There is nothing sadder than watching as a great song-writing team splits. Say what you like about them about Paul McCartney’s song-writing has never been the same after the sad death of John Lennon and likewise the band reincarnations that Luca Turilli has tried to create after his departure from Rhapsody Of Fire in 2011 has never really sounded the same as the genre-defining music that he was writing with Fabio Lione.
Turilli/Lione Rhapsody – given not the greatest band name in music history but a sure sign to Rhapsody Of Fire are back together in a big way. Even better is that their new album, Zero Gravity (Rebirth And Evolution) is a true symphonic gem.
Turilli and Lione get right down to business with this album. The opening track, ‘Phoenix Rising’, shows that they are back to their amazing song-writing best with a song that begins with quiet piano playing as the audience is taken on a short journey through space thanks to some well-planned sound grabs. The track then reveals a Gothic choir in all its splendour which fits nicely with Lione’s vocals. The track also shows that there is no sound that the duo won’t attempt as at one moment it sounds like even some electronica creeps into the track.
If you live by the sword though you can also die by the sword and while it is good to hear the band tackle some experimental things it backfires on ‘D.N.A. (Demon And Angel)’ which while a good song sounds over-crowded vocally at times. Likewise you feel only a true devotee of the band could fall in love with ‘Amata Immortale’ which is sung in Italian and sounds like it should be included in a classical musical rather than on a metal album.
At other times though the experimental side pays off. The operatic opening of ‘Zero Gravity’ sees the band reach brand new heights while ‘Fast Radio Burst’ is one the best tracks on the album. The sound grab at the start is amazing… ‘they must explore’… it sets the scene for a song that is then further enhanced by the great guitar playing of Turiili and Dominique Leurquin.
The brilliance of the band is then further explored with the atmospheric opening to ‘Decoding The Multiverse’ which at times feels like a song that Queen would have been happy to have written. Soaring vocals, pounding drums and intense keys all combine to make this one of the album’s best. That is then followed up by the world music fusion with symphonic metal that occurs on ‘Origins’ while the very spiritual ‘Multidimensional’ takes the audience off into a fantasy realm that needs to be discovered in depth.
The lengthy ‘I Am’ once again sees the return of the awesome guitar playing that this band can generate while the album closes with ‘Arcanum (Da Vinci’s Enigma)’ which at times sounds like an electronic track missing from Phantom Of The Opera. It really does go to show that you never know what to expect next from Turrilli/Lione Rhapsody.
Zero Gravity (Rebirth And Evolution) is proof that with Turrilli/Lione two of heavy metal’s true maestros are back together. The album may take a couple of listens in order to win over its listeners but yes it does show that true genius does still exist.