RHAPSODY Symphony Of Enchanted Lands II - The Dark Secret|
SPV 085-69612CD (2004)
Following on from the Dark Secret, many of the tunes, sounds and the concept are transferred and expanded to the full. Only the track ‘Sacred Power Of The Raging Winds’ is there in full, and what a melodic speed metal dream it is. At 10 minutes with various classical interpretations on its theme it’s almost progressive too. And like the opening title track, it features compelling narration from the legend that is Christopher Lee.
The theme throughout is almost Middle Earth; think Lord Of The Rings (very apt with Lee’s involvement, who suit each other perfectly). The music errs towards the typically European speed metal with melodic and operatic overtones. With full choir and strings working well with a top quality metal band produces a full and enjoyable sound.
In places it’s cliché, think Manowar, waving swords in the air and playing some vast and fast guitar and keyboard interplay with machine-gun drums. But that said, it’s done extremely well, it’s very enjoyable and a complete breath of fresh air to a lot of modern metal. However at over 70 minutes the concept is explored to the extreme, although the changes within some of the songs is almost progressive and keeps you interested.
If you want to mix Kings Of Metal or Fighting The World with AD&D and strings/choir then this is your thing. Loved it.
Review by Joe Geesin