. The exact criterion for a "concept album" varies among critics, with no discernible consensus.

Fantasy genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often without any locations, events, or people referencing the real world. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels and video games.

In 2011, following the release of their album From Chaos to Eternity which concluded The Dark Secret Saga, and after 18 years as co-leader of the band, Turilli left Rhapsody of Fire (on good terms) to form a new Rhapsody band, Luca Turilli's Rhapsody, along with two other members who left with him, Dominique Leurquin, Patrice Guers. They describe their discography as a parallel continuation of Rhapsody of Fire's discography, with their first album being their own "Rhapsody's 11th album" and consider that they didn't leave the band, rather that it amicably split in two. [5]

<i>From Chaos to Eternity</i> album by Rhapsody of Fire

From Chaos to Eternity is the ninth full-length studio album by the Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. It was released in June 17, 2011 via Nuclear Blast. This is the last album to feature long-time guitarist/songwriter Luca Turilli, bass guitarist Patrice Guers, and session guitarist Dominique Leurquin, who all left the band on good terms in August 2011 to found Luca Turilli's Rhapsody, the last album with Christopher Lee as narrator, and the only album with guitarist Tom Hess.

The Dark Secret Saga is a fantasy story written by the Italian band Rhapsody of Fire, written by Luca Turilli, told under their concept albums. The story is a sequel to The Emerald Sword Saga. Taking place a few years later, it includes one of the characters from the previous saga, Dargor. The story was told largely through character quotes in the CD booklet, in addition to actual voice-overs on the CD tracks, placed intermittently throughout each album.

Luca Turillis Rhapsody Italian music group

Luca Turilli's Rhapsody was an Italian Symphonic power metal band created and led by Luca Turilli after his split from Rhapsody of Fire, also including German, French and Finnish members. The band members referred their style as "Cinematic metal" to underline Luca Turilli's passion for the world of cinema and the soundtracks, yet the main influence of his new artistic proposal.

In 2016, other long-term members Fabio Lione and Alex Holzwarth had left the band, and reunited with Turilli, Leurquin and Guers, to play again under the name Rhapsody for their 20th Anniversary Farewell Tour; in December 2018, several months after announcing that Luca Turilli's Rhapsody was now inactive, Turilli announced the creation of a new Rhapsody band named Turilli / Lione Rhapsody, with the lineup of the 20th Anniversary Farewell Tour (recreating, minus Staropoli, the original band's 2002-2011 lineup).

Fabio Lione Italian singer

Fabio Tordiglione, known professionally as Fabio Lione, is an Italian singer and lyricist who has worked with many bands in the power metal genre. He is the current lead vocalist of Angra. He was also notably the singer of Italian power metal band Rhapsody of Fire for 21 years, as well as the original singer of Labyrinth and Vision Divine.

Alex Holzwarth is a professional drummer, former member of Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. He is the brother of bass guitarist Oliver Holzwarth.

20th Anniversary Farewell Tour

The 20th Anniversary Farewell Tour was a concert tour by former members of Rhapsody. It was announced on November 21, 2016 by ex-Rhapsody members Luca Turilli, Fabio Lione, Patrice Guers, Dominique Leurquin and Alex Holzwarth. It celebrated the 20th anniversary of Legendary Tales and had a number of their classic hits played at their shows, along with Symphony of Enchanted Lands in its entirety.

History

Early years as Thundercross (1993–1997)

In 1993, Luca Turilli decided to create a symphonic metal band with the vision of integrating classical music elements with metal. The first to join him were Alex Staropoli and Daniele Carbonera. These three formed a band that became known as Thundercross. Turilli has said in interviews that both Thundercross and the early Rhapsody material were heavily influenced by Manowar's style of heavy metal, and that Yngwie Malmsteen was a big influence from a guitar playing perspective.

Symphonic metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music which combines the heavy drums and guitars of metal with different elements of orchestral classical music, such as symphonic instruments, choirs and sometimes a full orchestra. Keyboards reminiscent of power metal are also sometimes featured.

