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Turilli/Lione Rhapsody - Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution) Award winner

Turilli/Lione Rhapsody
Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution)
by Martin Knap at 06 August 2019, 2:12 PM

Fanboy alert: RHAPSODY OF FIRE is one of the bands whose music turned me into a metalhead, I own almost every album and I will go see them play live on every occasion. And in my book, Luca Turilli is an absolute boss, a musician in the true sense of the word. Not only was he a part of the original line-up of one of the biggest icons of Power Metal, but he produced two Power Metal classics – “King of the Nordic Twilight” and “Prophet of the Last Eclipse” – as a solo artist and continues to release more gold under the RHAPSODY moniker after he left RHAPSODY OF FIRE in 2011.

One thing that I’ve always admired about him is how dynamic he is as a musician: although his solo projects were 100% Power Metal, they had their own identity and were not rehashed RHAPSODY, later with LUCA TURILLI’S RHAPSODY he started writing in a more “cinematic” – as he likes to describe his music – style. With his new project TURILLI/LIONE RHAPSODY that he’s started with former RHAPSODY OF FIRE and current ANGRA singer Fabio Lione (and which is his only active band at the moment), he took things into a new direction yet again, showing that he’s not someone who just wants to live off his legacy. So many well-known Power Metal bands have devolved into legacy acts that this is something to be appreciated.

Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution)” is a bit of a departure form the “cinematic Metal” of the previous Turilli releases. I would say that “Ascending to Infinity” and “Prometheus, Symphonia Ignis Divinus” had a bit more in common with RHAPSODY \[OF FIRE], in that they had a more symphonic feel and epic scope. “Zero Gravity” has also has a bombastic, layered production with orchestral elements and Neo-Classical melodic flourishes, but the songwriting is more in line with modern Power-Prog like SYMPHONY X or KAMELOT – there is room for some instrumental or ambient sections and some experimentation, but overall it’s fairly streamlined, certainly by RHAPSODY’s standards. It’s apparent on the song length too: “Ascending to Infinity” had songs over eight minutes on it, and a sixteen-minutes closer, songs on “Zero Gravity” are all short-ish to medium length.

In terms of quality I’m pretty much blown away by all the songs from start to finish – there are no “highlights” for me to talk about, because everything is a highlight. It is rare that you hear an album where every song is so memorable that you can recall them all after two or three listens – “Zero Gravity” is such an album. Songs such as the opener “Phoenix Rising” or “Fast Radio Burst” start from tranquil verses with very minimal or no guitar backing (“Fast Radio Burst,” for example, has just piano and choir backing the vocalist), then go to a more beefed-up pre-chorus that builds up tension for a melodic outburst in bombastically arranged choruses (orchestra, choirs, the whole package). There are also songs with more muscular verses like in the title song “Zero Gravity,” the song’s chorus, in contrast, has a soaring, uplifting melody. The choruses are catchy, but the melodies can be fairly complex: the chorus of “Multidimensional,” for example, has an uplifting soaring melody but has a kind of melancholic finish. It makes the music accessible but also interesting.

I will highlight the ballad “Amata Immortale” (which means “Immortal Lover” in Italian, I assume that the song, as well as the album, is about transhumans or some similar sci-fi concept), just because it’s a bit different. It is an instrumental number with piano, strings and choir; the chorus is so grand it sounds like an aria from an opera. RHAPSODY OF FIRE was known for putting these numbers influenced by Classical music, but Turilli is taking it to another level here. It’s absolutely stunning. What I find stunning is also the closer “Arcanum (Da Vinci's Enigma),” a whole choir and an opera solo singer sings the chorus with Lione, it also has the grandeur of an opera. If you don’t have goosebumps when listening to this something must be wrong with you. Lione’s contribution to the album also deserves praise, he’s really outdoing himself with the operating singing in the chorus of “Fast Radio Burst,” for example, his duet with AMARANTHE’s Elize Ryd is also great. The arrangements and production are superb.

I’m really impressed by this TURILLI/LIONE release, it blows out of the water much what I’ve heard this year. In some ways I prefer it to his previous band’s more Neo-Classical albums that sound a bit goofy, this album is more accessible but, as I’ve said above, intriguing at the same time – or that’s my best way to describe the magic that Mr. Turilli puts on display here. To me this is easily the best Power-Prog release of this year.

Songwriting: 10
Memorability: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Phoenix Rising
2. D.N.A. (Demon and Angel)
3. Zero Gravity
4. Fast Radio Burst
5. Decoding the Multiverse 06:19 Show lyrics
6. Origins
7. Multidimensional
8. Amata immortale
9. I Am
10. Arcanum (Da Vinci's Enigma)
 
Lineup:
Alex Holzwarth - Drums
Dominique Leurquin - Guitars
Luca Turilli - Guitars, Keyboards
Fabio Lione - Vocals
Patrice Guers – Bass
 
Record Label: Nuclear Blast
     


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Edited 25 August 2019
 

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