Rhapsody Of Fire holds for sure a high 'position' on the Euro Symphonic and Melodic Power Metal community. A band that knows how to deliver strong, powerful and melodic power metal stuff that includes high tech and 'speedy' guitars, superb performances and most of all tight songs. Since the band's beginning (at the time still under the shorter moniker of Rhapsody), Rhapsody Of Fire delivered some really classic records such as Legendary Tales (1992), Symphony Of Enchanted Lands (1998) and Dawn Of Victory (2000).
The new album marks a new saga for the band. First of all, there’s been an important personnel change: Vocalist Giacomo Voli has been at the group’s musical helm for the last three years, who not only he has accepted the powerful heritage but he has also brought a fresh 'air' to the Rhapsody Of Fire camp.
Secondly, the band, this time, worked with a major orchestra. The acclaimed Bulgarian National Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, renowned for their contribution to more than 600 movie soundtracks, were instrumental in recording The Eighth Mountain’s sublime, atmospherically dense overall sound. Two choirs featuring more than 20 vocalists, as well as a number of soloists playing medieval instruments, also deserve to be mentioned. The album was mixed and mastered by Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann (Orden Ogan), an acknowledged expert of haunting sounds.
And last but not least "The Eighth Mountain" marks a new 'fantasy' story developed by Roby De Micheli and Alex Staropoli under the title of the ‘Nephlins Empire Saga’ which is based on those fascinating fantasy elements that Rhapsody Of Fire are renowned for. At this point, I also have to say that the amazing cover artwork is handled by Alex Charleux, with whom Rhapsody Of Fire have already collaborated to their compilation Legendary Years (2017).
Now regarding the music in "The Eighth Mountain" the one thing that I have to add is that for the long time die-hards of the band the sure thing is that they will love the new opus, no doubt bout that. Pure symphonic an high-tech power metal stuff with tons of melody enough to make you adore this new record.
The powerful/aggressive vocals of Giacomo Voli (this guy has an excellent vocal range) are pure gold, the guitar lines are superb (as always), the arrangements recalls epic movies from another era and the orchestrate parts are just blistering! It's really unnecessary to review each song separately cause it's an album that you have to listen to properly as a story. My advice is to go out and buy this really brilliant piece of symphonic metal masterpiece and judge by yourself. For the ones that are into this music, "The Eighth Mountain" is a must add to your collection. For the fans of Rhapsody Of Fire is yet another must have!!
Rating : 9/10