Turilli’s Rhapsody – the self-proclaimed creators of “Cinematic Metal” – are back in
business, blowing minds with their sumptuous mix of symphonic and power metal. Maybe
the band’s 2012 release ‘Ascending to
Infinity’ is an album not even Luca
Turilli himself can top, but their latest effort ‘Prometheus: Symphonia Ignis Divinus’ comes pretty close to the bar
the Italian composer/guitarist set for himself.
and call the band “Rhapsody” due to legal complications arising out of
Turilli’s pre-split involvement with Rhapsody
of Fire/Rhapsody. Apparently, he won’t be putting out any more solo work
under just “Luca Turilli” so this group is like the new version of the mind
that spawned the beautiful ‘King of the
Nordic Twilight’ back in 1999.
the man has a knack for composing otherworldly-sounding music by combining
symphonic/orchestral arrangements with all-out power metal. We’ve seen this
happen before, and now we’re seeing it again. But how far have bands taken it
when it comes to using symphonic elements in their music? Not far enough,
actually, because most of these artists seem to be mixing heavy/death metal
with symphonic music superficially. Bands like Wintersun, Septicflesh
and Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody stand in stark contrast to such an approach.
The violins, brass sections, and operatic
vocals all seem organically infused into the metal quotient of these bands. ‘Prometheus’ in particular does a
sublime job of picking up where ‘Ascending
to Infinity’ left off and slightly building on that grandeur (if that was
even possible). Gestating for seven months in production after a three-month recording
process allowed this album to exploit each element of its music to the maximum,
whether it be the guitars, drums, or the vocals.
Conti’s traditionally high-pitched and soaring
clean vocals are right at the top of the mix, and seem to lead the other
instruments forward. The catchy “Rosenkreuz”
is the best example of this. Dominique
Leurquin and Turilli perform
slightly different roles than the average metal guitarist, often replicating
the pristine gallops of the necessarily moody choirs and orchestra. The only
complaint here is that the guitars, during their rhythm sections, are not loud
enough in the mix.
and Patrice Guers on the bass perform excellently as the rhythm section of a
group that uses such a wide range of elements. Understanding the vibe of these
elements and providing the parts to match those moods is where these guys have
done no wrong. “Notturno”, a slower
but equally grand song, is all you need to hear to be convinced of this. The “Of Michael the Archangel and Lucifer’s
Fall” arc continues with “Codex
Nemesis”, an 18-minute epic that acts as part two of that arc and concludes
the album by summarizing, in one song, everything the album has achieved musically.
feel that the music here is trying to do too much, so it’s safe to say that not
everyone will love this album. However, ‘Prometheus’
makes for a great introduction to the world of power and symphonic metal, and
is definitely a treat for any existing connoisseur of the genre.