Classical music broad tradition of Western art music

Classical music is art music produced or rooted in the traditions of Western culture, including both liturgical (religious) and secular music. While a more precise term is also used to refer to the period from 1750 to 1820, this article is about the broad span of time from before the 6th century AD to the present day, which includes the Classical period and various other periods. The central norms of this tradition became codified between 1550 and 1900, which is known as the common-practice period. The major time divisions of Western art music are as follows:

Manowar American heavy metal band

Manowar is an American heavy metal band from Auburn, New York. Formed in 1980, the group is known for lyrics based on fantasy and mythology. The band is also known for a loud and bombastic sound. In an interview for MTV in February 2007, bassist Joey DeMaio lamented that "these days, there's a real lack of big, epic metal that is drenched with crushing guitars and choirs and orchestras... so it's nice to be one of the few bands that's actually doing that." In 1984 the band was included in the Guinness Book of World Records for delivering the loudest performance, a record which they have since broken on 2 occasions. They also hold the world record for the longest heavy metal concert after playing for 5 hours and 1 minute in Bulgaria in 2008. They also have been known for their slogan "Death to false metal".

A year later Thundercross released their first demo, Land of Immortals, with Cristiano Adacher taking on the role of vocals. During this period of time, they went through a few bassist changes in their lineup.[ citation needed ]Limb Music Products & Publishing showed interest in the band's music and shortly after the band received a proposal from the record company.

Demo (music) song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release

A demo is a song or group of songs recorded for limited circulation or reference use rather than for general public release. A demo is a way for a musician to approximate their ideas in a fixed format, such as cassette tape, compact disc, or digital audio files, and to thereby pass along those ideas to record labels, record producers, or to other artists.

Having accepted the offer, the band soon began promoting their music and started recording their second demo, Eternal Glory . At this time they also changed their name to Rhapsody so as to highlight their connection with classical music and poetry. Shortly after the release of Eternal Glory, Cristiano (vocals) and Andrea (bassist) left the band. Rhapsody found new vocalist Fabio Lione, the former vocalist of Labyrinth and Athena, who was known for the depth and power of his voice in his songs.[ citation needed ]

Album debut: Legendary Tales and Symphony of Enchanted Lands (1997–2000)

With these four members, the band started recording their debut album, Legendary Tales , which was released in 1997. Rhapsody incorporated classical music, baroque and heavy metal styles in a subgenre they call "film score metal" due to its resemblance to movie soundtracks. The album was recorded in Germany by the well known producer Sascha Paeth (Heaven's Gate), who also helped Rhapsody with their bass parts. The album was also the beginning story of the Emerald Sword Saga. The lyrics on the album (written by Turilli) often refer to mystical medieval folklore and the heroic valor of those times and are centered around high fantasy, highlighting in particular the everlasting fight between good and evil. [6]

In the years that followed, Turilli, Staropoli and Lione developed their new sound even more with their second album, Symphony of Enchanted Lands , in 1998, having been joined by bass player Alessandro Lotta. They wrote pieces such as "Emerald Sword", drawing on Russian folklore and Celtic style elements and adding to the Emerald Sword Saga. 1999 was a quiet year for Rhapsody, but Luca and Fabio both released solo albums.

Success and conclusion of The Emerald Sword Saga (2000–2004)

In the spring Rhapsody started their first tour, starting in Sweden. They performed with Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica in Spring 2000 supported by their new drummer Alex Holzwarth.

After the tour they began recording their new album, Dawn of Victory . The first single "Holy Thunderforce" was released in 2000 with some success[ citation needed ]. The new album showed Rhapsody in a whole new light, with a more aggressive style and sped-up tempo. It continued the third part of the Emerald Sword Saga, and the orchestra still played an important part of the album, with songs such as "Lux Triumphans", "The Village of Dwarves" and "The Bloody Rage of the Titans", played beside more bombastic melodies as "Dawn of Victory", "Triumph for My Magic Steel", "Dargor, Shadowlord of the Black Mountain" and "Holy Thunderforce". It was more successful than any of their previous outings, and "Dawn of Victory" ranked at #32 in the German charts, while in Japan it peaked in 4th place. In early summer 2001, Rhapsody toured through South America and Europe.

Rain of a Thousand Flames served as a bridge between the last part of the Emerald Sword Saga and Power of the Dragonflame. Power of the Dragonflame was released in February 2002 and saw incredible success around the world. Marking the end of the Emerald Sword Saga, it contained soft ballads, upbeat metal melodies, and the epic 19-minute-long concluding song, "Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness". The band was joined by another two members, Patrice Guers (bass) and Dominique Leurquin (guitars). Alex Holzwarth, who had been playing drums for Rhapsody onstage since 2000 was listed in the official band line-up on these releases, although Holzwarth has played drums in the studio since The Dark Secret EP.

