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Symphony of Enchanted Lands 2: The Dark Secret

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Audio CD, October 4, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 4, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Steamhammer Us
  • ASIN: B0002I7422
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,519 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Dark Secret
2. Unholy Warcry
3. Never Forgotten Heroes
4. Elgard's Green Valleys
5. The Magic Of The Wizard's Dream
6. Erian's Mystical Rhymes
7. The Last Angel's Call
8. Dragonland's River
9. Sacred Power Of Raging Winds
10. Guardiani
11. Shadows Of Death
12. Nightfall On The Grey Mountains

Editorial Reviews

For the past seven years or, to be more precise, since the opening tones of their sensational debut album, Legendary Tales, Rhapsody have been one of the most unusual phenomena of the current metal scene. The huge range of their creativity, the number of legendary compositions that the Italian band, with their primary members guitarist Luca Turilli and keyboarder Alex Staropoli, have released so far reached the climax with the new album Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret. A new saga has been born, one that takes the listener on a musical adventure featuring epic, fast metal tracks and sonic landscapes with stirring narrative. It is the debut of a new style of Heavy Metal music created by Rhapsody known as Film Score Metal. The massive production, led by Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli themselves was done in several studios throughout Europe; from England to Italy, from the Czech Republic and Belgium to Germany. Supported by appearances by more than a dozen international guest soloists and the entire Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra from the Czech Republic, a 50 piece choir as well as Christopher Lee - the grand seigneur of film and one of the most filmed actors in history, Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret will set the world of Symphonic Metal on fire.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Justin G. TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD
After Rhapsody delivered the triumphant conclusion to their ongoing Emerald Sword Saga with 2002's Power of the Dragonflame, a lot of metal fans were left wondering what the band would do next, and how they could possibly top their previous efforts. To their credit, Rhapsody spared no expense in making 2004's Symphony of Enchanted Lands, Part II: the Dark Secret their most epic and ambitious album to date. Unfortunately this strategy did not pay off.

On the surface, it makes perfect sense for a power metal band as symphonically oriented as Rhapsody to hire a huge orchestra to augment their album, and casting Christopher Lee (Saruman from the Lord of the Rings films) seemed like a stroke of genius, especially after the godawful narration of the band's previous albums. The only thing Luca Turilli and company needed to do was come up with an album worthy of these enhancements. Besides, the time was ripe for the band to come up with some fresh ideas, new storylines, and generally take their music to a new level. Instead Luca went back to the trough to "revisit" the themes from the band's first Symphony of Enchanted Lands album, and by revisit I mean they essentially ripped themselves off. There's absolutely nothing on this album that you haven't already heard from Rhapsody. The concepts, lyrics, and arrangements are so similar to previous efforts that it borders on self-parody. On its own merits it is a perfectly decent symphonic power metal album, but when you hold it up against the band's earlier works it just falls short of expectations.

Ultimately, Symphony of Enchanted Lands, Part II was a wake up call for this metal fan.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dan Solera on May 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Since their 1997 debut, "Legendary Tales", Rhapsody has been churning at an average rate of one album per 14 months (6 albums in 7 years). At that rate and with the specific genre the band has spearheaded, they are bound to run out of ideas.

And this album does it. Rhapsody simply doesn't know what to do anymore.

Before I go into the review, I urge you to not dismiss this review as someone who doesn't like the band or the genre. Rhapsody is one of my all-time favorite artists and I love every release (in fact, my expectations for "The Dark Secret" were, perhaps, astronomically unfair). Every album before this one has had something amazing to offer, be it a melody, a song, or a series of songs.

But "The Dark Secret" doesn't do it. The Italian quintet, which has earned its title in the power metal circuit as the most pompous and extravagant band, returned to their songwriting formula and exhausted it. Songs like "Unholy Warcry" have a choir, which is nothing new, and a chorus that deviates in one note from the norm (no big surprise there). The third song, "Never Forgotten Heroes" is probably the best song on the album *but* (and please try this) it is almost a direct copy of the third track on "Symphony of Enchanted Lands": "Wisdom of the Kings" (a superior track). It's uncanny. I wonder if anyone else has noticed this, or if the band thought this would go by undetected.

The band pulled off a successful 19-minute song ("Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness") in their last release with a variety of melodies, adequate sectioning, and a constantly evolving melodic structure. But the two painfully long 10-minute offerings on "The Dark Secret" ("Sacred Power of Raging Winds" and "Erian's Mystical Rhymes") drag on for hours.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Frinz Firesword on October 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
First of all, I really have to thank the great and unique Christopher Lee for helping this beautiful and unique band! This gorgeous album begins with Lee's narration, filled with much feeling... it really feels like a narration for The Lord Of The Rings!! Lee knows how to do it!!! When he quit talking, the choir begins to work!! Oh, GOD!!! What a terrific choir!! It's GLORIOUS!! Sometimes, this album, is like a horror movie.

Then, "Unholy Warcry" comes!! Great symphonic sounds!! Brute force!! And the terror-like choir!! Lione sings really good in this song! And the guitar solo ROCKS!!! This is a GREAT SONG, seriously.

"Never Forgotten Heroes" is kind of a rhapsody that contains some parts from "Thunder's Mighty Roar" (from the EP)and from "Wisdom Of The Kings" (SOEL I). Staropoli, the keyboardist, imporoves his style until it reaches to the very soul of the listener! The choir in this song, as in the whole album, is GREAT!!

"Elgard's Green Valleys" is a really short song that I'd call kind of an INTRO to "The magic Of The Wizard's Dream", which is a BEAUTIFUL balad, that begins with a heart-feel flute!

"Erian's Mystical Rhymes" is... OH!!!!!! For me, this song is the best from this band!!!! They had never made such a GLORIOUS and horror-movie-like song!! When you hear it, you'll understand perfectly what I mean!! They passed through the limits of beauty with this one! This is, besides, the most symphonic in all the album!!

"The Last Angel's Call" is like a comedy made music!! It's GREAT!! It's filled with pure happiness and hope and it's... yes, definitely a joke song!! You MIGHT listen to it!!

"Dragonland's River" is also a BEAUTIFUL balad!!! Well, really this band has the BEST ballads of all the metal bands'!!!!
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