Rhapsody: The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream (Digipack)

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Rhapsody: The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream (Digipack)
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Rhapsody: The Magic of the Wizard's Dream
Orchestral Power Metal, Symphonic Power Metal
Magic Circle Music, Steamhammer / SPV Records
March 29th, 2005
Release length: 30:44
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Playing off the success of Symphony of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark Secret, and perhaps the chance to actually perform alongside the legendary Christopher Lee outside a simple narration, fans of Rhapsody are given the single The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream. The release actually covers a good thirty plus minutes, but it’s far from unique and diverse for its lifespan. But, does this rather high ticketed offering at least give fans something enjoyable other than rehashing the same song six different ways?

Well, if you loved “The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream” to the point where it’s the only song you ever want to hear again, then perhaps. This features the same song, but done in various different manners, and almost all of them feature Christopher Lee performing in a duet fashion. This is a rather enjoyable approach, and given the album’s production faults, this song’s lack of guitars is a good choice that pushes the Operatic side very well. However, it really does become redundant after a while, as a majority is this track but in English, Italian, French, German, and an Orchestral Version with a stronger keyboard presence that is enjoyable, but doesn’t really do anything except make it a little richer. All of these are actually cut down too, having lost about forty-four seconds from the album version, which is included on here as well.

Aside the overkill of the title track, this single does feature two new songs for fans to sink their teeth into. “Autumn Twilight” kicks right in with subtle keyboards against sharper, faster guitar work with a slightly deeper bass presence. There isn’t anything too epic or overpowering here, especially in the Symphonic aspect, but that’s a good thing given the stronger audio than the album the single comes from, and the focus on the Power Metal instead of the epic material. Meanwhile, the second new composition, “Lo Specchio D’argento,” is a Folk inspired piece largely devoid of the electric guitars in favor of acoustic and other appropriate instruments. The vocals are rather soft, but still incorporate a good deal of energy and joy that works well with the generally fun atmosphere and music one might expect to hear at a renaissance fair. It may not have a good bite compated to the previous offering, but it’s a rather enjoyable and heartwarming experience you can come back to many times and not really be tired of it.

But, there’s no denying that the single in question is simply beaten beyond the point of necessity. Four different language specific versions among an Orchestral and album version is just too much for The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream, finding the listener lurching for the skip forward button right at the first spin. It gets boring really quick despite the powerful and even beautiful performances given. It’s the closing two new recordings that stand out the most, with “Autumn Twilight” being typical Rhapsody that fans will eat up, and “Lo Specchio D’argento” speaking to the more Folk driven side of the band in a way that makes it a lot more enjoyable than it has any right to be. For the sake of those two new songs, it’s worth scouting around for this single, especially for one version of the title song with Christopher Lee involved (not the album version since he’s not on it, which is a shame). But, for the full price you would pay for it retail, it honestly isn’t really worth it, leaving you better off searching for it used, or even buying the MP3s of the two new recordings and calling it a day.

01. The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream (English Version) – 3:42
02. The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream (Italian Version) – 3:41
03. The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream (French Version) – 3:41
04. The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream (German Version) – 3:42
05. The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream (Orchestral Version) – 3:42
06. The Magic of the Wizard’s Dream (Album Version) – 4:26
07. Autumn Twilight – 3:35
08. Lo Specchio D’argento – 4:15
Overall Score: 4.5/10


Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.