RHAPSODY OF FIRE On the Way to Ainor

I’m the big fan and follower of Rhapsody of Fire’s music since their debut full-length ‘’Legendary Tales’ from 1997. So, I indeed welcome their comeback! After 4 years of silence there are again back with one more fantastic and enchanted record. There’s no doubt that ‘’The Frozen Tears of Angels’’ will not reach the glory of ‘’Legendary Tales’’ or ‘’Symphony of the Enchanted Lands’’, but yet this latest issue has something indeed original to offer. And really, ‘’The Frozen Tears of Angels’’is a little masterpiece of its own, lyric and music-wise this is probably the most serious record of the masters of fantasy power-speed metal art!
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First, give us some info about new album, where did you record it, who was the producer, if I’m not wrong, Luca Turilli was in charge of that…
Ok, let’s start from the beginning, just to make it clear. Luca and me, we compose all the music for Rhapsody Of Fire. We started from the title, and compose each of the song in my house, then we go for basic music arrangements, and after that we go for writing of the lyrics. Once every song is done we go in the studio, Luca and me, to produce the album. Since the very first album Sasha (Paeth) was the producer, but later on we decided to took that in our own hands, the production process, so Luca and I are proud producers of latest Rhapsody album, and also of this one. These (new) recordings were made in ‘’Gate’’ studios in Germany, and we took one year to compose this album and two months to record in total. What is special about this album is atmosphere on each of the songs. This chapter of the saga is settled in very cold and icy place, and with the music we wanted to re-create that cold ambient. We also used a lot of acoustic guitars, lot of effects, so the album sounds really cold. Now, the cover artwork is perfect combination of digital effects and 3D surrounding.

After the 1st checking of the first couple of songs I realized, for example, that there are tracks like the ‘’Sea of Fate’’, which is more simple and straightforward track, and shorter, comparing to, for example ‘’Reign of Terror’’, which is of more complex structure. How would you explain this about new album, you’re going to have some simpler and some complex tracks?
Yes, yes, of course, there is always that combination of those type of songs. That’s just typical Rhapsody element, to create those songs that are easier to listen, giving the listener more time to understand what’s going on. What’s with this album it’s that have more easier songs to understand, than in the past.

Was it hard for you as one of the main composers to compose such tracks, and keyboards lines for ‘’Reign of Terror’’?
No, it was fun. It was unbelievable excitement to work with Luca. We work for the 15th years together, and it was exciting, as we knowing what we want it becoming reality. It’s just matter of time. Sometime we just sit at computer and we starting from zero to create the song. It’s really good to have vision when we compose. We know how the songs will fit, you know…Sometime we doing it from experience, and sometimes we just throw ideas…

About lyrical concept, as this is the 3rd chapter of ‘’Dark Secret Saga’’ which began with ‘’Symphony of Enchanted Lands – The Dark Secret’’, so, what can you tell us now about lyrical topics and concept?
Well, this is quite difficult question for me, as the Luca is the only one that creates the concept of the saga. I did never wrote any word, as I’m not the guy who is able to write lyrics. So, every time Luca comes with the paper with the titles on it, where he explains me what’s about the titles and songs. For me, important is the thing to create music and proper ambient for the songs. For me, it’s very important to compose the right music to totally support the story. Also, when I compose the music, lyrics aren’t ready yet, but titles are. By every title, we can arrange the right composition. From the basics we know what’s the song about, but complicate for me is to talk about saga, since I’m not the one in it.

Cover artwork looks really fantastic, and can you tell to us who have done it, and if I’m not wrong, there are going to be special versions of the album. One is regular and second comes with some bonuses. It’s digipack with 32 pages (booklet), so can you tell us something about this bonus track version?
Yes, of course, we always like to give our fans some special versions, it’s very important to us, we did that since the very beginning. We always wanted to treat our fans right, to do something really cool and special.

You’re on Nuclear Blast Records now, where many bands who are in Nuclear Blast are doing video clips, are you going to do video clip for any song of the new album?
We always dreamed to do video clip that will totally fit the music of Rhapsody of Fire. We tried that in the past, and we did some good ones even they were low budget videos. The main problem is to represent the music of Rhapsody of Fire in a graphical way, so when we speaking about making of video, it can be really complicated. The point is to make the video for Rhapsody of Fire is to like from ‘’Lord of the Rings’’, but it’s economically impossible.

Rhapsody of Fire has returned to be studio project, but are you planning to do some shows or proper tour for this year?
Yes of course, after the release of this album, we are planning the tour. Big tour and big comeback will happen this year.

One personal question for you, as every member of Rhapsody of Fire have some side project or like in the past, some were members of some other bands, like Fabio in Labyrinth, or Luca who has his own project and was in many, many bands, but what about you?
Actually, about some years ago, my brother and me have wrote many songs together, because we wanted to make a new band, and we were working on it already, with the fantastic singer (Midnight) who was former member of Crimson Glory but he pasted last year in June, and nothing happened.

Have you founded any replacement since then?
No, there’s no one who can replace singer like Midnight, as we composed songs for him. Now, we’ll try to use those songs somehow.

I don’t know is this information is the rumor, but I heard about some ten years ago, that you wanted to make Rhapsody of Black, or Rhapsody in Black, you wanted to create black metal music? Is that true?
Yes it was true. It was something that Luca and me wanted to do then, but we never had sense to do it, but song ‘’Reign of Terror’’ actually represent that kind of composing (black metal).

Which name you like more, Rhapsody or Rhapsody of Fire?
Well, sometimes you really need to turn the page, as we had legal and copyright problems on usage of name. On the other side it was normal (talks about new name), when our fans called us Rhapsody of Fire, to use that name, but in the beginning it was hard for us to use on that, but after all I think it’s cool name. Important thing is that we still can use the name ‘’Rhapsody’’, so in the end we feel really lucky.

Any message for the fans at the end of interview?
We’ll release the new album, we meet your expectations, and we’ll let you to enjoy in our music again, and we hope to see you when we go on tour.

Answers by Alex Staropoli
Interview done by Marko Miranovic