Beginning of The Dark Secret Saga (2004–2006)

The Dark Secret EP was released on June 28, 2004. It gave listeners a taste of what could be expected from the new album, labelled Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret which was released several months later in September. Christopher Lee was involved in this project, narrating part of the storyline. Symphony of Enchanted Lands II was a follow-up to the Emerald Sword Saga called The Dark Secret Saga. Symphony of Enchanted Lands II features a wide variety of sounds and styles. "Unholy Warcry" mixes powerful heavy metal with Staropoli's elaborate choral arrangements. On "Never Forgotten Heroes", Gregorian choir voices and majestic piano sounds create an eerie atmosphere before the composition turns into a straight piece[ vague ] which is enriched by Turilli's guitar leads. "Erian's Mystical Rhymes" and "Sacred Power of Raging Winds" are two pieces that are each more than 10 minutes long. These two showcase classical string sequences, as well as an orchestra, bass drum, and a choir. The violin and the cello produce dark sounds and a magical atmosphere is created by the duels fought between the woodwind players and the strings. Together with the lead guitars by Turilli and Lee's spoken parts, they give the whole work a magical mood, which is then intensified by Fabio Lione's flexible voice. Christopher Lee also sang with the band as a guest with Fabio Lione in the song "The Magic of the Wizard's Dream".

In July 2006 the band formerly known as Rhapsody changed their name to Rhapsody of Fire due to trademark issues. [4] The band's website goes into further detail: The band members consider this a great new start, reflecting the emboldened and increasingly grandiose direction that their music has taken. "The power of the Dragonflame will burn brighter than ever before," says guitarist/songwriter Luca Turilli. Keyboardist/songwriter Alex Staropoli adds, "The name Rhapsody of Fire better represents the energy that has always been present in this band and its music."

The band released Triumph or Agony , on September 25, 2006, in Europe. The second chapter in The Dark Secret Saga, Triumph or Agony, continues the bombastic Rhapsody of Fire tradition with a live 70-piece orchestra and choir as Turilli and Staropoli continued to self-produce the band's work with the assistance of co-producer Sascha Paeth. New songs include "Silent Dream", "Son of Pain" and the epic 16-minute-long "The Mystic Prophecy of the Demonknight", an example of a cinema soundtrack adapted to a metal song. In addition, vocalist Fabio Lione gave his songwriting debut for Rhapsody of Fire with the song "Il canto del vento".

In June 2008, Luca Turilli reported on the band's official website about a "hard legal fight with Magic Circle Music and his main representative Mr. Joey DeMaio". Since then, the band went on a hiatus for nearly one and a half years. Any studio or live activity was suspended for the period. Luca Turilli concentrated on his solo albums, Fabio Lione collaborated with Vision Divine and Kamelot, Alex Holzwarth collaborated with his brother Oliver, and Staropoli also announced his plans to record a solo album.

In late 2009 Limb Music re-released their back-catalogue from 1997 to 2001, along with the compilation album Tales from the Emerald Sword Saga on digital music stores.

Final albums with Turilli, end of The Dark Secret Saga; split in two bands (2009–2013)

On November 18, 2009 it was announced that the band had signed with Nuclear Blast Records and that their new album, The Frozen Tears of Angels , would be released on March 5, 2010. However, Nuclear Blast stated that the album would not be released until April 30. On March 5, 2010 the official Rhapsody of Fire website announced that it would indeed be released on April 30. A new song was made available to download soon after. The album was produced by Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli and mixed and mastered by Sascha Paeth at the Gate Studio in Wolfsburg. As well as the standard edition, it was released as a "special limited deluxe digipak" which included two bonus tracks and a 32-page booklet, and on vinyl. [7]

A 35-minute EP entitled The Cold Embrace of Fear – A Dark Romantic Symphony was released in Europe on October 15, 2010 and in the United States on January 25, 2011. The story is directly connected to The Frozen Tears of Angels.

