After the “Legendary Years” compilation album (2017), our beloved Rhapsody of Fire return with a new material album. “The Eighth Mountain” is an excellent work, which combines passionate, epic songs with lavish orchestra arrangements, returning to their characteristic symphonic power metal style. To dress the new songs they have worked with a major orchestra again, the acclaimed Bulgarian National Symphony Orchestra in Sofia. This album marks the beginning of a new saga developed by Roby De Micheli and Alex Staropoli, under the title “The Nephilim’s Empire Saga”. The album was mixed and mastered by Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann, an acknowledged expert of top-class power metal sounds. Last but not least, this superb release is enhanced by the fascinating cover artwork courtesy of Alex Charleux, with whom the band has already collaborated on “Legendary Years”. This is the first album with Rhapsody Of Fire for vocalist Giacomo Voli, who truly shines with the new songs, he is really very good, perhaps less operatic than Fabio Lione, but there’s a lot of emotion in his singing. The band actually sounds refreshed, renewed and evolved. Roby De Micheli and Alex Staropoli have done a great job in composing. Conclusion, the album reflects the band’s might and passion and will keep your interest unchanged. If you like power metal, you will love it. In my opinion, “Tales of a Hero’s Fate”, “The Courage to Forgive” and “White Wizard” are the highlights of “The Eighth Mountain" …

♦ 8/10

Nikos Arvanitis