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RHAPSODY OF FIRE “Challenge The Wind” Album Review by Antoine Karam


In their latest symphonic saga, Rhapsody of Fire embarks on a high-speed journey through the tempests power metal with Challenge the Wind, a title that aptly captures the album’s relentless energy and velocity. Steering clear of the serene harbors of balladry this time, the Italian maestros thrust us into a whirlwind of unyielding metal prowess, anchored by the masterful compositions of Alex Staropoli and the electrifying guitar riffs of Roby De Micheli.

From the outset, Challenge the Wind signals a bold evolution in Rhapsody of Fire’s storied discography. The absence of their traditionally slower, more contemplative songs may come as a surprise to some, but it showcases the band’s ability to innovate within the symphonic metal genre they’ve so significantly shaped. Each track, including the rapid-fire opener Challenge the Wind and the darkly melodious The Bloody Pariah, serves as a chapter in an epic narrative that is both thrilling and meticulously crafted.

Vocalist Giacomo Voli’s range and intensity breathe life into each composition, meshing seamlessly with De Micheli’s shredding and Staropoli’s orchestral arrangements, which remain as grandiose and immersive as ever. Songs like Kreel’s Magic Staff and Vanquished by Shadows showcase the band’s knack for creating memorable melodies that linger long after the final note.

While consistently high tempos and the absence of slower tracks could potentially detract from the album’s dynamic range, Rhapsody of Fire skillfully navigates this with varied songwriting and instrumental depth. Tracks such as Diamond Claws and Black Wizard are evident of their refined craftsmanship, each adding a unique color to the album’s broad palette. Moreover, the closing epic, Mastered by the Dark, encapsulates the essence of the album, leaving listeners on a breathtaking high note.

Through Challenge the Wind, Rhapsody of Fire not only reinforces their standing in the metal realm but also underlines their relentless pursuit of musical evolution. The synergy between Staropoli’s visionary orchestration and De Micheli’s robust guitar work, coupled with Voli’s dynamic vocals, asserts that the band’s creative flame burns as fiercely as ever.

Fans will inevitably debate the album’s place within Rhapsody of Fire’s discography, comparing it to the legendary early works or viewing it through the prism of the band’s recent line-up evolutions. Nonetheless, Challenge the Wind is unequivocally a fresh, high-octane testament to the band’s enduring legacy and innovative spirit in the face of symphonic metal’s evolving landscape.

Rather than resting on their laurels, Rhapsody of Fire has delivered an album that is both a nod to their roots and a bold stride into new territories. Challenge the Wind is an exhilarating journey through the stormy seas of metal—a journey that both long-time fans and newcomers alike will find rewarding and immersive.

With all things considered, Challenge the Wind earns a solid 9 out of 10. It’s a magnum opus that not only continues Rhapsody of Fire’s legendary saga but also challenges and expands the boundaries of symphonic metal itself.

RHAPSODY OF FIRE release new album ‘Challenge The Wind‘ on 31st May, out on AFM Records. 

Order your copy at:


Track Listing:

1. Challenge the Wind
2. Whispers of Doom
3. The Bloody Pariah
4. Vanquished by Shadows
5. Kreel’s Magic Staff
6. Diamond Claws
7. Black Wizard
8. A Brave New Hope
9. Holy Downfall
10. Mastered by the Dark

Line Up:

Alex Staropoli -Keyboards, Piano,
Roberto De Micheli-Guitar
Alessandro Sala -Bass
Giacomo Voli -Vocals
Paolo Marchesich Drums

For More Info Visit:
Rhapsody Of Fire Live:
29.06.2024 (FR) CLISSON, Hellfest
13.07.2024 (BG) MOGILOVO, Midalidare Rock in the Wine Valley 2024
19.07.2024 (FI) PERUNKA, John Smith Rock Festival
07.11.2024 (SE) MALMOE, Plan B
08.11.2024 (SE) GOTHENBURG, Surr Arena
09.11.2024 (SE) STOCKHOLM, Fryshuset Klubben
10.11.2024 (SE) GAVLE, Centralteatern

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