Talk about your surprising business decisions. It seems as though the creative members of the band Rhapsody Of Fire have decided to part ways. Do you know them? If not, they are a wonderfully orchestrated Symphonic Power metal band from Italy and their stuff is really epic at times and very majestic. I had heard of the band in the early 2000′s but didn’t start doing reviews of their work until about 2004 with their “Symphony Of Enchanted Lands” album. They were called Rhapsody back then and added the “Of Fire” in 2006 based on trademark issues with the previous name. Strange how that happened since they had been formed way back in 1993.
It’s important to know that while these two creative partners (and I am speaking of guitarist Luca Turilli and keyboardist Alex Starapoli) have parted ways, the band will still exist but will do so in two distinct formats. According to what I have read around the web, Alex will continue along with singer Fabio Leone and drummer Alex Holzwarth under the existing moniker Rhapsody Of Fire while Luca will take bassist Patrice Guers and drummer Alex Holzwarth for that project. The search for new members will obviously be paramount for both sides of the fence and one has to anticipate that using the same drummer for the project will eventually become a problem. The band’s output on the Nuclear Blast Records label since 2010 has been very regular which was great to see happening after the hiatus that was cause by their joining forces with Manowar bassist Joey DeMaio’s Magic Circle Music. There were many who believed that the band was hidden away on purpose by the label. Who knows, but it wouldn’t surprise me in all honesty. Nothing in the music business does anymore.
My thoughts on it all? Well, the first one is that Luca should have gone a different name route instead of using Rhapsody. Yes he is known for it all but why risk confusion in the fans eyes. We already have two L.A. Guns, two The Sweet’s and probably a few more that I just cannot recollect at this time. You’re creative and you’re well known, so move on into something bigger for yourself. As far as the Rhapsody Of Fire side goes, well, I think they will have some issues too if the fans are only wanting the original band guitar god. Can they find another exceptional player? Of course they can. There are thousands of amazing and technical players out there who would be dying to be in the group. I do think that they will be alright in the long run as the voice often becomes the band. We have all seen this happen before and some fans drop the group entirely when the voice they know and love is no longer a part of the lineup. The timing of this is actually on the strange side as the band Kamelot is currently touring with Rhapsody Of Fire singer Fabio Leone and he is doing a stand up job at their material if any of the YouTube clips are to be believed. One has to wonder if ROF should have just broken up entirely and called it a band career well done. That would have let the members all do their own thing at this point instead of offering up a sure to be confusing pair of groups. Let’s divide the fans down the middle and start the debate on which one will be better off in the long run.
Opinions? Let’s here them.