Rhapsody Of Fire may have produced one album already this year but that hasn’t stopped them from producing another. That is, if you can classify this as an album.
Where The Frozen Tears Of Angels focused more on the neo-classical guitar work of Luca Turilli, The Cold Embrace Of Fear: A Dark Romantic Symphony is essentially a symphony of 35-minutes in seven acts that has to be listened to in one epic sitting.
There are plenty of ridiculously over-the-top theatrical sound samples, melodramatic servings of cheese and numerous narrations from Christopher Lee. But are you really surprised?
ACT I – The Pass Of Nair-Kaan begins with a scene acted out in preposterous enthusiasm.
It takes three tracks before we can hear some vocals from Fabio Lione in ACT III – The Ancient Fires Of Har-Kuun. Taking a big lump of the album, (nearly 15 minutes) it’s a shame that it simply induces frustration, lacking the propulsion to lock the listener into the story. The riffs are bland, and don’t come close to the true potential that Rhapsody Of Fire managed to unleash on their previous release.
If you get to VII – The Angels’ Dark Revelation you do realise how scrambled an effort it is, with the same orchestrations used in the song before it.
Even as a huge fan, it is hard to maintain a great zest for this record. ROF’s comeback earlier in the year was marked in true style but it seems they just couldn’t help themselves. A case of cabin fever after the aggravating court battles with MGM has meant that Rhapsody Of Fire have, in trademark fashion, gone over the top, on this occasion by overcompensating for lost time. This record certainly won’t have the lasting legacy of its predecessor.