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Monday, 19 January 2009

The Two Kings of Epic Fantasy Metal!

pic fantasy metal, is there really such a musical genre? There sure is. Two of my favorite power metal bands have taken their leaning towards fantasy and epic storytelling one step further. I am thinking about the German band "Blind Guardian" and the Italian band "Rhapsody of fire" (earlier just Rhapsody, but they were forced to change the name due to already registered trademark issues). I will recommend one really good album by each group.

The natural starting point for a fantasy lover, especially if you are also a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, is of course Blind Guardian's "Nightfall in Middle-Earth". A concept album based on Tolkien's "The silmarillion", including breathtaking metal tunes as well as segues where different scenes from what Tolkien regarded as his most important work are depicted through narratives and atmospheric sound effects. The entire record actually starts with the sound of a medieval battle!

On then to Rhapsody's (this was before they changed the name to "Rhapsody of fire") "Symphony of enchanted lands". Taking the word "epic" one step further this marvellous album includes more orchestration, more neo-classical parts, more "Emerald-sword-wielding-hero fighting-immortal-demons-beyond-the-gates-of-infinity" (some would say more cheese, but since I'm such a fantasy geek I actually find it all quite enjoyable). If your looking for a rediscovery of the little Dungeons and dragons-heart pounding somewhere deep within you, you have here the perfect soundtrack for that nostalgic journey. This album is actually just one part in the epic story "The chronicles of Algalord", spread over several albums. Fantasy sweets, don't you think?

Blind Guardian are musically slightly more progressive (and a bit more challenging), while Rhapsody have been described as "Epic Hollywood metal", which sometimes make me think of them more like a concept than an actual band. On their latest album, "Triumph or agony" they have one track that is more than 16 minutes long (!) and features a whole bunch of actors performing spoken narratives among the different musical parts. One of these actors - also present on the album before, "Symphony of enchanted lands II" - is none less than the legendary Christopher Lee ("The man with the golden gun" in the James Bond classic, as well as Saruman in the Lord of the rings trilogy).

Labels and genres apart, I consider these two albums true musical masterpieces, and if you are curious about what "epic fantasy metal" sounds like you just HAVE to check them out. Two wonderful journeys through magnificent lands await you.


  1. Gillar att din blogg är ljus och fräsh, även trevlig med en blogg som är på engelska! Headern kanske skulle behövas fräshas upp.

    OWA från Bloggfourm (:

  2. Thanks alot for your comment. I hope you'll continue reading it.
    Best wishes


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