When Rhapsody makes an album it is usually bigger than life. It turns out to be a major effort and production for the band which is also why the band is so critically acclaimed. The bands latest release is no exception. The band builds once again on what they have already done and attempt to add a little extra at the same time. The album is typical of what expectations the fans will have. Big choir vocals, technical guitar parts, and enormous structure. Musically, I find the album similar to all of the previous releases, but it definitely carries it's own persona. It is not quite the production that 'Dawn of Victory' was but I really didn't expect or want the band to repeat that performance. 'Dawn of Victory' was really big in many ways. 'Power of the Dragonflame' is big in other ways. The music really carries a visual aspect to it. You can really feel the story through not only the lyrical content, but the sound. There really is a majestic swords and sorcery feel. The music is pretty consistent with some of my own personal favorites 'Knightrider of Doom', the ferocious 'When demons awake', the melodic 'Lamento Eroico', 'Steelgods of the last apocalypse' which has some excellent arrangements, and the epic album closer 'Gargoyles, Angels of Darkness' which is definitely the largest track on the album with its 3 part saga. There really aren't any big surprises on the album. The band is just comfortable with this type of release and just stay with the recipe that has created their success to this point.
This is a decent release from the band that really doesn't cover any new ground, but does carry well overall. The band approach the project with the typical melodic speed metal with a punch attack. If you have been pleased with the bands previous efforts, I see no reason for disappointment here. Another bold effort from one of the genre's best!
Benny Jansson releases 'Save the World' via Lion Music. The album consists of 12 tracks of guitar oriented compositions. There are also some pretty impressive guesting on the release with Goran Edman and Jens Johansson being a few of the more known in the biz. The music has a lot of atmosphere and discipline and doesn't really have the 'show off' element that commonly ruins the listen. The arrangements are pretty impressive such as the opener 'Save the World: part one' that leads into part two of the same song which is a good vocal track courtesy of Edman. There really is a progressive element on the album that is obvious in tracks like 'Angry Ant' that almost reminds me of a Dream Theater instrumental. 'Winter Night' is interesting. The song has a holiday feel to it which I'm sure was the intent. Goran Edman's vocals really flow and enhance this track. Another element that shows in the album is a bit of a jazz fusion mix in some of the music like 'Mr. Psycho' and the appropriately titled 'Hard Jazz'. Looking to other tracks, with a song like 'Happy Fingers' you know there is gonna be some serious noodling. There is and it shows the caliber of guitarist you are dealing with in Benny Jansson. The thing I think that really shows through on this album is that Jansson is very disciplined and comes across more as a great songwriter that is surrounded by great talent and a very respectable release. Hey, he's a great guitarist as well which is worth noting as well.
This album isn't quite an all instrumental album due to the presence of guest vocalist Goran Edman. There are quite a few instrumentals that are very well put together and disciplined as mentioned before. Jansson really proves with his release that he is a great songwriter and guitarist and is helped with a great roster of guest musicians. The cover artwork is pretty cool as well. Nicely done!