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Music / Rhapsody of Fire

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Rhapsody of Fire is a Symphonic Power Metal band that originated in Italy in 1993, spending about a week of this period as Thundercross and most of its history as just Rhapsody. Co-founded and led by Luca Turilli (lead guitar) and Alex Staropoli (Keyboard), others included Fabio Lione (vocals), Alex Holzwarth (drums) and Patrice Guers (bass). One of the things that makes them notable among Symphonic Metal bands is that all of their earlier songs tell of events, people, places and things in a highly detailed Epic Fantasy, The Lord of the Rings-esque setting.

They have since released nine albums, with two EPs, Rain of a Thousand Flames and The Cold Embrace of Fear – A Dark Romantic Symphony, commonly referred to as the fourth and ninth albums in the series, respectively. The band has stated that From Chaos to Eternity (2011) marks the end of the Algalord Chronicles, 14 years after Legendary Tales was released in 1997.

In 2011 Rhapsody split into two bands: the original Rhapsody of Fire and Luca Turilli's Rhapsody. In 2018, after a reunion tour, Turilli, Lione, Holzwarth, Guers, and former Rhapsody session guitarist Dominique Leurquin formed Turilli / Lione Rhapsody, set to release their first album in June 2019 after a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Rhapsody (of Fire)'s albums are:
  • Legendary Tales (1997)
  • Symphony of Enchanted Lands (1998)
  • Dawn of Victory (2000)
  • Power of the Dragonflame (2002)
  • Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret (2004)
  • Triumph or Agony (2006)
  • The Frozen Tears of Angels (2010)
  • From Chaos to Eternity (2011)
  • Dark Wings of Steel (November 22 2013)
  • Into the Legend (February 5, 2016)
  • The Eighth Mountain (February 22, 2019) - Their first story-driven album since 2011, start of the Nephilim's Empire saga.
  • Glory For Salvation (November 26; 2021).

Luca Turilli's Rhapsody's albums are:

  • Ascending to Infinity (June 22, 2012)
  • Prometheus: Symphonia Ignis Divinus (June 19, 2015)

Turilli / Lione Rhapsody's albums are:

  • Rebirth and Evolution (June 2019)

The band provides examples of:

  • Abusive Precursors: In the Nephilim Empire saga, the Nephilim ruled the world before being destroyed by their human slaves. They come back and destroy humanity with the help of another evil species, though humanity is restored eventually.
  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: English is not the band's main language, so this pops up every so often. "Sea of Fate" has enough instances that it seems like an intentional stylistic direction.
    FragMENTS of torTURED existENCE reVEALing cold WHISpers...
  • Acid Pool: Used by Akron to dispose of Airin and Arwald's remains. Arwald's however throw some of the acid at the Warrior, melting the chains that were keeping him shut.
  • Action Girl: Princess Lothen is implied to be one, given that she goes with the other heroes into Dar-Kunor.
  • Aerith and Bob: As of their most recent membership switchup, their lineup consists of Fabio, Alessandro, Roberto, Alexander, Oliver, and...Tom.
  • Album Title Drop: All of them have one.
    • Power of the Dragonflame has title-drops of all the previous albums in the last song, "Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness".
  • All There in the Manual: The official website has a more detailed explanation of the story of the Emerald Sword saga, revealing things that might have been missed by just listening to the songs.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Rhapsody has a positive version of this. The goddess Gaia herself prays to the 'powerful energies of the furthest secret cosmos' in order to grant Dargor his Heroic Second Wind.
  • Artifact of Doom: The seventh black book in the Dark Secret saga. The Emerald Sword can be one if used by the wrong person, given that it was filled with the power of angels. Akron gets a hold of it towards the end of the Emerald Sword Saga.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Dargor. First an Ascended Extra with the beginning of the Dark Secret saga, in the final act of the final song in the Algalord Chronicles, he is chosen by "the gods and the angels" to become Earth's new God of Light.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Occasionally done, such as the Elvish-style whispering in "Dar-Kunor" and the Orcish-style demonic growling at the start of "Erian's Mystical Rhymes - The White Dragon's Order".
  • The Atoner: Dargor.
  • Barbarian Hero: The Warrior of Ice.
  • Big Bad: King Akron in the Emerald Sword Saga and the Dark Lord Nekron in the Dark Secret Saga, both serving Kron.
    • The Nephilim Tyrant is this for The Eighth Mountain but the heroes kill him after destroying his fortress making it unclear who the Big Bad for the Saga as a whole will be. In Glory for Salvation the true villain turns out to be the demon the narrator made a pact with in Seven Heroic Deeds.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Tharos when he saves the Warrior of Ice twice.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Some of the songs have little bits in Italian or even Latin here and there, and eight songs so far ("Lamento Eroico", "Lo Specchio d'Argento", "Guardiani del Destino", "Il Canto del Vento", "Neve Rosso Sangue", "Danza di Fuoco e Ghiaccio", "Tempesta di Fuoco", and "Anima Perduta") are entirely in Italian, not counting Christopher Lee's narration at the start of "Danza di Fuoco e Ghiaccio".
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Mainly caused by several false friends between English and Italian. One of the most common is "luxury" (similar to the Italian "lussuria") used instead of lust, as it should be.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Tharos the dragon in the Emerald Sword Saga. The hero breaks the spell by defeating him in battle and choosing not to kill him.
  • Call-Back: In the Emerald Sword saga, the Warrior of Ice flees from Halgor by throwing himself in the underground river Aigor. In the Dark Secret Saga the same trick is used by our heroes to flee from the hordes of the living dead.
  • Came Back Wrong: The Queen of the Dark Horizons, apparently Akron as well ("the darklord reborn from the blood of his god").
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: There's the seven black books and the "White Dragon's Order", the official (in-universe) name for the group of heroes in the Dark Secret Saga, for one.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • "The Myth of the Holy Sword" ends by recapping the general plot and ending of the Emerald Sword Saga.
    • "Never Forgotten Heroes" is in remembrance of the dead heroes of the Emerald Sword Saga. In addition, "Aeons of Raging Darkness" appears to be about Airin.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Usually, whoever holds the Emerald Sword against someone, with the exception of Dargor defeating Akron, which is by his own a Curb-Stomp Battle with the Gargoyles crushing demons and vampires. The Dark Secret Saga has the Black Order's army crushed by the combined efforts of human, elves, dragons and angels.
  • Damsel in Distress: Airin is kept hostage by king Akron along with many other brave knights.
  • Darker and Edgier: Triumph or Agony, The Cold Embrace of Fear, and From Chaos to Eternity have black metal-style screams.
