debut of the year 1997, in my opinion, must be "Legendary Tales" from the
Italian band RHAPSODY. This is an album filled with epic, melodic, symphonic power metal.
The sound is very much "German", but who cares when the songs are brilliant.
But, let's start with the beginning. It's 1992 and the band is called Thundercross...
When we first formed the band we where very much focused on epic heavy metal. Manowar was
our favourites, and during the early days I did all the vocals myself, says guitarist
Tiurilli. We quickly developed further, and as I'm very much influenced by classical
music the music started to get more melodic and symphonic. I wasn't too happy with the
name Thundercross either, so I started looking for a name related to classical music, and
that's why we became RHAPSODY.
Their debut album was produced by Sascha Paeth, best know thru'
bands like Heaven's Gate and Angra. Paeth also played all the bass parts on the album...
- When we entered the studio we hadn't found the right bassist to work with, so Sascha did
basically all the bass on the album. We are checking out some candidates right now, so I
hope we have a permanent bassist in the line-up soon.
It wasn't only the bassist that was missing in the line-up when they entered the studio.
They didn't have any vocalist either...
- That's correct. We had just fired our old vocalist, so the album was eventually recorded
in three parts. First we did all drums, bass and some guitars - that was n
October/November '96. During the winter of '97 we recorded all the classical parts, and
the vocals and solo's was recorded last spring. The new vocalist is Fabio Lione, and some
of you may remember him from the band Labyrinth.
"Legendary Tales" is a very symphonic album, and all the
classical parts was recorded by a symphonic orchestra...
- We decided that if the budget allowed it, we would use the real thing. Both my father
and my uncle where members of big symphonic orchestras, so I had some knowledge of how to
get this thing to work out. People in common may just not notice the difference between
the real thing and synths, but for me there is a huge difference.
So, what did these musicians, playing flute, violin, cello etc.,
think about your music then?
- It all went very well, and they all said they where impressed with our music and that
they totally got a different view on heavy metal after working with us.
RHAPSODY recorded 10 songs for "legendary Tales", but have
almost another full album written...
- Yes, they are more or less finished, and we will start on the new album during late
winter, early spring '97. The next album will be released in September next year. That I
can guarantee! You see, we wrote about 20 songs fitting under the same concept, so
"Legendary Tales" is just part one of this concept. So, the songs that you find
on this album is not necessary the best songs we had when the album was recorded, it was
more to find the proper songs to fit in under the concept on this particular album.