After their by now almost legendary "Eternal Glory"-demo the Power Metal-community waited with bated breath for "Legendary Tales", the debut of Italy's RHAPSODY... With new singer, Fabio Lione, earlier known as Joe Terry in LABYRINTH... With a great fantasy-cover by Eric Philippe... And simply - big!
The intro "Ira Tenax", with its dramatic structure, bit, classical choir and big melody is the introduction for something that would shadow anything that had been there in terms of bombast and epicism. And the opener "Warrior Of Ice" shows the direction right away: fast Power/Speed Metal with incredible orchestral instrumentation, brilliant vocals of Fabio Lione (imo still the best Metal-singer of Italy!) and grand choirs as it would become the Italians' trademark in the years to come.
After the epic grandeur of a "Rage Of The Winter" (great chorus) "Land Of The Unicorns" leads us into the Middle Age, with strummed acoustic guitar and flute, plus a classic backdrop and Fabio's voice, great, while "Land Of Immortals" once more offers us the whole epic volley of the gentlemen from Trieste and Pisa.
And then... Yes, then we get THE absolute highlight: "Echoes Of Tragedy". Starting out very calm, only with keyboards and Fabio's voice, this song turns into a truly monumental track with a huge choir, which reaches MANOWAR's classic "The Crown And The Ring (Lament Of The King)"! Just plainly brilliant! After that "Lord Of The Thunder" brings us another big chorus and a completely classical part as well, just to culminate in the title-track "Legendary Tales", which contains everything that RHAPSODY stand for, bringing this album to a stylish, grandiose end!
Some have complained about the bombast of RHAPSODY and some still do, but I have to say that I love this band ever since their demo and this album is just another stone in the big mosaic of a great band, period!