Let me say first that I own all 3 of Rhapsody’s albums. This is because in a day of garbage, corporate-packaged music that is beginning to infect even the metal underground, it is simply a wonderful thing when a band comes along that combines amazing musicianship with a real love for playing. Most of the reviews for this record have already mentioned the basics – power metal (i.e. heavy metal with operatic vocals) crossed with orchestrated passages. But I don’t think they are getting to the meat of it. This is in my opinion, the best work Rhapsody has done to date. I love Legendary Tales, but this album just destroys it, and Dawn of Victory, while great, is a letdown. Firstly, the first track on all the albums is a sort of hymnal/classical intro, and this one has the best of the 3, easily. Alex Strapoli, the keyboardist/pianist/harpsichordist, does the arrangements, and he is superbly talented at it. Then of course we get to the first 2 over the top speedy songs. Both simply magnificent. One of the main things I love about this band is they way they incorporate the classical instruments WITH the metal instruments – case in point is “Emerald Sword” where the violins are soaring over the double bass drumming and background guitar. It works so well, it makes me wonder why it isn’t more prevalent. Whoever said there isn’t much variety is not listening to the entire album. “Eternal Glory” and “Wings of Destiny” are completely different from each other and from most of the rest of this CD. My favorite track, by far, is “The Dark Tower of Abyss” for its incredible classical intro and middle section, which coincide perfectly with the rest of the song; the main riff uses a trade off between guitar and strings in an increasing downward spiraling fashion that shows the complexity of the writing. This is not your average power chord band. If you download a song by this band, “Dark Tower” is the one to get. The vocalist is perfect. The ONLY drawback to this album are the spoken word intros on tracks 4 and 10, but they are less than 2 minutes total and hey, that’s why there’s a mute button. This album’s greatest appeal is that anyone who can appreciate music will like it – it is universal. Not many bands can say that.