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After a legal battle forced a name change, the reinvigorated Italian act Rhapsody of Fire return with another barrage of over the top power metal that employs a full orchestra and a massive choir in addition to the outfit's usual instrumental arrangements. Make no mistake, TRIUMPH OR AGONY is fantasy metal at its finest, complete with domineeringly powerful vocals, huge guitars, leading keyboard melodies, and a slew of pomp and circumstance along the way which include narrative passages and guest vocals done by the characters of the interwoven storyline behind the music. While this style can be described as an absolute acquired taste, these compositions are masterfully crafted with the great care and the grandiose spirit that goes into a theater production, thankfully without sacrificing metallic elements like the guitar runs found on "Heart of the Darklands". Taking risks while staying true, this quintet's overall metallic majesty dramatically shines through TRIUMPH OR AGONY, making this disc that much more attractive to both patronizing metalheads and epic music lovers alike. You must hear Rhapsody of Fire's latest release if you are even remotely intrigued by the likes of Blind Guardian, Dream Theater, or Hammerfall
- Mike SOS