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‘Live - From Chaos To Eternity’ is the new album from Rhapsody Of Fire and it is their first since amicably parting ways with guitarist Luca Turilli, who left to form his own ‘version’ of the band. I’m going to get the positives out of the way first. There is no doubt this is a great sounding album that captures the band at their very best. Vocalist Fabio Lione is on fine form throughout and, again, stamps his credentials for being one of the best singers around. Keyboard player Alex Staropoli’s virtuoso skills can only be applauded and the rest of the band, including the new members, nail every single song almost perfectly. Song selection is great with a wide variety of classics and newer tracks. You cannot go wrong with ‘From Chaos To Eternity’, ‘Holy Thunderforce’, ‘Unholy Warcry’ and ‘The Village Of Dwarves’ etc. Lastly this is a vast improvement over the previous live album ‘Live In Canada 2005’, not least because the new album is a full set!

However, there is one big ‘but’ about the whole thing and I do hope I’m not the only one to highlight it. To prove the point I have to quote Alex Staropoli from the press release and he says: "We wanted to deliver a live album that can actually be called a LIVE album. Not one single part was re-recorded in studio as most of bands do. Personally I am always looking for perfection but in the case of this live album I truly believe it had to sound live and maintain both live playing and feeling at 100%." Now, far be it for me to question the validity that there were no overdubs or re-recorded sections added, I’m sure what you hear from the band themselves is indeed live, but the question remains: when has a Rhapsody/Rhapsody Of Fire gig ever been truly live? When you open the trucks to unload, do an 80 piece orchestra, 40 piece choir and Sir Christopher Lee tumble out in a heap from between the amps and drums? No, of course they don’t! All of that is sampled and on backing tapes so let us please have a little honesty about how live everything is.

I’m also a little concerned that the first output we’ve had from this version of the band is a live album from a tour almost a year ago. Indeed 2012 saw ‘Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody’ release the stunning studio album ‘Ascending To Infinity’ and they have also been on a huge tour. Is there perhaps a ‘hiccup’ in the songwriting at the moment that is preventing Rhapsody Of Fire from releasing a new studio album, or am I just making something out of nothing? I really don’t know but it just strikes me as a little strange. At any rate, ‘Live - From Chaos To Eternity’ is still a fantastic album and long-time fans will be in awe but it’s also a pretty good place to start if you are new to the band. I am watching developments closely though because Luca’s version definitely have the edge at the present time.
AFM Records
Double Album
Review by Rick Tilley
48:20 & 54:48
3rd May 2013
CD1: 1) Dark Mystic Vision; 2) Ad Infinitum; 3) From Chaos to Eternity; 4) Triumph or Agony; 5) I Belong to the Stars; 6) The Dark Secret; 7) Unholy Warcry; 8) Lost in Cold Dreams; 9) Land of Immortals; 10) Aeons of Raging Darkness; 11) Dark Reign of Fire; 12) Drum Solo
CD 2: 1) The March of the Swordmaster; 2) Dawn of Victory; 3) Toccata on Bass; 4) The Village of Dwarves; 5) The Magic of the Wizard's Dream; 6) Holy Thunderforce; 7) Reign of Terror; 8) Knightrider of Doom; 9) Epicus Furor; 10) Emerald Sword; 11) Erian's Lost Secrets; 12) The Splendour...
"...a fantastic album and long-time fans will be in awe but it’s also a pretty good place to start if you are new to the band."