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Rhapsody of Fire (formerly known as Thundercross and, more recently, Rhapsody) is an Italianmarker symphonic power metal band led by Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli. Since forming in 1993, the band has released seven studio albums, one live album, one EP, and a live DVD.

History

Early years (1993—1997)

In 1993, Luca Turilli decided to create a Power metal band with the vision of integrating classical music elements with Power metal. The first to join him were Alex Staropoli and Daniele Carbonera. These three formed a band that became known as Thundercross. Turilli has admitted 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.

A year later Thundercross released their first demo, Land of Immortals, with Cristiano Adacher taking the role of vocals. During this period of time, they went through a few bassist changes in their lineup. Limb Music Products & Publishing showed interest in the songs. Not long after the release the band got a proposal from the record company.

The band decided to accept the offer and soon they began promoting their music. Now the group had access to higher quality equipment and started recording Eternal Glory. At this time Thundercross changed their name to Rhapsody. This name highlights the connection between classical music and poetry. That demo pushed Rhapsody up in the business and the press started to write more about them. However, shortly after the release of Eternal Glory the vocalist Cristiano and the bassist Andrea left the band. Rhapsody found new vocalist Fabio Lione. Fabio Lione proved to be a good choice. As the former vocalist in two bands called Labyrinth and Athena he was known by the depth and power of his voice in his songs.

Legendary Tales and Symphony of Enchanted Lands (1997—2000)

With these four members they started recording their debut album. In 1997 Rhapsody released their debut album, Legendary Tales. Co-founders Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli created an epic sound with this first album. Rhapsody incorporated classical music, baroque and heavy metal styles in a sub-genre they call "Hollywood metal" or "film score metal" because of its resemblance to movie soundtracks. The classical influences include such composers as Vivaldi, Bach and Paganini. The band shows strong Power metal influences, and lyrical content is centered around high fantasy themes. The album was recorded in Germanymarker by the well known producer Sascha Paeth (Heavens Gate) who also helped Rhapsody with the bass parts. The album was also the beginning story of the Emerald Sword Saga.Turilli is the band's lyricist, as well as its guitarist. His lyrics often refer to mystical lore from the medieval age and the heroic valor of those times, highlighting in particular the everlasting fight between good and evil. "Evil can be found everywhere," says Turilli. "But it will never win as long as there are enough good people who fight against it."

In the years that followed 1997, Turilli, Staropoli and Lione developed this 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 not for its members. Luca and Fabio both released their solo album.

Dawn of Victory, Rain of a Thousand Flames and Power of The Dragonflame (2000–2004)

In the spring Rhapsody started their first tour, starting in Swedenmarker. 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 . 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 had more success than any of their previous outings, and Dawn of Victory ranked at 32 in the German charts while in Japanmarker it peaked in 4th place. In early summer 2001, Rhapsody toured through South America and Europe.

Rain of a Thousand Flames was a 42 minute EP, serving 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 had incredible success around the world. Marking the end of the Emerald Sword Saga, it contained soft ballads and upbeat metal melodies.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.

The Dark Secret and Symphony of Enchanted Lands II (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 style.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 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 could easily be considered rock operas because they 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.

Name change and Triumph or Agony (2006–2007)

In July 2006 the band formerly known as Rhapsody changed their name to Rhapsody of Fire due to trademark issues. 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 their latest album, 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 continuing 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’s gives his songwriting debut for Rhapsody Of Fire with the song Il Canto del Vento.

Legal fight with Magic Circle Music and new album (2007–2009)

In June 2008, on their official website appears the following message, written by Luca Turilli:

"We are in the middle of a hard legal fight with Magic Circle Music and his main representative Mr. Joey DeMaio. That’s the reason why in the last months we had to keep all strictly confidential and could not release any official declaration that could obviously be used against us from the opposite side. As soon as this sad situation will be solved we’ll be ready for a great and mighty come back. A new album, a real masterpiece of Speed/Epic Metal, is already composed and ready to be recorded and after its release an immense worldwide tour will finally follow for yours and our extreme satisfaction."

In October a new message was posted on their website with no news apart from the fact that their activities concerning the new album have been suspended for an unspecified time period.

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.

Return, Frozen Tears of Angels and Nuclear Blast (2009)

On November 18th 2009 it was announced that the band had signed with Nuclear Blast Records and that their new album, "The Frozen Tears of Angels," will be released on March 5th 2010. Produced by Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli and mixed and mastered by Sascha Paeth at the Gate Studio in Wolfsburgmarker. The album will be released as a "special limited deluxe digipak" including two bonus tracks and a 32 page booklet, as well as jewelcase and vinyl.

Lineup

Current members



Former members

  • Cristiano Adacher - Vocals
  • Andrea Furlan - Bass
  • Alessandro Lotta - Bass
  • Daniele Carbonera - Drums


Guest members



Discography

Studio albums



EPs



Compilation albums



Live albums



DVDs



Demos



References

External links




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