Monday, December 6, 2010

New Album: Rhapsody of Fire - The Cold Embrace Of Fear (EP)

Originally, I assigned the newest Rhapsody of Fire album to The Pyro (as well as their previous release The Frozen Tears Of Angels), knowing that he likes symphonic metal and could do with a little bit more modern music in his repertoire. I still hope he does a write-up of the two albums as I would love to hear his take; but I just had to write about this one. About how simply bad it is.
For those who don't know, Rhapsody of Fire is a symphonic/power metal band who is known for grandiose albums and stories within. The first 'story' of The Emerald Sword Saga is explained throughout the first five albums, Legendary Tales (1997) to Power of the Dragonflame (2002), and began a new tale, The Dark Secret Saga, with the album Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret (2004), leading to the present. During this era they were simply known as Rhapsody, but after Symphony of Enchanted Lands II they changed to Rhapsody of Fire, due to a trademark issue. They continue under this new moniker, building bigger and bigger sounds and stories, much to the love of their fans.

Doing research for this article, I see that The Cold Embrace Of Fear is only an EP, which makes me feel stupid - thinking that this was a full release. I guess that this also makes me feel better about the release as whole and for the future of the band. You see, there is almost no actual music within this EP. Instead the group opted for a collection of spoken tracks and symphonic tunes with foreign lyrics over it. I know I am playing the quintessential American part, complaining about a lack of English in my music, but I can't listen to much music without some English thrown in. English speakers make up their key demographic (seeing as most other countries learn English), which is why most music of this type is in that language. So if you are from their home country or speak their language, you would probably giggle with joy, but not me.
Their previous release, the full-length The Frozen Tears Of Angels, was a return to their usual style, with the usual mix of great songs and ok songs - all symphonic, all epic in some fashion. During the time that I thought The Cold Embrace Of Fear was a continuation of the story, I was worried that the band was taking a fatal step into the unknown. Into a new direction of which there is no return. This brings me back to the fact that I am glad that this is only an EP. With an EP you can try new things, it's like a free pass, a license to do whatever you want with almost no consequences. We should all be so lucky.
So now that I have calmed down a bit (Dawn of Victory was one of my first power/symphonic metal albums after all), I can wait to see what happens to the group, instead of jumping directly to the conclusion that they are committing suicide. It just forces me to be on pins and needles waiting for their next release. Stay tuned for that review!

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