  • Darkest Hour: In the Emerald Sword saga when Akron gets his hands on the Emerald Sword. It gets a lot worse before it gets better again.
  • Dark Mistress: The Queen of the Dark Horizons is described as the lover of Kron.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The dragon Tharos. After the hero defeats him, it's revealed that he was under a spell and defeating him broke it. He joins the heroes after that. Dargor is also a borderline example, though it takes several defeats to finally convince him to switch sides (and the hero saving his life helped too).
  • Deal with the Devil: The Eighth Mountain opens with a song about the narrator making one of these. Unsurprisingly it goes horribly for him.
  • Defiant to the End: Agony is my Name is this combined with Badass Boast.
  • Dramatic Ellipsis:
    He owns... your sword!
    Let me... awake!
    facing the storm... the storm!
  • Epic Rocking
    • The Emerald Sword Saga finale "Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness" clocks in at about 19 minutes.
    • "The Mystic Prophecy of the Demonknight" alone reaches over 16 minutes. It also flows directly into the next song, "Dark Reign of Fire", making for an almost 23-minute song combined.
    • "The Cold Embrace of Fear" is an entire album that consists of one song. One 35 minute long song, in seven sections. Now that is epic rocking.
    • Ending the Dark Secret Saga and the Algalord Chronicles as a whole is "Heroes of the Waterfalls' Kingdom" at 19 and a half minutes.
    • Luca Turilli's Rhapsody's both albums are capped off by "Of Michael the Archangel and Lucifer's Fall" and "Of Michael the Archangel and Lucifer's Fall Part II: Codex Nemesis" at 16 and 18 minutes, respectively.
  • Establishing Character Moment: "Warrior of Ice" introduces the titular hero with him swearing to destroy the forces of evil (in the most wonderfully hammy way possible).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Dargor is disgusted by Airin's fate and has to leave the cave. This is probably his first step towards the Heel–Face Turn.
  • Evil Overlord: Akron is a textbook example. If possible he's even more Genre Savvy than your everyday dark lord.
    • The Nephilim Tyrant is also one of them.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Dark Tower of Abyss where the Emerald Sword is kept. Halgor is this up to eleven according to "Heart of the Darklands":
    A whole town built from the rock, as giant as a mountain
    Portals made from angels' bones to warn men, elves and dragons.
  • Eye Scream: Akron gets stabbed in the eye with the Emerald Sword towards the end of the Emerald Sword Saga.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Tarish in the Dark Secret saga. Though whether he was always working for the Black Order or was corrupted by the power of the book isn't entirely clear.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Airin and Arwald. The former is raped by demons, the latter tortured to death, both are thrown in a pit full of acid. Later both Akron and the Warrior are devoured alive by watersnakes.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: There tenth album 'The Eight Mountain' starts off a new series in a new setting and it has strong science fiction elements though there are fantasy elements as well.
  • Formulaic Magic: The "black geometry" mentioned in the song "The Mystic Prophecy of the Demonknight."
  • Green Aesop: Defenders of Gaia, a bonus track on the special edition of Triumph or Agony. Maybe somewhat out of place, but certainly one of the more metal Green Aesops you will hear.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Dargor is half demon. Until he becomes a god.
  • Heavy Mithril: All of their earlier songs tell of events, people, places and things in a highly detailed Epic Fantasy, The Lord of the Rings-esque setting.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Dargor turns his back on Akron at the end of the Emerald Sword Saga. He's one of the heroes in the Dark Secret Saga, and ends up becoming a god.
  • The Hero Dies
    • In the Emerald Sword Saga, the Warrior dies but makes sure Akron does too.
    • In the Dark Secret Saga, Khaas while recovering Thanor's eyes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice
    • Tharos the dragon spend a lot of time saving the hero from powerful enemies, eventually giving his life
    • The hero himself makes one at the very end, killing Akron by pulling him down into the marsh where they are both devoured by snakes.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Akron is tossed by Dargor's final attack onto the platform where the Warrior was tortured, is impaled by his own Emerald Sword and is lowered into the marsh, where the watersnakes that he intended to feed the Warrior to eat him and the Warrior.
  • Large Ham: The whole band is hammy, but special mention goes to Fabio. Oh dear god. Between his operatic range, sheer vocal power, and bombastic Italian accent, Fabio Lione may very well be the largest, most over-the-top ham in a genre defined by them.