Rhapsody of Fire at the Agglutination Metal Festival 2012 Rhapsody of Fire - Agglutination Festival.jpg
Rhapsody of Fire at the Agglutination Metal Festival 2012

Rhapsody of Fire's eighth studio album, From Chaos to Eternity , was released on July 12, 2011. [8] From Chaos to Eternity is the final album in the band's fantasy storyline, The Algalord Chronicles, which began with the release of Legendary Tales. It also marks the conclusion of The Dark Secret Saga, which began on Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret. The final song on the album, the five-part [9] "Heroes of the Waterfalls' Kingdom", is the band's longest, at almost twenty minutes long.

After the release of From Chaos to Eternity, the band underwent many line-up changes. On April 15, 2011 it was announced that Tom Hess had become Rhapsody of Fire's second guitarist. Hess had actually joined the band in December 2010, recording all the rhythm guitar parts and contributing several solos for From Chaos to Eternity . Hess began touring with the band starting in 2011. [10]

On August 16, 2011, Rhapsody of Fire announced the friendly departure of long-time guitarist, songwriter and founding member Luca Turilli, along with bassist Patrice Guers. They went on to found a new Rhapsody band, Luca Turilli's Rhapsody. [11] With the departure of Turilli, Tom Hess became the lead guitarist of the band. Oliver Holzwarth, brother of drummer Alex Holzwarth, was announced to be Guers' replacement on September 1, 2011. Soon after, on September 27, 2011, the band announced that Roby De Micheli had joined them as a second guitar player. [12]

Continued line-up changes, parallel Farewell Tour (2013–2018)

The band embarked on their "From Chaos to Eternity World Tour" in the Spring of 2012. [13] This tour was their largest yet, spanning three continents. Later that year, on December 11, 2012, the band signed with AFM Records. [14] On May 3, 2013, a second live album was released, titled Live – From Chaos to Eternity , recorded during the European dates of their From Chaos to Eternity World Tour 2012.

In July 2013, Tom Hess respectfully parted ways with the band due to "philosophical differences" with Alex Staropoli. [15] Hess would not be replaced, with the band continuing with just one guitarist. Recording for the band's next studio album, Dark Wings of Steel , also began in July 2013. Dark Wings of Steel was released at the end of the year [16] and was the band's first album not to be based on the band's fantasy saga, The Algalord Chronicles, which spanned from Legendary Tales to From Chaos to Eternity . A European tour followed the release of the album. [17]

Bassist Oliver Holzwarth left the band in August 2014. Alessandro Sala was announced as his replacement in June 2015, although he had joined the band a few months prior. [18] Sala had previously been a bandmate of Roby De Micheli in the band Sinestesia. [19]

Songwriting for a followup to Dark Wings of Steel began in the Fall of 2014. [20] Album artwork and the track listings for the new album, titled Into the Legend , were revealed in November 2015. [21] The album was released in January 2016.

After a short tour to promote the new album, Fabio Lione announced his departure on September 28, 2016. [22] Drummer Alex Holzwarth also announced his departure on the band's Facebook page a couple of days later on October 9, 2016. [23]

On November 21, 2016, former members Luca Turilli, Fabio Lione, Alex Holzwarth, Patrice Guers and Dominique Leurquin announced a Rhapsody "20th Anniversary Farewell Tour", in parallel to the current band. The tour celebrated the 20th anniversary of Rhapsody's first album Legendary Tales and featured, among other songs, the album Symphony of Enchanted Lands played in its entirety. The 20th Anniversary Farewell Tour started on April 26, 2017 in Annecy, France and ended on March 20, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. [24]

On November 11, 2016, the band announced their new lead vocalist, Giacomo Voli. [25] Manu Lotter was announced as the new drummer on December 22, 2016. [26]

On January 20, 2017, the band announced that their new album will be 14 classic Rhapsody songs re-recorded. The new album titled Legendary Years was announced on March 17, 2017 from the band's Facebook page. [27] The album was released on May 26, 2017. [28]

The new lineup performed for the first time at the Trieste Summer Rock Festival at the castle of San Giusto on July 29, 2017 in Trieste, Italy. [29] Following after the new line-up's debut performance was a tour with Orden Ogan in the fall of 2017. [30]

The Nephilim's Empire Saga (2018–present)

On March 14, 2018, the band had posted a narrative extract on their Facebook page, hinting that another album was being made. [31]

The band had later revealed the title of their new album The Eighth Mountain , as the first chapter of a new saga titled The Nephilim's Empire Saga on November 16, 2018. The album was released on February 22, 2019. [32] [33] [34]

Band members

Timeline

Rhapsody of Fire

Discography

Studio albums

EPs

Singles

Compilation albums

Live albums

DVDs

Demos

Related Research Articles

<i>Power of the Dragonflame</i> album by Rhapsody of Fire

Power of the Dragonflame is the fifth studio album released by Rhapsody. It was released on 23 April 2002 by Limb Music. It is the last chapter in the Emerald Sword Saga.

