Rhapsody of Fire’s live album Live: From Chaos to Eternity was recorded throughout the band's spring 2012 tour. Now, I love Rhapsody of Fire. I love the original band. I love Luca Turilli's Rhapsody. I love this one. There is so much politics involved in this band that it breaks my head. It's also not something that I am going to bring to bear to this review, except for a couple of notes.
The first note is that since he left Rhapsody of Fire in 2011, Luca Turilli's Rhapsody will, by 2014, have released two studio albums.
The second is that there has been no mention of a studio release by this Rhapsody of Fire (Alex Staropoli), and instead we have one live release, which is existing material simply recorded live.
Far be it for me to make a comment about what this says about the two "arms" of the Rhapsody legacy, but allow me to mention it regardless.
Staropoli has commented that this live release is 100 percent live, meaning that no parts of it were recorded in a studio. Excellent, outstanding; except, that is what I expect as a critic of live work, that it is live. Perhaps, too, that is why I am not generally a fan of live work.
Interestingly, as I age, my desire to see shows has waned and my interest in live albums has increased. I'm sure there is something philosophical in this, around the notion that a good live album is like a cube of energy captured during a good live set and set free with every listen.
Given the number of times in which the energy in this recording caused me to stare mindlessly at the wall, completely absorbed in the performance, I would consider Live: From Chaos to Eternity a winner.
I can hear the background hum of the audience and that doesn't bother me. Well, I tell a lie, it did for a start. After a while, it added to the dimensions of the release, to the sense that I could be there, perhaps, with a dash of Zen and a philosophical frame of mind.
The sense of the live performance is nearly complete; the sense of Rhapsody of Fire as a whole is nearly complete. What is missing? Me, standing in the audience, watching this take place.
My only real gripe is that the album is so damned long: 24 tracks, two CDs, three records. Whichever way you cast it, it is a lot. Fans won't find this a big deal, and perhaps casual listeners won't go in for a live album in any case. But unless you're in the mood, 24 tracks is a lot to listen to. If you are in the mood… well, you're in for a real treat.
(released May 7, 2013 on AFM Records)
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.