  • Legendary Weapon: The Emerald Sword. Very old, extremely powerful, can also count as an Unholy Holy Sword.
  • MacGuffin: The Emerald Sword in the first saga, the Seventh Black Book in the Dark Secret Saga.
  • MacGuffin Guardian: When our heroes remove the Black Book from the altar of Dar Kunor, they trigger a Zombie Apocalypse and are forced to flee, chased by countless living dead.
  • Mordor: The whole Halgor and Dar-Kunor might well be this.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Basically all the villains have these. Dargor, Akron, and especially Nekron.
  • No Name Given: The hero of the Emerald Sword saga. He's referred to by many titles, including "Warrior of Ice" and "Hero of the Northern Lands", but we never get to hear his actual name.
  • Noble Demon: A certain lieutenant of Akron, before he does a full Heel–Face Turn. All together now... "DAARGOOR, SHADOWLORD OOOOF THE BLAAACK MOOOOOUUUNTAAAAAIN~"!
  • Not Afraid to Die: Averted with Quingdar who cries Tears of Fear when the Mighty Untold comes to kill him which ironically saves his life.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: In several songs, including Reign of Terror and Triumph or Agony.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons show up a few times; one named Tharos even plays a major part in the story early on. In the Dark Secret Saga, the party travel through "Dragonland", which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • There's also Thanor, the black dragon steed/servant of Nekron, who was turned to stone after betraying his master. He returns to life briefly to aid the heroes in destroying the seven demons towards the end of From Chaos to Eternity.
  • Our Gargoyles Rock: Gargoyles play an important role in the setting as they're summoned by Dargor's power to trash the demonic army and send it back to hell.
  • Our Trolls Are Different: Judging from the voices heard at the beginning of Trolls in the Dark they sound more like childish-like fayries.
  • Precision F-Strike: In Queen Of The Dark Horizons and When Demons Awake, with the latter being almost a Cluster F-Bomb compared to the other songs. And yes, both songs mention the f-word.
  • Rape as Drama: Airin is implied to be raped to death by Akron or/and his minions.
  • Redemption Equals Death: In a figurative sense. Dargor dies as a human, but is reborn as a god as his Redemption Quest is completed.
  • Redemption Quest: The reason why Dargor is the protagonist of the Dark Secret saga in the first place.
  • Religion of Evil: The Black Order, and other worshippers of Kron.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge
    • The Warrior of Ice isn't exactly happy for all the pain and death Akron has inflicted on him and his friends. "The Mighty Ride of the Firelord" is a good example.
    • "Symphony of the Enchanted Lands" probably serves as an even better example, as almost every line is a Badass Boast combined with promise of this.
  • Rock Me, Amadeus!
    • "The Wizard's Last Rhymes" is based largely on Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9.
    • "March of the Swordmaster" is based on the French Renaissance song "Quand je bois du vin clairet".
  • Rock Opera: Two of them, called "The Emerald Sword Saga" and "The Dark Secret Saga".
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The Queen of the Dark Horizons was sealed by the angels inside the crypts of the Ghostlands.
  • Shout-Out: The song "Distant Sky" from Into the Legend features the lines "A cry in the silence, a shine in the dark". These same exact lyrics appear in the Ayreon song "The Awareness", from their album The Final Experiment. Fabio Lione, longtime lead singer of Rhapsody of Fire, collaborated with Arjen Anthony Lucassen on the Ayreon project, performing vocals on the Ayreon song "Through the Wormhole" on the album Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: The Emerald Sword.
  • Taking You with Me: How the hero defeats Akron in the Emerald Sword Saga.
  • Tears of Fear: Quingdar has this reaction when the narrator comes to kill him seeing this, along with the narrator viewing his own reflection, causes the narrator to snap out of it and fight off Bezrael's control rather than kill Quingdar.
  • Together in Death: Princess Airin and Arwald.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Seven Black Books, particularly the last, which details the secrets of resurrecting Nekron.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Blatant in Guardiani del Destino, though usually avoided elsewhere.
  • The Unpronounceable: The Queen of the Dark Horizons is described as this, though it's more like "if you say her name then bad things will happen" rather than her name being literally impossible to pronounce.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song: Plenty of them, including Queen of the Dark Horizons and Reign of Terror.
  • Winged Unicorn: "The Last Winged Unicorn" is, as the title suggests, about one of these.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: The Queen of the Dark Horizons unleash one against the good guys. In The Mystic Prophecy of the Demon Knight, a horde of ghouls emerge from Dar Kunor's soil to attack our heroes.