<i>Dawn of Victory</i> album by Rhapsody of Fire

Dawn of Victory is the third studio album released by Rhapsody in 2000. Like the previous albums, it centers on the story of Algalord and The Emerald Sword Saga. It was produced and engineered by Sascha Paeth and Miro. It is also the first album to feature drummer Alex Holzwarth.

<i>Legendary Tales</i> album

Legendary Tales is the first studio album by the symphonic power metal band Rhapsody. It was released in 1997 on Limb Music. The album is the beginning of the Emerald Sword Saga.

<i>Symphony of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark Secret</i> album by Rhapsody of Fire

Symphony of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark Secret is the sixth studio album released by Rhapsody in 2004. A concept album like all previous albums of the band, it is not a sequel to Symphony of Enchanted Lands but the first chapter of a band's new saga, The Dark Secret Saga, which would conclude with their ninth album From Chaos to Eternity'

<i>Symphony of Enchanted Lands</i> album

Symphony of Enchanted Lands is an album released by Rhapsody in 1998. It is the second album of the Emerald Sword Saga.

The Magic of the Wizards Dream 2005 single by Rhapsody of Fire

"The Magic of the Wizard's Dream" is the third single recorded by Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody, released in 2005.

<i>Live in Canada 2005: The Dark Secret</i> 2006 live album by Rhapsody of Fire

Live in Canada 2005: The Dark Secret, released in 2006, is the first live album by the symphonic power metal band Rhapsody. It was recorded on 14 June 2005 at the "Metropolis" in Montreal, Canada, during the first part of the Demons, Dragons and Warriors World Tour.

<i>Triumph or Agony</i> album by Rhapsody of Fire

Triumph or Agony is the seventh album studio released by Rhapsody of Fire in Europe on 25 September 2006. It is the first album that the band released after their name change.

<i>The Frozen Tears of Angels</i> album

The Frozen Tears of Angels is the eighth album studio by the Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. It was released on April 30, 2010 via Nuclear Blast. It is the first album to be released after a long hiatus, caused by a legal dispute with the band's previous label, Magic Circle Music. The concept album is the third chapter of The Dark Secret Saga, which began with Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret.

Live – From Chaos to Eternity is Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire's second live album. It was recorded during the European dates of their From Chaos to Eternity World Tour 2012, across the following countries:

<i>Dark Wings of Steel</i> album by Rhapsody of Fire

Dark Wings of Steel is the tenth full-length studio album by the Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. It was released on December 12, 2013 in Europe and December 31, 2013 in the United States via AFM Records. Following the various line-up changes since the previous album From Chaos to Eternity in 2011, Dark Wings of Steel is the first album of the band to not feature guitarist and founding member Luca Turilli, the first with guitarist Roby De Micheli, and the only with bass guitarist Oliver Holzwarth.

<i>Legendary Years</i> album by Rhapsody od Fire

Legendary Years is a compilation album by Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. It consists of re-recorded versions of songs from The Emerald Sword Saga, a five concept albums-long story started in their first album Legendary Tales in 1997 and concluded in Power of the Dragonflame in 2002.

<i>The Eighth Mountain</i> 2019 album by Rhapsody of Fire

The Eighth Mountain is the twelfth studio album by the Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire. It was released on February 22, 2019 via AFM Records.

Turilli / Lione Rhapsody is an Italian symphonic power metal band formed on December 5, 2018 by Luca Turilli and Fabio Lione, which also includes Alex Holzwarth, Patrice Guers, and Dominique Leurquin, which is the same lineup that performed on the 20th Anniversary Farewell Tour. On the same day that the band formed, the band started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo to fund their debut studio album.

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